Rod's Train Hobby

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by nearly.normal, May 13, 2013.

  1. nearly.normal

    nearly.normal Well-Known Member

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    It’s as different from the average toy railroad as the rest of the singer’s glitzy home is from a tract house in Peoria. It measures 23 feet wide by 124 feet long, for one thing, a 1,500-square-foot HO-scaled diorama that captures the essence of post-war Manhattan in intricate, jaw-dropping detail, from its recreation of a crowded terminal station for the New York Central and Pennsylvania Railroads to the towering brick and stone skyscrapers that frame it. While musicians as diverse as Frank Sinatra?who also inspired Rod’s current saloon singer incarnation?and Neil Young have shared his intensive interest in toy trains, Stewart imparts his modeling a level of intricate detail that surpasses even the hobby’s obsessive norms.

    The public got its first glimpses of Rod Stewart’s massive train set last winter, after the veteran rocker gingerly inquired of Model Railroader Magazine: “Having been a model railroader for 20 years, and an avid reader of your magazine for longer, I thought you may be interested in publishing some photos of my layout.â€



    After visiting the magazine’s Milwaukee offices last April while on tour, Stewart invited editor Carl Swanson to fly west on the singer’s private jet for a private showing of the layout the singer has dubbed Grand Street and Three Rivers Railroad. “The photos of Rod’s layout were impressive,†Swanson said afterwards, “but it wasn’t until I saw it in person that the real impact of it hit me. The level of craftsmanship is staggering.â€

    Its scale alone is mind-boggling, featuring over 100 buildings, some towering five-plus feet high, yet decorated to a level of detail that includes individual sale signs in its tiny shop windows. Even more remarkable, Stewart built much of the massive layout in hotel rooms while touring!



    Stewart explained that during his 63-city American tour of 2007, he used a suite in a Chicago hotel as his home base, affording plenty of room for wife Penny Lancaster, their young son Alastair?and the seven huge touring cases the singer uses to transport his train modeling pieces, tools and supplies on the road. After flying to and from the tour’s various outlying stops, Stewart would return to the hotel and immerse himself in hours of painstaking model scratch-building and detail work. He’s already invested over a dozen years in the Grand Street and Three Rivers layout alone.



    The singer’s model train obsession spans decades and continents, rooted in a ’40s London childhood where his parent’s shop neighbored British Rail, whose East Coast Line eventually became the model for the first model train layout Stewart built at his English estate in Essex. Fans of his music will note that trains also featured prominently in two of his most successful mid-period releases?a sublime 1985 cover of Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready†that re-teamed him with Jeff Beck and his 1989 hit, “Downtown Train.â€

    “I pity a man who doesn’t have a hobby like this one?it’s just the most supreme relaxation,†Stewart said of the train modeling passion he’s devoted decades of his life to. “Every person should have one hobby that really captures his interest.â€

    As for the public acclaim and recognition of his fellow hobbyists, Rod proudly says they “mean more to me than the cover of Rolling Stone.â€




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  2. nearly.normal

    nearly.normal Well-Known Member

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  3. Quite Frankly

    Quite Frankly Well-Known Member

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  4. TehLivingDeath

    TehLivingDeath New Member Banned User

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    That's fucking awesome!
     
  5. Murcielago

    Murcielago Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast

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    Gives me the same slight headache feeling I get when I see documentaries on stop-motion animation. I respect the hell out of the effort and the result, I just cant fathom all the hours of painstaking, minute work.
     
  6. Kool

    Kool Well-Known Member

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    Baccala from the Soprano's
     
  7. Murcielago

    Murcielago Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast

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    The look on Tony's face when he saw that fat fuck wearing the engineer's hat was one of the great moments in the show.
     
  8. SouthernListen

    SouthernListen I don't follow the crowd. Sorry about that. VIP

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    It's amazing. It makes me realize that I have the attention span of a gnat.
     
  9. IHateHoward2

    IHateHoward2 Well-Known Member VIP

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    I wonder if Keith Richards and Jimmy Page ever broke into his hotel suite to stage an intervention
     
  10. artful dodger

    artful dodger Well-Known Member

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    norm said on his show earlier