“A man without a hobby is lost”: Sir Rod Stewart tells Bryan Adams how his model railroad collection keeps him occupied

Bryan Adams and Rod Stewart in 1993
(Image credit: Lester Cohen/Getty Images)

In the new issue of Classic Rock, out on Friday, our Guest Editor Bryan Adams interviews Sir Rod Stewart. He quizzes Rod The Mod on a career in music, filling in potholes, writing lyrics and more, with the chat taking an entertaining diversion into hobbies at one point. Both of these superstar artists have intriguing pastimes – Rod has a passion for model railways, whilst Adams, as well as being a multi-million-selling singer-songwriter, is an internationally renowned photographer.

“A man without a hobby is lost,” says Stewart excitedly when talk turns to hobbies. “When I’m on the road I take projects in great big suitcases. I take paints and tools and everything. The hotels give me a special room – they clear it all out – and give me a great big table to work on. I don’t know what I’d do – and I’m sure you must agree. There’s so much wasted time on the road if you haven’t got anything to do. What do you do? Go out shopping? I’ve got my model railroad to keep me warm.”

Stewart reveals that he has his extensive model railway collection set-up for him so he can get stuck in when the mood suits him. “I can spend seven hours building something, then it goes into a big crate and then it goes all the way back to London, and I put it on the layout.”

With talk turning to Adam’s career as a photographer – he has shot subjects ranging from the Queen to Lana Del Rey – the (Everything I Do) I Do It For You man says he doesn’t think of it so much as a hobby as he does something else that’s a part of his ongoing work. “I think you have to continue to be creative,” he states. “It’s not just about having a hobby, it’s about occupying your time with something that you love.”

To read the full, entertaining back and forth between the two, pick up a copy of the new issue of Classic Rock here, from Friday.

Niall Doherty

Niall Doherty is a writer and editor whose work can be found in Classic Rock, The Guardian, Music Week, FourFourTwo, on Apple Music and more. Formerly the Deputy Editor of Q magazine, he co-runs the music Substack letter The New Cue with fellow former Q colleagues Ted Kessler and Chris Catchpole. He is also Reviews Editor at Record Collector. Over the years, he's interviewed some of the world's biggest stars, including Elton John, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Robert Plant and more. Radiohead was only for eight minutes but he still counts it.