This Day in Music, December 2: Da Ya Think I'm Sexy

By , Contributor

On this day in 1978, Rod Stewart was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy," the singer's fifth UK chart-topper. A plagiarism lawsuit by Brazilian musician Jorge Ben Jor confirmed that the song had been derived from his composition "Taj Mahal." Stewart agreed to donate all his royalties from the song to the United Nations Children's Fund.

Which was very good of him.

But, do you think Rod Stewart is sexy? I'm sure some people do!

Rod Stewart and the Faces were the first ever live gig I went to, and they didn't disappoint. They fell onto the stage, clutching bottles of wine, cigarettes in hand, and played a blinding if somewhat shambolic show. But I didn't find Rod sexy. I was a 14-year-old boy at my first gig; I was far more impressed with Ronnie Woods’ ability to hold a cig in his mouth whilst playing the guitar — for two hours.

But, going back to “Da Ya Think I'm Sexy”... For poor old Rod it has sort of become his signature tune, which I would imagine would drive him or anybody mad. It’s a throwaway song, which worked at the time — but having to prance around the stage now in skintight pants singing...

Most big acts have a signature song — which becomes like an albatross. Robert Plant has "Stairway To Heaven", which he now apparently hates performing, and I can see why. It’s a brilliant song, classic rock, captured Led Zeppelin at their zenith. But to be expected to sing it every time you go out on tour must be a nightmare.

Other acts have strange songs that stick with them. How about Jeff Beck and "Hi Ho Silver Lining"? It just isn't what Jeff Beck is about, and never was. But unfortunately, most people who know that song think that's what Jeff Beck is about! No! He doesn’t sing, and he's probably one of the greatest guitarists on the planet.

I have a theory: when you die you take your signature song with you.

Take Kurt Cobain. Do you think he would still be singing “Smells Like Teen Spirit"? No, he would be sick to death of it, but because Kurt is no longer with us and can never perform the anthem again, it makes it even more of a  classic song. Same with Otis Redding and "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay". Those magical three minutes that where captured on record have become a timeless piece of music history. Would you want to go a see a 68-year-old Jim Morrison belting out a version of "Light My Fire" in his leather pants? No, I don’t think so, but what we are left with is a striking image of a young, sexy man who you wanted to 'light your fire'. (That was aimed at the female readers, by the way.)

Britney Spears will always be expected to sing "Oops... I Did It Again", U2 have to play "Where The Streets Have No Name" and The Rolling Stones will always have to play "(I Can't Get No), Satisfaction". But they are all great songs and I'm sure as Keith kicks into that killer riff, he and his rolling bones know it's almost time to go back to the hotel. And it’s all money in the bank.

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A former musician, Neil was in the 80's group The Cheaters who were once signed to EMI's Parlophone label, and released three albums. He was also a radio presenter and is still a regular music pundit on various BBC stations. Neil is the founder of the award winning web site This Day in Music which is…

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