FRIDAY, JULY 12
Our family motto is: ‘One day you’re cock of the walk, the next you’re a feather duster.’
The primary meaning is: don’t get too over-enraptured by your own success, because life has an unfortunate habit of biting you on the backside.
But there’s also a secondary one: live life to the full while you still have it.
We had a delicious meal, washed down with fine wine, before Rod reappeared in a white shirt and trousers, with fluorescent green shoes
Recently, my father Glynne suddenly announced he’d bought four top-priced (£250 each!) tickets to see Rod Stewart perform tonight at Sussex County Cricket Ground in Hove. He’d never done anything like this before; indeed, my shocked mother disclosed after he dropped the bombshell that they haven’t attended a single concert in their entire five-decade marriage.
Dad, who used to play drums in a jazz band, explained: ‘I’m 78, Rod’s 74, and I want to see him play live before one of us dies.’
I emailed Mr Stewart to break this startling news. ‘Brilliant Piers!’ Rod replied. ‘How stimulating for one! Can I furnish you with backstage paraphernalia?’
‘It would be fun for Dad to say hello, if that’s not too much of a fag?’ I asked.
‘It would be an absolute delight,’ Rod responded. ‘Tell him I’m looking forward to it.’
So this evening, me, my parents and my sister drove into the VIP parking area behind the venue to be greeted warmly by Team Stewart.
Seconds later, a gleaming Bentley rolled up next to us and out sprang the legend himself.
‘Hello my old mucker!’ he exclaimed, giving me a bear-hug, ‘where’s your dad?’
I made the introduction and Rod joshed with my delighted father like they were old mates. Then he dashed off to get ready for the show, and we were led to a lavish green room where some of Rod’s own family were sitting, including his 90-year-old sister Mary and brother Don, 89.
We had a delicious meal, washed down with fine wine, before Rod reappeared in a white shirt and trousers, with fluorescent green shoes.
‘You’re so famous now, Piers!’ said one of the world’s most famous men.
‘More infamous,’ I suggested.
‘Well, yes,’ he laughed, ‘but don’t worry, I still like you.’
‘How’s the tour gone?’
‘I’ve loved it. Never thought I’d still be doing this at my age, so I feel very lucky.’
I told Rod I spent many years as a youngster at this very cricket ground, watching Sussex play. ‘I spent a lot of time as a teenager down here too!’ he replied.
‘Don’t be ridiculous! No… busking!’
‘Yeah, down by Brighton Pier. I just popped down there actually, and it brought back a lot of good memories.’
The show itself was superbly entertaining.
Rod strutted, pouted and crooned his way through his greatest hits from Sailing and Da Ya Think I’m Sexy to Tonight I’m Yours and Baby Jane, and unlike so many of his rock-singer peer group, his voice seems as strong as ever. (‘I’m still in control of ALL my faculties, Mr Morgan!’ he proudly informed me afterwards.)
He also kept up a very funny mickey-taking routine with the crowd.
‘Do you mind, sir?’ he chuckled at one bloke near the front who had the audacity to walk off during a song. ‘I was just getting to the climax and you get up to go for a f***ing beer!’
Rod reserved particularly savage jocular admonishment for the large crowds of people watching from the balconies of almost every flat overlooking the ground.
‘We’ve got a bloody 9pm curfew tonight because local residents didn’t want to be kept awake by the noise,’ he laughed, ‘but all I can see is you lot getting a free gig and having a great time!’
When Rod belted out Maggie May as an encore, his long-time aide Alan appeared to escort us backstage again. As we pushed our way out through the throng, numerous tipsy, boisterous women began throwing themselves at me, begging for selfies and kisses.
Naturally, I was more than willing to accommodate the wanton demands.
But Alan, who’s spent 30 years performing similar protective duties for Rod, wasn’t so happy: ‘Hurry up Piers – or you’ll never get out of here alive!’
‘I’m not sure he wants to,’ observed my mother, entirely correctly. ‘My son seems to be enjoying himself a little too much.’
Later, we stood outside Rod’s trailer chatting with him as he reviewed himself: ‘It was a good show, and a great crowd, just a shame it was all in daylight because of the curfew. Ballads in particular are always better sung in the dark.’
Last week, my father got his photo taken with Miss World at my annual village cricket match and reacted in an unadvisedly over-excited manner.
Tonight, my mother exacted revenge with a photo of herself gleefully hugging Rod which she posted on Facebook with the caption: ‘Died and gone to heaven!’
Despite this, Dad announced it had been ‘a wonderful evening’ and ‘worth every penny’. (All 100,000 pennies!)
And to everyone reading this column who still harbours an unrealised dream, take a leaf out of my dad’s book and just do it – before it’s too late.
SATURDAY, JULY 13
Lily Allen has told The Guardian: ‘Piers Morgan won’t be getting a Christmas card from me because a) I don’t have his address and b) I don’t like him.’ Given I’m mates with a real music icon like Rod Stewart, why would I want a Christmas card from a drug-addled, fast-fading loon-ball like Lily Allen?
SATURDAY, JULY 20
Today’s the 50th anniversary of Man landing on the Moon, reminding me of the time I once met Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin at a Vanity Fair Oscars party. He was surrounded by huge celebrities like Tom Cruise, Jane Fonda and Gwyneth Paltrow, all making a big fuss of him, but seemed amusingly unimpressed.
‘The stars I’ve seen are a lot bigger than this, Piers,’ he chuckled.