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Plain sailing for Rod Stewart double

Walsall | News | Published:

Rod Stewart impersonator Garry Pease wears it well after swapping life in a Black Country factory for strutting around the stage as his musical hero.

Rod Stewart impersonator Garry Pease wears it well after swapping life in a Black Country factory for strutting around the stage as his musical hero.

The Walsall grandfather's tribute to the Scottish rocker is proving so popular, he is already fully booked every weekend for the rest of the year.

And with his uncanny resemblance to the ever-popular singer — including a head of hair to rival that of Rod — it is not hard to see why the 51-year-old often has passers-by doing a double take.

"I have been chased by people and asked for autographs, especially when I'm abroad," said the father-of-two, of Attlee Road, Bentley.

It was only a chance karaoke stint that gave Garry the idea of emulating Rod.

Garry said: "The first time I sang for people was in a social club. They had a band on and said if anyone wanted to get up and sing, as long as the band could play it, they could. I sang Sailing and I had people coming up to me saying that I should try doing it for a living."

With help from his wife of 32 years Karen, Garry set up the Rod Stewart Experience and toured pubs and clubs in the Black Country.

As word spread and his fan base grew, he started to get bigger bookings until he was able to give up his job as a machinist at nuts and bolts factory Stanley Horne to turn professional.

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He has even been to Dubai to perform there and has travelled to all over Europe including Spain, Ireland and Holland. But perfecting the voice, mannerisms and moves of 66-year-old

Rod has not been too arduous a task for Garry, having been a fan of the singer for more than 40 years. "I first started to like Rod Stewart in 1971 when I was about 11, at around the time of Maggie May," said Garry, who is father to Robert and Daniel.

Despite having been to hundreds of Rod Stewart shows, Garry has never come face-to-face with his musical icon.

"I'd love him to come to one of my shows," said Garry, whose favourite song is Mandolin Wind.

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Musical talent obviously runs in the family as son Daniel is bass player with up-and-coming Wolverhampton band The Lines, while Garry's four-year-old granddaughter Courtney is starting to get in on the act.

Garry said: "She's Rod Stewart mad too. She knows all the words to the songs and loves singing along."

Next weekend, Garry will perform at a Rod Stewart convention at Walsall FC's Banks's Stadium and will donate his fee to children's charity Whizz-Kidz. On April 24 he will be at Shepwell Green Social Club, in Willenhall. Tickets cost £5 on the door.

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