'Tight as two coats of paint' Rod Stewart reveals his generous side

Getting soft in his old age! How formerly ‘tight as two coats of paint’ Rod Stewart revealed his generous side by taking in Ukrainian refugees and paying for scans – after ‘charging his girlfriends rent and refilling his children’s pop bottles’ years ago

  • Rock legend Rod Stewart once gave an ill student nurse battling Covid £5,000 
  • But the 78-year-old star admits he is ‘shrewd’ and used to be thrifty in the past  

He’s the self-confessed ‘shrewd’ rock idol who was once labelled as ‘tight as two coasts of paint’ by Rolling Stones’ guitarist Ronnie Wood.

But after years of penny-pinching, thrifty music legend Sir Rod Stewart appears to be transforming into a generous softy in his golden years. 

On Friday, the 78-year-old rocker rolled up to his local NHS hospital in Essex to personally pay for patients to have scans to help cut waiting lists, after vowing to do so last month. 

Sir Rod, who has had six number one hits in the UK charts, even hinted he wanted to go one step further, sponsoring scans at hospitals in Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester. 

‘I want to prove I’m not all mouth and trousers and that’s why I’m here to prove that I followed through with it, ok folks,’ said the father-of-eight during while visiting Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex.

Sir Rod posed for photographs with staff members at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow

Sir Rod takes a selfie with Omarie Ryan, who was at hospital to have a scan on Friday

However, the rock legend’s former girlfriend Britt Ekland  once claimed he had charged her rent to live at his home while they were together in the 1970s 

It’s the latest in a string of generous acts of kindness by the beloved singer-songwriter, who reportedly has a wealth in excess of £200 million. 

But Sir Rod has been careful in how he spends his money – a trait he inherited from his late father, Robert Stewart – who died in 1990.

READ MORE: Rod Stewart is going to be a grandpa again! Daughter Ruby, 35, whom the rocker, 78, had with model Kelly Emberg, 63, celebrates her pregnancy in LA

‘My father, being a Scotsman, taught me to look after finances. I’m shrewd. Some people may call me tight. My old pal Ronnie Wood loves making jokes about it. “Tight as two coats of paint,” he calls me. Tight as two coats of paint,’ Sir Rod said to Esquire.

The music superstar also admitted to refilling his children’s fizzy drink bottles to save cash. 

The singer complained that his youngest would only take one gulp and leave the rest to go flat. 

Speaking to The Sunday Post, the frugal father-of-eight said he would swoop in and pour the leftovers into a huge contain to top them up later. 

Sir Rod said: ‘Kids! Two mouthfuls off the top. Then they just leave them all over. So what I do is I pour them all into one big bottle, then I refill them and screw the tops back on. They never know.’

Despite being a millionaire, he admitted to keeping an eye on the cost of living when it comes to what he buys at the shops. 

In his early days, the 78-year-old was even accused of charging his old girlfriends rent.

His ex-lover Britt Ekland, who was Sir Rod’s girlfriend in the 70s, said he made her pay to stay over.

Sir Rod admitted to refilling his children’s bottle of pop when the youngsters only take a single gulp before leaving the rest to go flat. He is pictured at Buckingham Palace with his wife, Penny Lancaster and children Alastair and Aiden, ahead of him receiving his knighthood in recognition of his services to music and charity on October 11, 2016

Good news: Eighties Vogue model Kelly Emberg announced this week that the daughter she had with Rod Stewart is pregnant. The 35-year-old blonde beauty Ruby Stewart is expecting a baby boy, Kelly shared on Instagram. The cover girl was celebrating the baby shower with Ruby and her father, rocker Rod

Rod Stewart pictured with his former lover Kelly Emberg in 1984

‘I had to pay $100 (£42 in 1970) a month. I would watch him buy clothes from Yves St Laurent but nothing for me,’ Britt said in an article for the Daily Express.

‘He did used to like to wear my underwear though. He would wear these baggy satin trousers and needed little satin pants. Rod would wear my knickers. He liked them.’

The rocker was even branded ‘very cheap’ once by his wayward son on an American court TV show.  

Sean Stewart, 28, claimed his famous father was tight with his money and told TV judge Jeanine Pirro Sir Rod had bailed him out with money he owed personal trainer Francois Xavier Declie.

But he added: ‘Actually, the money he gave, I had to pay back. My dad’s very cheap.’

But last year, Sir Rod showed his generosity when he helped save a family from war-torn Ukraine.  

Grateful dad Rostyslav Kurtiak, 49, told how his family owed their lives to the rocker after he found a home for them in a leafy Berkshire town.

Rostyslav’s family of seven are now living in a £500,000 three-storey townhouse and the singer has pledged to pay their rent and bills for at least a year.

Clutching his two-year-old son Dymtro in his arms he told MailOnline: ‘Sir Rod is a very great man. He saved my family from danger.

‘Now my children are safe and are learning in school like normal children.’

The family are settling in to their four-bedroomed home in Bracknell, Berks after moving in in the summer.

A family of Ukrainian refugees told how they played Sir Rod Stewart’s music in the house every day after the singing legend saved them from war-torn Ukraine. Pictured: Sir Rod Stewart with the family who consider him a ‘hero’

Grateful dad Rostyslav Kurtiak, 49, told how his family owed their lives to the rocker after he found a home for them in a leafy Berkshire town

Rostyslav’s family of seven are now living in a £500,000 three-storey townhouse and the singer has pledged to pay their rent and bills for at least a year

Sir Rod, 77, and wife Penny, 51, stepped in after hearing of the plight of ­Rostyslav, wife Olena and children Taras, 17, Kostya, 16, Roman, 13, Mariia, 10, and Dymtro.

The family, who do not speak English, found themselves homeless and without money after fleeing their homeland.

The singer had already teamed up with family members to rescue refugees after organising three trucks to take 16 refugees back to safety in Berlin.

Rostyslav hailed Sir Rod as ‘a great hero’ and said that in tribute he plays his music round the clock.

He said: ‘Of course I love his music. I always liked it but now I am his biggest fan.

‘I play his music every day, every day! My favourite is Sailing. I love the version he does with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

‘My children love his songs too. We play his music on You Tube. He is a very great singer and a very great man.’

Sir Rod, 77, and wife Penny, 51, stepped in after hearing of the plight of ­Rostyslav, wife Olena and children Taras, 17, Kostya, 16, Roman, 13, Mariia, 10, and Dymtro

Singer-songwriter Rod Stewart (pictured) has put up a Ukrainian family of seven and promised to pay their rent and bills for a year

Rostyslav also likes Rhythm of My Heart – which Sir Rod said he wrote about the Vietnam War but said he would dedicate to Ukrainians on his upcoming tour.

In May 2020 Sir Rod stunned a student nurse – who was fighting for her life having contracted Covid-19 – with a surprise gift of £5,000. 

The singing legend sent Natasha Jenkins a card with the cheque hidden inside after hearing about her 22-day ordeal on a ventilator. 

The 36-year-old mother-of-three, from Barry Island, South Wales, was half way through her second year studies when her nursing career had to be put put on hold.  

In April she was reunited with her family and her fight was rewarded by the Maggie May singer, who sent a generous £5,000 cheque with the note: ‘Hi Natasha, a small gift to help you through the rough times.’

Mother-of-three Natasha Jenkins returned home to her children in April 2020 after spending 22  days battling Covid-19

Sir Rod Stewart sent £5,000 to help the single mother after she was struck down by the virus earlier this year

Student nurse Natasha, from Barry, South Wales, was treated at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff and has managed to return to work on half shifts as she continues her recovery

She said: ‘When I saw what Rod Stewart had sent me I was absolutely gobsmacked. It was a really, really lovely kind thing for him to do.

‘I was gobsmacked with the cheque. I’ve joined a gym which is helping me physically and mentally and life is really good at the minute.

‘I’ve received the best support from all my friends and family and I really wouldn’t be in the position I am today without them.’

And later that year Rod and his wife Penny Lancaster donated treasured items during an auction raising cash for the British Heart Foundation (BHF). 

The celebrity duo flogged a range of luxury designer goods, with Sir Rod giving the BHF a range of signed CDs and world tour memorabilia.

While model and TV personality, Penny, donated designer clothing and accessories including a stunning black Dolce & Gabbana.

The were praised by Jane Flannery, one of BHF’s regional directors, who said: ‘We want to say a huge thank you to Penny and Rod for their kind generosity in donating these fantastic preloved items to us. These pieces will help us raise much needed funds to help support the 7.4 million people in the UK living with heart and circulatory diseases.’

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