Rod Stewart fulfilled a long-held ambition this week, when he played a concert at the Kremlin. The ex-gravedigger from North London has come a long way since his days as an early mod.

In Praise of Rod

The boy done good. An ersatz god

His spider-cut grown out from mod

So skinny, ratsy kids like me

Could cash in with a new ID.

His beery proto Celtic Soul

Made something in the heart shout GOAL!

And everything about his band

Was cheerful, raucous. Never bland.

The workplace anthems of the age

Were footballs booted from his stage

And there among the building sites

You'd notice all his acolytes

In haircut, look and cocky way

On scaffolds, bawling `Maggie May'

And so, for these enlightened men

The passing girls walked slower then.

And later on, (much later, Ron)

With KGB men looking on

Their slavic features set in frown

The Iron Curtain long come down

Rod storms their former citadel

At 50-plus he wears it well

Quite good as vintage rock stars go

(I had that haircut once, you know ...)