By Paul Thomasch
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rod Stewart, the raspy-voiced rocker, will publish his memoirs next year, promising to "hold nothing back" in detailing a career in which he sold more than a 100 million records, survived cancer and romanced a string of blond bombshells.
Stewart's book, which is yet to be titled but will be published worldwide by Random House, comes as he has toned down his rock and roll act, concentrating on remaking standards by everyone from Cole Porter to George Gershwin.
Due out in October 2012, the book follows renewed interest in rock autobiographies thanks to bestsellers by Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards and an upcoming release by Neil Young.
Stewart, 66, rose to superstar fame with a string of hits, including "Maggie May," "Tonight's The Night," "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy," and "Some Guys Have All The Luck." Over his 50-year music career, he has had 31 top-10 singles in Britain and 16 top-10 singles in the United States.
"It is a funny old thing telling my life story but I truly intend to hold nothing back," Stewart said in a statement. "Forget skeletons in the closet; this one's going to be socks and knickers under the bed."
Born in North London, Stewart left school at 15 and had his start with The Ray Davies Quartet, which later become The Kinks, before his first big break in 1967 when he teamed up with the Jeff Beck Group, where he joined Jeff Beck of the Yardbirds and Ronnie Wood, who went on to join The Rolling Stones.
Stewart subsequently took his spiky, rooster-style hair and working class songs to a new London supergroup, Faces, joined by Wood. He struck it big with his 1971 with his mega-hit "Maggie May" on his solo "Every Picture Tells A Story" album.
From there, his career caught fire as he alternated solo work with tours and albums with the Faces, even as his personal life began making tabloid headlines.
Moving to the United States in the mid-seventies and concentrating on his solo career, Stewart began wearing new wave suits and cemented his reputation as a playboy, dating Swedish actress Britt Ekland, model Bebe Buell and Alana Hamilton, another model whom he eventually married.
Stewart and Hamilton had two children before divorcing in 1984. He had another child with Kelly Emberg, and then married supermodel Rachel Hunter in 1990. The couple, who had two children, divorced in 2006.
He finally married Penny Lancaster, yet another blond model, and fathered two more children.
Stewart once said Brigitte Bardot was the only woman he'd ever had a sexual fantasy about. "With me, looks come first, and she's everything a woman should be. She's blond and beautiful, she's got the most incredible legs, etc. etc. And she's French as well."
An inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and recipient of the Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Stewart was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, threatening his life and his career. He underwent throat surgery in 2000, and since then has been an active fundraiser for cancer charities.
(Reporting by Paul Thomasch, editing by Mark Egan and Jill Serjeant)