Al Stewart was born in Glasgow, has an impeccably English accent, and his daughters are as American as Mom’s apple pie. The youngest, Daisy, has just made her debut accompanying her father on the cello.
There is an edited version of Year Of The Cat on YouTube, recorded on December 17. Although this is unarguably one of his finest compositions – co-written with keyboard player Peter Wood (1950-93) – it is rather sad that for many people of a certain generation it is about the only one of his tracks to which they can put a name.
Al actually started out playing in a beat group with Tony Blackburn of all people, something he catalogued in his epic song Love Chronicles along with his first kindergarten love Stephanie – who also appears in a song of her own – and much else besides. Epic it may be, but it was one word that caused his record company consternation.
Back in 1969-70, the dreaded F word was a lot more potent than it is today, having fallen into disrepute sometime after 1571 when it appeared in a poem satirising the clergy. There was no profanity on December 17 though, and a good time was had by all in what was a family event, literally, with Al’s daughter Daisy making her debut on the cello. His other daughter is called Violet, which says a lot about the man himself, an incurable romantic at heart as on record.
Since November 20, further dates next year have been confirmed for what is shaping up to be a mini US tour, though it is not clear if Daisy will be joining Dad on stage with his regular partner Dave Nachmanoff.
[When the above article was first published on December 23, 2011, Year Of The Cat was linked to a YouTube video That video has since been deleted along with the associated account. I believe I also included a screengrab of Al’s daughter playing the cello. If I did, it was not saved either to my hard disk or by the Internet Archive. Today – September 5, 2022 (happy seventy-seventh birthday, Al) – I have searched in vain for any meaningful photographs of either of Al’s daughters. Daisy is his youngest daughter; in the original I wrote incorrectly that she is the oldest. The other associated photograph, of Al with Dave, is probably a screengrab and may or may not have been uploaded by me.]
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