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Rod Stewart Breaks Out Rare Song for Letter-Writing Fan

For most of us, seeing Rod Stewart in concert 30 times would be more than enough to satisfy any live requests. For uber-fan and Montreal Gazette writer Richard Burnett, however, there was one Stewart classic remaining on his dream Stewart set list.

Burnett’s wish, which he shared in a Gazette column that served as an open letter to Stewart, was to finally hear a live-and-in-person rendition of ‘Sailing,’ the Sutherland Brothers Band track Stewart covered on his 1975 ‘Atlantic Crossing’ LP. Although the song was a massive hit in the U.K., it only managed to graze the charts in the U.S. and Canada, which probably has something to do with its long absence from Stewart’s Montreal shows.

“You have never sung ‘Sailing’ in all your years performing in Montreal, a city where you headlined the Montreal Forum more than any other performer in the 20th century,” pleaded Burnett in his column. “Your Dec. 14 concert at Montreal’s Bell Centre will be my 31st Rod Stewart concert, and I’m bringing my mom Liliane, who will be attending her 30th Rod Stewart concert. So, on the eve of your Montreal show, I have just one last request, Mr. Stewart: Will you sing ‘Sailing’? Please?”

Not only did Stewart fulfill Burnett’s request, he did it with customary flair, projecting the column on the big screens above the stage and explaining what he was about to do before declaring, “This chap has waited long enough.” Warning the audience that some of them might not be familiar with the song, he then launched into the performance Burnett had been waiting for, which you can watch in the video at the top of the post.

“I just about died and went to heaven,” wrote Burnett in his recap of the show. “Just goes to prove that class acts like Rod Stewart still go out of their way to please their fans.”

Next: Top 10 Rod Stewart Songs of the '70s

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