Rod Stewart says Elton John once gave him a Rembrandt painting for Christmas while he got the ‘Rocketman’ singer a fridge

Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart. Mike Marsland / Getty Images
  • Rod Stewart told The Guardian that Elton John showed him up by getting him a Rembrandt painting.
  • Stewart and John had a friendly rivalry for many years.
  • Stewart said that for one Christmas John got him the painting when he only got him a pop-up fridge.

Rod Stewart told The Guardian that Elton John showed him up one Christmas when the “Rocketman” singer bought him a Rembrandt painting.

The two British singer-songwriters, who had been friends for 50 years, fell out in 2018 after Stewart said John’s farewell tour was “dishonest” and “stinks of selling tickets.” Earlier this year, Stewart revealed that the pair had made up and were now “mates” again.

During their feud, John released his autobiography “ME” in which he told his side of the feud, writing that he always tried to upstage Steward. In a reader interview with The Guardian, where celebrities answer questions from the publication’s readers, Stewart was asked about his favorite time that John tried to upstage him.

The British rock singer replied that John showed him up the most “in private.”

“We used to live 20 minutes from each other in Berkshire, so for Christmas I bought him a pop-up fridge from Harrods,” he recalled. “You pressed a button and there’d be steam and lights and a bottle of champagne. It cost me £600; a lot of money in the 70s. We swapped presents and he said: ‘Oh very nice, dear, thank you.’ He gave me a Rembrandt painting! I’ve never felt so stingy.”

Elton John Walmart glasses
Elton John. Courtesy of Walmart

Stewart continued: “He’s eternally the most generous person I’ve ever known. I’m not sure what the best one I’ve done on ‘her’ is … he’s usually got one over on me. I can’t bear it. We communicate through the press now, but we love each other. That’s what counts.”

Rembrandt (1606-1669) is considered one of the Dutch Old Masters and, most recently, one of his paintings sold for between $US20 ($AU28)-$US30 ($AU41) million through Sotheby’s private sales channel.

In John’s autobiography, released in 2020, the “Rocket Man” singer said that he tried to send Stewart a message to end the feud but Stewart’s manager told him that the rock singer couldn’t speak because he was on “constant vocal rest” between shows.

In October, the same month the book was released, Stewart said on British television presenter Chris Evans’ podcast “How to Wow” that he had also tried to offer an olive branch by inviting John’s sons Zachary and Elijah to use the football pitch at his house.