Rocker Rod Stewart is so desperate to help his ailing mentor LONG JOHN BALDRY back to full health, he's paying all his medical bills.

Blues legend Baldry, 64, is fighting for his life at Canada's Vancouver General Hospital after falling ill with breathing problems - but doctors are hopeful he's over the worst of it.

Last month (MAR05) Stewart kept a bedside vigil at a London clinic for Baldry - who first spotted the MAGGIE MAY star's talents in the 1960s - before he was transferred to Vancouver.

A hospital spokesman there says, "He has been in the hospital since the end of March when he was admitted with respiratory-related problems. He is in intensive care where his condition is stable."

Baldry discovered Stewart singing to himself at a Surrey, England, train station, and subsequently offered him the chance to join his band THE HOOCHIE COOCHIE MEN - an invitation the singer accepted before he left to pursue international fame in the FACES and as a solo artist.

21/04/2005 13:35