Aussie rocker Jimmy Barnes spills beans on Rod Stewart tour of NZ – NZ Herald

Rod Stewart pictured within the Nineteen Seventies. Photograph / File

On this extract from his new ebook, Australian rocker Jimmy Barnes tells about an eventful night in Christchurch with Rod Stewart when Chilly Chisel opened for him.

Rod Stewart was one of many singers I appeared as much as once I was a younger fellow. Like
me, he was from a working class background.

And like me he’d clearly grown up listening to soul and blues music. In reality, I do not assume anybody on this planet had listened to or been influenced extra by Sam Cooke. However Rod
hadn’t stolen from Sam. He had listened and realized after which he had taken what he’d realized and utilized it to what he was doing himself. In doing so, he turned probably the greatest and most recognisable rock singers of a era. In reality, if you happen to have a look at his profession as a complete, he, in flip, influenced singers everywhere in the world. Together with me.

In 1979, Chilly Chisel toured with Rod. Now, Chilly Chisel opened up for lots of huge acts round that point, and we gained a little bit of a repute for making it troublesome for bands
to comply with us. We have been by no means malicious about it, we have been simply aggressive, and we needed to make it as arduous as we probably might for any band that got here on after us to go about their work. However once you’re coping with the cream of the crop – individuals like Rod, for example – there’s solely a lot you are able to do. Irrespective of how properly we performed, or how outrageous we tried to be, Rod walked on stage afterwards and was nonetheless larger than life. His band have been nice, his sound was nice, his lights have been nice – he was simply f*****g nice at every part he was doing.

Australian singer Jimmy Barnes. Photo / Supplied
Australian singer Jimmy Barnes. Photograph / Equipped

I did get the sensation, although, that he missed being the underdog each night time, the one who needed to rise to the problem and attempt to outshine the headliner. Now he was established, with an enormous profession, he had all of it to lose, and was below unbelievable stress from his document firm to carry on to his success. We, however, had nothing to lose
and simply needed to rock. Rod had been the wild one, the one who did no matter he needed, at any time when he needed. The unhealthy boy. However now, each night time, he needed to play it secure, whereas bands like us opened for him. Bands that have been nonetheless wild. Bands that have been nonetheless unhealthy.

We chatted just a few instances and I might inform he was the true deal. He cherished music and touring and all that got here with it.

So we received on properly. And he spoke positively about us if the press requested his opinion, though I do not assume he was requested usually. It wasn’t lengthy till all of us began consuming down on the bar of whichever resort we occurred to be staying at. At first, it was simply us and Rod’s band, however step by step Rod turned up increasingly more. It was like he was going to indicate us younger upstarts how an actual rock band misbehaved.

One night time he had his piano participant accompany him within the mezzanine bar at a resort in Christchurch. A scattering of tables and prospects flanked a child grand piano positioned
near the low rail across the mezzanine. After every track, Rod complained in regards to the acoustics and instructed that his band transfer the piano over a bit, or he would get
on high of the piano to see if the music sounded any higher up there. Music by track, the piano was shifted nearer and nearer to the rail.

You see, Rod might do that. He had sufficient cash to throw the piano off the balcony. What did a child grand price?

Thirty or forty thousand {dollars}? Nothing if you’re one of many greatest rock stars on this planet. And he knew that this was one thing we might by no means do.

So he saved singing and the band saved transferring the piano a bit nearer to the sting. Once they received there, they lifted the top of it on to the rail. That is when the resort safety began panicking, clearly alarmed in regards to the potential harm to their institution. However they’d no impact on Rod. He simply saved singing.

Then the police arrived. Rod was tipped off by somebody and instantly rushed away to his suite. The remainder of us had no thought what was occurring till the police entered
the lobby. By the point they reached the bar, the piano was balanced precariously on the mezzanine rail. Because the police and resort safety wrestled it again from the brink, all of us
made our escape. It appeared that Rod was nonetheless one of many lads.

Australian rock group Cold Chisel in 1982. Clockwise, from left: bassist Phil Small, singer Jimmy Barnes, drummer Steve Prestwich, guitarist Ian Moss and keyboard player Don Walker. Photo / File
Australian rock group Chilly Chisel in 1982. Clockwise, from left: bassist Phil Small, singer Jimmy Barnes, drummer Steve Prestwich, guitarist Ian Moss and keyboard participant Don Walker. Photograph / File

We reunited at one other bar within the resort, not removed from the scene of the crime. Rod did not seem for some time, however as soon as the police had properly and really gone he sauntered in and
sat subsequent to me. We had a superb snort about what had simply occurred whereas having fun with a quiet drink. Simply as Rod began telling me some tales in regards to the good outdated days, up got here
a somewhat massive, drunken man who needed to provide Rod a tough time. It appeared he most popular Rod singing Maggie Could somewhat than Do Ya Suppose I am Horny?, his latest hit.

Rod was well mannered. He clearly had to deal with individuals like this on a regular basis. I, however, normally handled such intruders a bit in another way and was already positioning
myself to smash the man. Then, out of the blue, the man grabbed Rod’s shoulder and actually began getting in his face.

So Rod leaned ahead and headbutted the bloke, sending him flying to the ground and ending their assembly abruptly. He then turned again to me and continued with what he’d been saying, as if nothing had occurred.

“Er, do you assume you must get out of right here?” I requested.

Rod simply laughed and mentioned, “Why? This man will not begin any extra bother.”

“I am not bothered about him,’ I careworn. ‘I am extra nervous in regards to the police coming again’.”

“Yeah. Yeah. You are most likely proper,” he replied casually.

“I would higher go. It has been good speaking with you guys, although. At all times good to slum it with the riff-raff.”

And up he received and went to his suite.

I felt like I ought to have been taking notes. Rock Star Behaviour 101. Fortunately I’ve a photographic reminiscence.

Disgrace it isn’t developed.

Killing Time by Jimmy Barnes.
Killing Time by Jimmy Barnes.

Killing Time
By Jimmy Barnes
Printed by Harper Collins
RRP: $49.99
Accessible now

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