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

Rod Stewart pictured within the Seventies. Photograph / File

On this extract from his new e-book, 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 actual fact, I do not suppose 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 discovered after which he had taken what he’d discovered and utilized it to what he was doing himself. In doing so, he grew to become among the best and most recognisable rock singers of a era. In actual fact, if you happen to have a look at his profession as an entire, he, in flip, influenced singers all around 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 status for making it tough 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 laborious as we probably might for any band that got here on after us to go about their work. However if you’re coping with the cream of the crop – individuals like Rod, as an illustration – there may be solely a lot you are able to do. Regardless of how nicely we performed, or how outrageous we tried to be, Rod walked on stage afterwards and was nonetheless greater than life. His band have been nice, his sound was nice, his lights have been nice – he was simply f*****g nice at every thing 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 unimaginable strain from his report firm to carry on to his success. We, alternatively, had nothing to lose
and simply needed to rock. Rod had been the wild one, the one who did no matter he needed, each time he needed. The unhealthy boy. However now, each night time, he needed to play it protected, 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 actual deal. He beloved music and touring and all that got here with it.

So we acquired on nicely. And he spoke positively about us if the press requested his opinion, though I do not suppose he was requested usually. It wasn’t lengthy till all of us began ingesting down on the bar of whichever resort we occurred to be staying at. At first, it was simply us and Rod’s band, however steadily Rod turned up an increasing number of. It was like he was going to point out 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 tune, Rod complained concerning the acoustics and advised that his band transfer the piano over a bit of, or he would get
on high of the piano to see if the music sounded any higher up there. Track by tune, 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 value?

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

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

Then the police arrived. Rod was tipped off by somebody and instantly rushed away to his suite. The remainder of us had no concept what was taking place 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 nicely and actually gone he sauntered in and
sat subsequent to me. We had a great snigger about what had simply occurred whereas having fun with a quiet drink. Simply as Rod began telling me some tales concerning the good outdated days, up got here
a quite massive, drunken man who needed to present Rod a tough time. It appeared he most popular Rod singing Maggie Might quite than Do Ya Suppose I am Attractive?, his latest hit.

Rod was well mannered. He clearly had to deal with individuals like this on a regular basis. I, alternatively, often handled such intruders a bit of otherwise 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 suppose you must get out of right here?” I requested.

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

“I am not bothered about him,’ I pressured. ‘I am extra anxious concerning the police coming again’.”

“Yeah. Yeah. You are in all probability proper,” he replied casually.

“I might higher go. It has been good speaking with you guys, although. All the time good to slum it with the riff-raff.”

And up he acquired 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
Out there now

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