I spent most of my teenage years listening to Northern Soul and was not into rock music in any way at all so when I asked Karen who she liked musically and she said Jimmy Barnes and like many others outside Oz I said I had never heard o f him, she said that knowing my taste in music I would probably not like him. As I wanted to get to know her I felt I had to at least have a listen to him so asked for a tape of some of his songs, she gave me a tape of both JB and Chisel songs and I put it into my car to listen to on the way to work later on. It takes me about 30 minutes to get to work and that was how long it took me to get completely hooked on this raw energy being belted out by JB.
It is at this point I will probably upset one or two out there because for me Jimmy Barnes is not a rock singer but a soul singer, let me explain, as I have said earlier I was brought up on soul / blues music my main influences being Al Green, Bill Withers, Aretha Franklin to name but a few, if you have ever heard a true soul singer then you will know that he/she is singing from somewhere deep inside and it is his/her way of expressing what is going on inside them, that is Jimmy Barnes when he is belting out one of his many classic tracks, this was confirmed even more the very first time I saw him play live in Manchester and that moment had a very profound effect on me that changed my life forever. One of our all time favourites is Stone Cold, the raw power he puts into that track time after time, year after year is unbelievable, I truly believe it means as much to Jimmy now as it did the very first time he sang it.
Much as Karen misses seeing Jimmy play live on a more regular basis the one advantage the fans in both the UK and Europe have is that he tends to play smaller venues which are a lot more intimate and he is also a lot more accessible than when he is in Oz.Pete & Kaz