Over his 40 plus year career, Jimmy Barnes has been through it all, and lived to tell the tale in his book Working Class Man. If you don’t have a copy, here are 10 facts you should know about one of the poster boys for the decadent rock ’n’ roll lifestyle.
1. Born in Scotland, James Dixon Barnes and his family immigrated to Adelaide in 1956 when he was four.
2. He was just 16 when he joined the band Cold Chisel in 1973, who went on to sell six million records in Australia alone.
3. In the 80s, Barnes had a reputation as a hard-drinking wild man, who reportedly drank more than two bottles of vodka daily, onstage and off.
4. Barnes has recorded with Joe Cocker, Mick Fleetwood, Tina Turner, Huey Lewis, INXS, members of Little Feat, and Journey’s Neil Schon and Randy Jackson.
5. Barnes' hit song Working Class Man was featured in Ron Howard’s feature film Gung Ho (1986) starring Michael Keaton, while Good Times, recorded with INXS, appeared on the soundtrack of The Lost Boys (1987), starring Jason Patric, Corey Haim and Kiefer Sutherland.
6. The album cover East (1980) shows Barnes asleep in a bathtub; the image was inspired by Jacques-Louis David's 1793 painting The Death of Marat.
7. He named one of his children after the late great American soul singer Jackie Wilson, and another after the Queen of Gospel, Mahalia Jackson.
8. Four of his children formed the pop group The Tin Lids in 1991.
9. He is a Buddhist covert. To stay in shape he practices Ashtanga yoga, as well as therapies such as shiatsu massage and acupuncture.
10. In 2016, he topped The Beatles with his 15th number one album Soul Searchin’, cementing his status as one of Australia’s most popular musicians.
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