For more than four decades, Jimmy Barnes has had us belting out hits like Khe Sanh, Cheap Wine and Working Class Man.
While he’s known for his rock anthems, Barnsey is also getting a reputation as a serious writer, having already released two best sellers.
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And his latest book Killing Time features some must-read stories from his fascinating life.
“You have to keep busy. And I’m hyperactive. I’ve also written a bunch of songs, and I’ve been wanting to write short stories for a while,” Barnes said.
“When I wrote Working Class Boy, I grew so much from writing the book and I enjoyed the process so much that I wanted to continue writing.”
Collection of stories
While Jimmy’s first two books sought to “unpack a troubled childhood and make sense of” his rock and roll life, Killing Time is a selection of short stories about what happened in between – from the downtime before gigs or while travelling in remote places.
One story also details his friendship with Sir Rod Stewart.
“I was a big fan of him – any rock and roll singer worth his weight is a fan of Rod’s because he created a whole style,” Barnes said.
“It was in 1977 – and he was bigger than life.
“We used to go on stage and try to make it hard for these guys to follow us.
“But Rod came out in spandex tights and with every light in the world and dancing girls, and it was just unbelievable.
“He was awesome, and he sang great – but he’s a good guy. He’d say nice things about us to the press when they asked him.”
True to Jimmy’s style, the book stays honest, and he doesn’t gloss over any details – but even he admits some stories had to stay private.
“There are a few stories I can’t publish because I don’t want to embarrass other people,” Barnes said.
“I don’t mind dragging myself through the gutter, but there are other people who should remain nameless.
“But there are certain stories that are too damn personal and too painful. But I try to open up.
“I found writing the first few books that it was like therapy for me. The more I opened up and the more honest I was, the more I got from and the more it seemed to connect with people.
“I’m not trying to be a backyard therapist here, but if we can communicate with people honestly and people can get something from these books, that is an added bonus for me.”
Jimmy Barnes’ book Killing Time is available in-store and online now.