Jimmy Barnes is the heart and the soul of Australian rock & roll. His nickname, “Barnesy”, conjures up thoughts of rock music at an ear-splitting volume, and of soul standards given a unique reading. Jimmy has been through it all, and literally lived to tell the tales. He has sold more records in Australia than any other local rock & roll artist. He has enjoyed seventeen #1 albums here – more than The Beatles – and for over 40 years he has delivered some of our most intense and iconic live performances. He is truly in a league of his own. In June 2019, Jimmy released his 17th album, My Criminal Record. My Criminal Record secured Barnes a staggering seventeenth #1 album debuting at the top of the ARIA Album Charts – five with Cold Chisel and now twelve in his own right – Jimmy has had more number ones in Australia than any other artist in ARIA Chart history, surpassing Madonna and U2’s eleven chart toppers on the album’s release. Few Australian lives have been bigger than Jimmy Barnes. His story filled two books. His music has been our national soundtrack for forty years and his iconic status in the history of Australian rock’n’roll is reflected in the fact that he’s been inducted into the ARIA Hall Of Fame … twice. Lots of things have changed over his decades in the public eye but the one constant is his powerful connection with live audiences across more than 10,000 gigs. Night after night. Year after year. It’s enough to make anyone scream but these days it’s the wildness of it all that keeps Jimmy Barnes grounded. Jimmy is currently working on a new book of short stories from the long road home, called Killing Time. Written largely during the Covid19 shutdown and drawing its title from a song on the latest Cold Chisel album, the book will feature non-fiction pieces about adventure, misadventure, love and loss – tall tales, out-takes and B-sides from one of Australia’s finest storytellers. “My job,” he says, “is to turn every night of the week into Saturday night for people. It’s the best job there is.”
Sign up for the Great Southern Nights newsletter and get the latest updates on the 2022 program.