By: Taffy Francis
TLDR: With less than a month until the Flesh and Blood Tour hits Gold Coast, Aussie legend Jimmy Barnes stopped by the Juice studio and opened up about the tour’s family centric origins.
Aussie legend Jimmy Barnes graced the Juice studios with his presence, and was triumphantly welcomed by El and Jodie’s kazoo and triangle duet. Apparently, the pair were so elegant and professional that Jimmy himself scouted them for the horn and percussion section of the tour, meaning El and Jodie may no longer be staying with us here at Juice.
Not really of course.
Jimmy has all the hands he needs for his Flesh and Blood tour, assembling arms from all over the family to perform. His son Jackie will be on drums, joined by his daughter EJ, Elly-May, Mahalia, and wife Jane all singing. Mahalia herself has also kept busy, in 3 days performing in Perth, Sydney, and then Adelaide.
It’s always busy in the Barnes family, aside from new musical acts, Jimmy and his wife Jane just finished a cookbook as well as a children’s book called Rosie the Rhinoceros. “She charges everything like a rhinoceros but she’s actually a unicorn. It’s a story about being able to be whatever you want.”
A beautiful and cute message the family surely had to take on board during their 15 months holed up at home during quarantine. The normally active family had to branch out to new ways to pass the time, with Jane learning the guitar and performing on social media with Jimmy. “We found it was really cathartic and good for us, cos we were reaching out to people too. And then it sort of took another turn and suddenly it was like we were, you know, reaching out to each other during the process of doing songs and learning about each other.”
Apparently, these sessions became the impetus for the Flesh and Blood album, incorporating many elements of familial relationships and the real life tumultuous nature behind them. Jimmy’s own troubled background and struggles as an artist were also poured into the album, touching on the moments where all his doubts would crash down all at once.
“Am I good enough for my family? Can I be a better person? So, I wrote about that. And I wrote about looking at my kids and seeing all the best things in us, in them, but I’ve also seen the worst. That Flesh and Blood song for instance, I know for instance that there are a lot of problems I have as a human being that I’m slowly working through. I’ve taken sixty-five years to get through most of them …
… I missed that window of opportunity to fall asleep, and I remember sitting up at this very desk here, this is where I do all my writing, and it was two in the morning. I was sitting and playing my guitar and I wrote this song about, you know, just those doubts, those nagging doubts that you have. And the thing is you know the flaws in your own character better than anybody. And I’m thinking am I good enough for these people?”
Having come this far though, Jimmy acknowledges that having a family is about the bad times as well as the good. Flesh and Blood was written to tackle this broad range of emotions Jimmy felt after a long arduous life which he can look back on and feel proud as the luckiest man on Earth.
“It’s part of being a family. All those videos that we did, Jane and I, all over social media I’d look at the comments they’re going ‘oh you know look at the way she looks at you, she loves you so much,’ and the thing is if I had the camera on a minute earlier, you’d have seen her try to kill me!’
At 65, Jimmy is still killing it, using his experience as an artist to dredge up the best and worst sides to life and create something hopeful.
The Flesh and Blood tour will hit Broadbeach at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on July 25th. You can book tickets here, but they’re selling out fast! If you don’t wanna miss out, you can grab a double-pass from Juice by calling 5571 0738.
About the Author: Taffy is a Griffith University Journalism and Communications student and volunteer at Juice 107.3.