Jimmy Barnes' performs Working Class Man in Grafton last year. He is hitting the road again on the Shutting Down Your Town tour in 2019.
Jimmy Barnes' performs Working Class Man in Grafton last year. He is hitting the road again on the Shutting Down Your Town tour in 2019. Adam Hourigan

Singing to a time when Australians drove one car

THE blue collar anthems of Jimmy Barnes added a soundtrack to the grunt of a Holden engine in the heyday of Aussie rock.

So in many respects it's fitting, the 'working class man', who identifies with the car brand, has gone full circle dedicating a track on his latest album My Criminal Record to the glory days of Australian car manufacturing.

'Shutting Down Our Town' - written by Troy Cassar-Daley between drives in his classic EH Holden - is sure to strike a chord with many Aussies.

It reflects on an era where 'heart and soul lyrics' over the radio matched the love for the muscle car.

But Barnesy's connection to Holden runs much deeper than that. Holden was a centre pillar to his childhood.

 

Jimmy Barnes' has chosen a Troy Cassar-Daley penned song as the first single off his upcoming new album My Criminal Record.
Jimmy Barnes' has chosen a Troy Cassar-Daley penned song as the first single off his upcoming new album My Criminal Record.

"Elizabeth in South Australia was built around the Holden factory," Barnes said.

"It was a satellite city full of migrants who had left Britain.

"A flat, desolate horrible piece of land. They brought all the immigrants and stuck them there to work at Holden.

"For a lot of the migrant families, Holden jobs fed their families and allowed them to hold their heads high.

"So it was really a huge kick in the guts for them when the factory closed.

"Many dreams were shattered with the closing of that factory. The decision by government to close the auto business in Australia was made as it was seen it would be cheaper to manufacture cars overseas.

"Sure it would be cheaper in the short term, but the damage to those families was irreparable.

"The government used a factory to keep families productive. Then they took it all away.

"Troy, one of the great singer songwriters of this country, wrote the song after reading my book Working Class Man. Yeah he captured it completely."

Troy Cassar-Daley wrote the song 'Shutting Down Our Town' for Barnes after reading his memoir Working Class Man. Cassar-Daley is pictured with his pride and joy his classic EH Holden.
Troy Cassar-Daley wrote the song 'Shutting Down Our Town' for Barnes after reading his memoir Working Class Man. Cassar-Daley is pictured with his pride and joy his classic EH Holden. Facebook

Barnes said many of the songs on My Criminal Record, were written at the same time as he was in the process of writing his two memoirs - both of which won Australian Book Industry awards.

"When I reflect on those times, and look at today I realise there's still families out there struggling. As I book tours today there are still people struggling as much in poverty as to what I was when I was five years old. You would think things would have gotten better."

In this his seventeenth album, Barnes opens the door to his troubled life in a way never seen before by an Australian musician.

The underlining themes are of light and shade.

From family, childhood poverty, success, self-destruction and self discovery - running away, running out of time and ultimately redemption.

Armed with the escape of music as a teenager, he said the first key moment of freedom he felt in life came with the purchase of his first car.

"My first car was a Morris Oxford. I'd bought it from a teacher who was moving overseas for twenty five bucks," Barnes said.

"It came with six months rego, a full tank of petrol. I felt so lucky to be driving it. I was free.

"So on the first night out I drove it to the drive-in and the brakes failed and I smashed it into a tree.

"For twenty five bucks it was the best day of my life."

A production line of cars later - some of which Barnesy says either broke down or were broken down - and nowadays he rolls in a BMW X5.

As for the next car, he says it will be electric, countless chapters on from where it all started with the 'tough as teak' days of the Aussie made Holden Commodore.

Barnes' Shutting Down Your Town tour hits the road this year, as one of his biggest tours ever.

 

By the C will see Jimmy Barnes joined by the likes of Jet, Eskimo Joe and Killing Heidi.
By the C will see Jimmy Barnes joined by the likes of Jet, Eskimo Joe and Killing Heidi. Cody Fox

Jimmy Barnes' Shutting Down Your Town Tour 2019

Wednesday, September 18th

Mackay Entertainment Centre, Mackay, QLD

Tickets: Mackay Entertainment Centre

 

Friday, September 20th

Special Guest: Eskimo Joe

Townsville Entertainment Centre, Townsville, QLD

Tickets: Mackay Entertainment Centre

 

Saturday, September 21st

Special Guest: Eskimo Joe

Munro Martin Parklands, Cairns, QLD

Tickets: Ticketlink

 

Thursday, October 3rd

Special Guest: Jet

WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong NSW

Tickets: Ticketmaster

 

Saturday, October 5th

Special Guest: Jet

Hordern Pavilion, Sydney NSW

Tickets: Ticketek

 

Saturday, October 12th

Special Guest: Jet

Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne, VIC

Tickets: Ticketek

 

Sunday, October 13th

Special Guest: Jet

Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide, SA

Tickets: Ticketek

 

Thursday, October 17th

Empire Theatre, Toowoomba, QLD

Tickets: Empire Theatre

 

Saturday, October 19th

Special Guests: Jet and Eskimo Joe

Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD

Tickets: Ticketmaster

 

Sunday, October 20th

Special Guest: Jet

Home of the Arts, Gold Coast, QLD

Tickets: Home Of The Arts

 

Friday, October 25th

Special Guest: Jet

Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Newcastle, NSW

Tickets: Ticketek

 

Saturday, October 26th

Special Guests: Jet and Eskimo Joe

Park Beach Reserve, Coffs Harbour, NSW

Tickets: Ticketmaster

 

Thursday, October 31st

Special Guest: Eskimo Joe

Theatre Royal, Canberra, ACT

Tickets: Ticketek

 

Saturday, November 2nd

Special Guest: Troy Cassar-Daley

Pola Park, Tullamore, NSW

Tickets: 123tix

 

Also Appearing At 96FM's Kickstart Summer Concert

Sunday, November 10th

Ascot Racetrack, Perth WA

Tickets: Ticketmaster


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