Link June 2017 Vol 26 Issue 3 - Page 23

Jimmy Barnes is Australian rock and roll royalty. Having migrated to South Australia from Scotland in the 1960s, Jimmy soon became Australia's own 'Working Class Man', racking up a string of hits, both with iconic band Cold Chisel and as a solo artist, and was renowned for his wild live performances. personal stories. Was writing the book and the tour a therapeutic way to deal with some of your past born 14 weeks prematurely? When Elly was born she was so tiny and beautiful. I held her in the palm of my hand and bathed her in a kidney dish. We sat with her and sang to her for most of experiences? the day. I would put my hand into Writing this book set me free in the humidicrib and touch her face a lot of ways. There were many and whisper that we needed her very deep personal things in the to fight because her family was book that hadn’t seen the light of all waiting for her to come home. day since I was a child. It brought From day one there was no way back a lot of sad and very dark we were going to let go of her. memories, which were hard to deal She was meant to be with us and with, but needed to be dealt with, we were meant to be with her. so in that sense it was good. It When we found out that she had also brought back memories that cerebral palsy it was just one more took me back to the innocence of thing to fight. She would still be childhood; the good things that with us and we would still love got me through this life. The love her regardless of anything. Elly- He recently told of his dysfunctional and violent childhood in the autobiography Working Class Boy, and explained how music provided him with an opportunity to escape poverty and create a better future. As the father of five adult children, including entertainer David Campbell, and a doting grandad, Jimmy Barnes is now very much the family man. myself and my brothers and sisters May was an angel sent to us and shared, how lucky we were to have we were blessed to be with her. each other. I feel blessed to have Nothing could change that. Link entertainment journalist Marlena Katene spoke to Jimmy and his youngest daughter, Elly-May, who has cerebral palsy. had the chance to write this down and share it with people. What are some of your favourite memories from the Cold Chisel days? There are so many memories from the Cold Chisel days. I was a child when I joined the band. I learned As someone who has cerebral palsy I appreciate the strength and courage of my family to literally stand up and speak for me when I could not. What were some of the challenges or obstacles your daughter may have faced when about life, about friendship and growing up? about love. Not to mention how to Our baby went through thousands fight for what you believe in. Cold of tests. People poking her, jabbing Chisel always had a strong belief in her, stretching her beyond where themselves, and we fought to make she could go. And we went through our way through this tough business it with her. If she could be so strong that is the music industry. I toured and fight so hard, what could we do the world and I met the love of my but fight with her and cry with her life, Jane. The band helped me and laugh with her. Every challenge achieve everything. she was faced with, she bravely met it. Sometimes I really didn’t know Your youngest daughter Elly-May has cerebral palsy. Can you share a little about what it was like getting that news after she was where she got the strength, but she did. She has inspired me to be a better person and shown me what it is to really fight. interview 21