I wandered down along the river last night
Call me romantic? I say I couldn’t sleep
Until the first-light struck me down,,,
I remember Jimmy Barnes coming to New Zealand in the early 1990s – I think he might have appeared on Telethon or something similar.
And hearing a few folk who had met him, backstage, who had expected him to be this wild arrogant Ocker rocker…and who came back somewhat blown away. He was, yes, a wild Ocker rocker, but he hadn’t been the arrogant prick they’d expected. In fact, they’d come away gushing at how much they’d liked the guy.
The best Cold Chisel songs…well, ok, *some* of the best Cold Chisel songs..featured dual vocals by Ian Moss and Jimmy Barnes.
This was particularly so live.
This is perhaps not as well known as some of their bigger hits, but it is a great blues, off of their first album, and it was a live staple, and great crowd pleaser, for much of their career.
Ian Moss’s caramel smooth vocals are followed by a guitar solo which is as fluid and mellow as a Miles Davis muted trumpet piece.
According to band legend, this song served a major commercial purpose when played live: Barnes, who, as well as the main lead singer was also the band’s enforcer, didn’t have to be onstage for the first five minutes.
So it was when he went and collected the money the band was owed from the promoter, with his fists if necessary.
Just so long as he made it back to stage in time to add his sandpaper-voice soul to the song’s climax.
More well known was this one…Bow River.
One week, two weeks, maybe even more
A-pissing all my money up against the damn wall..
This version of Bow River is, to my mind, better than the studio version on ‘Circus Animals’, the album – Chisel’s best, for my money – it came off.
And that is not to knock the studio version, either. It’s pretty good.
But the live version takes flight higher.
It is, mostly, a bloody fantastic band playing their heart and guts and balls out. And it was recorded when they were breaking up, at one of their farewell concerts in Sydney at the end of 1983.
It is one of my few personal regrets – I have things I am remorseful about, as should everyone who has a conscience, but I think regrets are usually pointless and I try to avoid them.
But…one of those few regrets is missing them on the New Zealand leg of their farewell tour. I was, at the time, sitting in Whakatane with concussion, having written off my first car.
Pranging into a Holden, as it turned out. Colliding with the Aussies in a different way, I guess.