We recently spoke to Rob Chapman, whose new book on supergroup the New Barbarians will leave Stones, Faces and rock and roll fans of all stripes drooling. Aside from telling the the complete tale of one of the wildest, craziest and short-lived bands in history, the book is a visual feast of photos, posters, setlists, and ephemera from their single tour. Don't miss it!
To most people, Keith is who comes to mind when you mention New Barbarians, but your book makes clear Ron Wood is the straw that stirs the drink, to use the most apt metaphor! What is it about Woody that makes musicians flock to him?
Ronnie is such a fun guy and a very giving musician...no ego and makes everyone feel great when he's around...plus Ronnie knows everyone!!
Did Wood feel this was “his” moment; with a solo album and tour, him designing the stage, logo, presentation (and footing the bill!), or did he simply view it as a good time to go out on the road with his mates?
Both. Ronnie had a quick window with the Stones breaking precedence by not going to Europe in 1979 to promote the Some Girls album, so he went out like any other artists to promote his solo record. Ronnie just happens to know many great musicians and has always said he wanted to tour in style and give the guys the best!
There was obviously a bit of a learning curve for Ziggy Modeliste and, perhaps especially, Stanley Clarke but was there ever any frustration on their part of the glorious mess that was the New Barbarians or did they simply embrace it?
They never looked at it as a mess...they remember that period as a lot of fun and some of the best shows of their life!
The whole “special guest” bit — which seems part of the DNA in the group’s formation — just got out of hand. With manager Jason Cooper ICM and even Ron Wood perhaps innocently enough pushing it on, it did piss off Keith and many fans; did it have an effect on the music?
I think it was a distraction for Ronnie and Keith for sure because they didn't understand what the fuss was about. If you think about, it how lame is it that the fans weren't satisfied with the line up as is? I mean come on! (Editor's Note: Totally agree!)
Can you provide any details about the bonus CD in the book, or is it destined to remain another piece in the New Barbarians mythology? Can you provide any details about the bonus CD in the book, or is it destined to remain another piece in the New Barbarians mythology?
Most stones fans have tons of Barbarians boots ranging from horrible to great. I got my hands on the NYC show and with the help of producer Rob Frabroni, made it sound terrific. I cut up the show a bit as I didn't want any Jagger/Richards compositions because this was a Ronnie project.
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