East Coast Rocker

Putting You in the Front Row

Book About ‘New Barbarians’ Portrays Fatherly Ron Wood in a Different Light

new-barbariansBy PERRI FALLON

The close of the ’70s was a pivotal time for the Rolling Stones, with ten years of great albums and tours and intense decadence.

In 1979, and with the Stones off the road and having spare time, guitarist Ron Wood released a new solo album, Gimme Some Neck, and was putting together a band to play his songs and some classic blues and rock covers on a tour of the U.S.

He enlisted jazz bassist Stanley Clarke, former Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan, Stones confederate and saxophonist Bobby Keys, drummer Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste and on guitar, also with time on his hands, Keith Richards.

At the time no one knew how important this unsung side-project would be for the Stones, and especially for Richards, who was battling both a heroin addiction and the Canadian legal system following his infamous 1977 Toronto drug bust.

Keef and Ron - Photo by Nico7Martin

Keef and Ron – Photo by Nico7Martin

The timing of Wood enlisting Richards for his band could not have been better or more crucial to Richards, and ultimately to the Stones. The Barbarians’s importance and the band’s brief life is a largely untold saga in the Stones’ history and a new book, New Barbarians: Outlaws, Gunslingers and Guitars, offers a new look at it all.

You could say The Barbarians’ story began with Keith Richard’s infamous drug bust in Toronto in February 1977. Unlike his other brushes with the law due to drugs, this time it looked highly likely that Canadian authorities were going to put Richards in prison for a very long time – possibly for life. In the end, after nearly two years of legal limbo Keith was allowed to serve his sentence by enlisting both the Barbarians and the Stone into playing two charity shows in Oshawa Canada, on April 22, 1978.

The band became known for hard-edged music, but it also gained notoriety for events such as the riot at the New Barbarians’ first concert in Milwaukee-when the “special guests” did not appear during the show.

This and more wild, rollicking stories are included in New Barbarians: Outlaws, Gunslingers and Guitars, which features behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the band members as well as dirt about its famous tour, new in-depth interviews with band and crew members and more. In addition, there’s over 300 photos – the majority unpublished – as well as a 10-track CD with songs from the band’s 1979 U.S. tour.

Ron Wood - Photo by Catharine Anderson for East Coast Rocker

Ron Wood – Photo by Catharine Anderson

While the Barbarians helped pay Richard’s debt to society, the band and tour did more than that, according to author Chapman. “The Barbarians were more than a band for Ronnie to tour with – they were a sanctuary for Keith. In addition to the legal limbo he was also in the midst of kicking heroin.”

The band enabled Richards to avoid doing jail time doing what he loved to do, playing rock n’roll on stage. Richards seemed to find a true joy again in playing rock ‘n’ roll while he was in the Barbarians.  Indeed, as Keith once said, “the Barbarians saved my life.” The band, the music, and the shows were fun.  All that from a band that lasted about a year and who only played twenty gigs. Few bands, let alone side-projects, had such an impact and also had as much fun as the New Barbarians had.  The band’s history was short, but their legacy was long.


Rob Chapman spent twenty-five years on the label side of the music business, working with such notable artists as Warren Zevon, Robert Plant, and Billy Idol. A former radio show host, he’s particularly fond of blues and reggae. Rob lives with his wife Alyssa and daughters Izzy and Jade in Minneapolis.


Rolling Stones Answer Social Media Tweets at #AskTheStones on Twitter

The Rolling Stones responded to questions from the “Twitterverse” with video (taped?) answers on Monday:

For Keith Richards:

@samturnbull4: what was your favorite memory of making Sticky Fingers?

@officialKeef: I guess finishing it!  It took a while to work. There are so many, really, I’m only kidding. Each track has certain memories. You remember who was there, you know, when my guitar fell apart in the middle of “Brown Sugar,” or something. Overall I have a really good recollection of those sessions at the time. It was a good ‘un.

@FLPintheHEB: Do you ever look in the mirror and think I’m one lucky SOB? See you boys in Dallas on 6/6

@officialKeef: I look in the mirror as less as possible honey. Just to shave it. but ta tht esame time, i know what you mean. on a good day I get that feeling.

@GuitarGuy22 Can you get Keith to teach me the secret to immortality?

@officialKeef: I ain’t there yet. so far so good. I think a clean and healthy life, plenty of exercise, go to church on sunday

For Mick Jagger:

@thechuckwolf What’s your secret for in keeping your voice so strong?

@mickjagger: Practice! You have to do warm-ups. There’s a regimen.

@bluemelonika: You’ve been performing for over 50 years .. Do you still get pre-gig nerves? How do you overcome them?

@mickjagger: I don’t really get nervous, I get excited before the first show of a tour. I get anxious because a lot of things could go wrong, the lights don’t come on. I don’t get nervous. I get a bit over enthusiastic sometimes. You have to watch out for that. It serves you but you have to control it. You could forget what you’re supposed to be doing. You have to control the adrenaline rush. You can make it work for you.

@mitch909 What’s your favourite BB King song?

@mickjagger: Yeah, BB King, I was just looking at a picture of myself and BB I think it was in 1969 he was playing with us. he played a lot of gigs with us on that tour. he was a great guy. I last played with him at a blues concert at the White House. So, yeah, sad, he had such a huge, long career sad we won’t be listening to him live. He’s got so many recordings it’s difficult to choose. the one we all had when we were young was live at the regal.

@eenek: Did Warhol turn in any rough sketches/ art of the Sticky Fingers concept…?

@mickjagger: Andy kept them, all in this Pittsburgh hoarding place.  I’m sure I saw them, but I never got any of them.

@raylu02: What is the song Moonlight Mile about? I named my dog after that song.

@mickjagger: It’s about your dog … It’s about being being a bit lonesome on the road, I think. I think it’s a lonesome road tune. and how being on the road too long makes you sad, wistful all those kinds of things.  i wrote it in london at my house.

For Ronnie Wood:

@mickjagswag: did you know what you were getting into when you joined the stones.

@ronniewood: I think i did. I bumped into on a few occasions, mick charlie and keith i knew mick taylor from before. I think when i made my firrst solo album in 1974 keith came over for the evening and and stayed four months. i knew that was the start of a good friendship. we actually prepared it’s only rock and roll in my basement in richmond

@Wildaboutmusic: you fine gentlemen are even better live now than when I saw you in the 80s. Explain yourselves!

@ronniewood: you got that right! we are better live now, I don’t know what’s happened. every time we go into rehearsals, like now, after this interview, I’m going to go back and enjoy the next stage of the rehearsals we’re in now. They’re fun and the music is high quality, it’s getting higher,  I don’t know we’re going to explode one day i think.

@twogun69: How do you keep your hair looking so good playing for 2 + hours on stage? It’s fantastic!

@ronniewood: my hair is my biggest gift anyone could ever be born with. somebody up there likes me. i cut it almost every day. it’s hard to tame.  i have to keep it. like one day, I have huge dog ears hanging off have to cut it off again.

For Charlie Watts, who showed obvious annoyance at his new hashtag, #charliestoocoolfortwitter

@HSAddict will you ever make a twitter account?

CW: No.

@kenhanssen: Charlie, how important is the hi hat in a rock n roll beat? Or jazz?

CW: very important.

@leeknot: Are you sick of seeing mick’s arse after all these years?

CW: No.  One of the finest views in the country. I don’t really see it.

@seamusmcrot – which stones song would you like to have heard Charlie Parker or Duke Ellington cover?

CW: None of them. They’re geniuses I can’t get my head around that one. Charlie parker could play satisfaction very well.  He could do it well. Sonny Rollins … played fantastically well “Waiting on a Friend,” “Neighbors,” I never dreamed he’d play on “Neighbors.”

@ juliusschrdtr: Do you get butterflies?

CW: Always, even if playing in a bar with two people.

Several people noted that the Q and A may not have actually been live, as reported, and that in fact, the responses were taped ahead of time, as evidenced from some editing that one astute Twitterer found.

But some of the questions that went unanswered were clearly some of the best, and most amusing, including everything from “What tea do you drink?” by @dr_ziggy, to “What are your views on today’s music?” by @devonkearney.

Here are some of the others.

@chadtrudgeon: what was your last day job?

@hdiallo: how did you all get so much soul?

@FROGGY_LBC: Would you still be rivals (let it bleed) if all the beatles had lived and were touring today?

@real_table: Are all of your songs w a name in the title based on an actual person you know?

And some funny miscellaneous ones we would have like to have seen get an answer:

Why does jagger looks like grandma?

Why don’t you bugger off?

Will you go to prom with me?

Would it be possible to wish my mom a happy birthday?

EXCLUSIVE: Rolling Stones Add Los Angeles Date to Popular Zip Code Tour

EXCLUSIVE: By DONNA BALANCIA — The Rolling Stones will play the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood as a warm-up date to their Zip Code tour, our sister site, CaliforniaRocker.com, has learned.

The Rolling Stones are preparing for their Zip Code tour, which kicks off at San Diego’s Petco Park May 24, and hits 15 U.S. cities.

This is a developing story. GO TO CALIFORNIAROCKER.COM for updates.

Rolling Stones Zip Code Tour Hits – PLUS NEW LA SHOW – EXCLUSIVE

The Rolling Stones are out on tour again, this time, hitting a lot of the cities they missed on their last outing.

Here are dates and cities for the Zip Code Tour: PLUS NEW LOS ANGELES SHOW JUST ADDED



May 24: San Diego
May 30: Columbus, OH
June 3: Minneapolis
June 6: Dallas
June 9: Atlanta
June 12: Orlando
June 17: Nashville
June 20: Pittsburgh
June 23: Milwaukee
June 27: Kansas City
July 1: Raleigh
July 4: Indianapolis
July 8: Detroit
July 11: Buffalo
July 15: Quebec