Saturday, January 14, 2017

Book Review: New Book Reminds Us Of The Power Of The New Barbarians

Back in 1979, a new supergroup emerged from the English bands' The Rolling Stones, Faces and The Meters. What started out as a backing band to promote Stones' guitarist Ronnie Wood's new solo album, became a cult hit on the concert circuit. Lead by Wood, the band included fellow Stones' Keith Richards, Bobby Keys and Stanley Clarke, along with Ian McLagan (Faces) and Zigaboo Modeliste (The Meters). The band only performed 20 shows during it's existence, but played such an important part in the history of rock that 35 years later, a new book has recently been published on the band titled "Outlaws, Gunslingers And Guitars."

Author Rob Chapman does an amazing job telling the tales of the New Barbarians through interviews and recollections from band members and those closely tied to the band. The other great thing about this book is the 300-plus photos and memorabilia sprinkled throughout the book. The story begins with a brand new record contract for The Rolling Stones, which included four studio albums and a live album. The book revolves around Wood's 1979 solo album "Gimmie Some Neck," which included members of the Stones and sparked a tour of his new backing band, the New Barbarians.

The book dives into a number of stories involving the band, including members from Saturday Night Live sitting in on their sessions and the excessive drug use during the rehearsals for their tour. According to the book, the New Barbarians' live show was not to be missed. It features a mix of songs from Wood's solo album, Stones' classics and blues standards. The tour was a saving grace for Keith Richards, who was dealing with an insurmountable amount of legal trouble from years prior.

Rob Chapman discusses the band's live setlist and how each song was chosen for their sets, as well as their tiring schedule of 20 shows in a one month span. The beautiful pictures throughout the book, help tell the story of the New Barbarians. The group also found time during their touring schedule to record a solo album for keyboardist Ian McLagan. The pinnacle of their existence came when the New Barbarians opened for Led Zeppelin at the Knebworth Festival in 1979 for over 80,000 people.

Now, 35 years later, some of the members of the New Barbarians have passed on, but through this amazing new book, their tales will live on. As a bonus, this new book includes a CD featuring ten previously unreleased tracks from their 1979 rehearsal and live shows. To find out more about "New Barbarians: Outlaws, Gunslingers and Guitars," please visit

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