Barnes marks 30 years with his mates
Jimmy Barnes. Picture: Supplied

Most people when celebrating an anniversary step out for a nice dinner or toast it with a bottle of champagne. Jimmy Barnes has chosen to mark 30 years in the music business by getting together a bunch of his mates and making a new album.

For the past few months the Glasgow-born Australian rocker has been working alongside the likes of the Living End, Keith Urban, Bernard Fanning, Baby Animals, John Farnham and legendary E Street Band guitarist Steve Van Zandt, giving some of his old songs "a fresh coat of paint" for his new album 30/30 Anniversary.

"It's about me looking back and looking forward at the same time," Barnes says. "This is what I have done, here's the line in the sand, let's move forward."

The album features a collection of the 58-year-old's hits sung by his mates, including John Farnham, who he enlisted to rework the 1991 single When Your Love is Gone.

"John, Glenn (Wheatley), Michael (Gudinski) and my kids were all babies in the original video," Barnes explains.

"I said to John this is the song you need to sing. It was quite sentimental for both of us."

Barnes' children Mahalia, Jackie, Eliza Jane, Elly May and David Campbell and brother-in-law Diesel also feature on 30/30, along with the Living End, whose version of Lay Down Your Guns will be the first track off the album.

Urban also puts a new spin on Barnes' hit song with INXS, Good Times. "Keith's first recording right at the start of his career was in my studio," Barnes explains.

"I've watched him become one of the biggest acts in the world but I didn't get him on the record because he is the number one act in the world - I got him on the record because we have history together."

For Barnes it sums up what 30/30 is all about - "cementing relationships and tying up loose ends". "These are my mates," he says. "People I have worked with and done stuff with over the years.

"Even if I didn't get out and do another tour, I have already celebrated by getting in the studio with these guys."

Barnes, however, is getting out and touring again. Having recovered from a recent hernia operation which saw him laid up at home for several weeks with his wife and two "new babies", schnauzers Snoop Dog and Oliver, he has just announced a series of A Day on the Green gigs in November.

The concerts are a chance, he says, to give back to the fans who have supported him for three decades - years he sometimes wondered how he survived.

"Rock'n'roll is a really tough business and it has taken its toll on a lot of people," he says. "I can't lie, it nearly took its toll on me a couple of times. I consider myself to be very lucky to still be here doing what I'm doing."

Jimmy Barnes plays A Day on the Green with the Living End, Ian Moss and Mahalia Barnes and the Soul Mates at Kings Park and Botanic Garden on November 22.

Tickets go on sale on July 28 through Ticketmaster. 30/30 Anniversary is released on August 29.

The West Australian

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