Jimmy Barnes wearing a black leather jacket and holding a microphone. He is pictured from the waist up and turned away from the camera.

Rare Jimmy Barnes footage published in new online exhibition


28 May 2018

Rare Jimmy Barnes footage published in new online exhibition

Four decades after the release of Cold Chisel's self-titled debut album, the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) is celebrating the career of iconic rock singer Jimmy Barnes with a new online exhibition titled Working Class Man, which includes a grab bag of rarely-seen interviews, performances and photos.

Jimmy Barnes said: 'It sounds very official to be in the NFSA collection like this, so it was nice to hear they were producing this exhibition, Working Class Man. I'm glad there's so much good stuff being preserved by the NFSA, which can now be seen online.'

Working Class Man can be explored on the NFSA website, NFSA.gov.au/JimmyBarnes. It is available worldwide and permanently.

So much has been said and written about Barnes' heady rock'n'roll lifestyle, including by the man himself in two bestselling memoirs – Working Class Boy and Working Class Man -  that he has become part of the fabric of Australian life. But behind the legend is one of the hardest working and most dedicated entertainers this country has ever produced. He is also a proud family man, humble philanthropist and humanitarian.

Rare Jimmy Barnes and Cold Chisel materials available in the exhibition include:

  • The earliest Cold Chisel poster in the NFSA collection, taken in 1973 before the band had settled on its final line-up.
  • A Nightmoves album review of Cold Chisel's debut album in 1978. ‘Good stuff’, they said!
  • An August 1980 performance of the Stars' track Last of the Riverboats at the Andy Durant memorial Concert; duet with Mick Pealing.
  • Behind the scenes interview from Australian Made: The Movie (1987)
  • An awkward 1989 interview in Wednesday Magazine, about the Barnestorming tour and how the ‘Barnes brand’ could be improved.
  • Jimmy’s 1990 Tourism Australia commercial.
  • Jimmy working the counter for a fundraiser at Sydney’s Pitt St HMV store on World AIDS Day (1990)
  • An interview with Mike Munro from Nine’s Great Aussie Success Stories (1995).
  • Live performances with INXS, Diesel, his daughter Mahalia, and more.

NFSA Sound Curator Tamara Osicka said: ‘With a career now spanning over 40 years, Jimmy has sweated and sang his way into so many hearts, producing songs that have become anthems to many. We are very excited to present Working Class Man, dedicated to one of the biggest characters ever to emerge from the Australian rock scene. In this exhibition, we follow Jimmy from his first forays into the music industry with the iconic band Cold Chisel and through his solo career, getting a unique insight into the man behind the voice.’


The exhibition also includes a new exclusive interview with Jimmy Barnes, which is available for media use. Materials available for download;interviews with NFSA Sound Curators available. Please contact Miguel Gonzalez, (02) 8202 0114 or miguel.gonzalez@nfsa.gov.au.


Working Class Man – the online exhibition


Jimmy Barnes – extra materials


Cold Chisel collection


#WorkingClassMan @NFSAOnline @JimmyBarnes