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Tommy Thayer


Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for the KISS ARMY AUSTRALIA fan site. In 1985 Australian rock icon Jimmy Barnes, former front man for Cold Chisel, released his second solo album "For The Working Class Man"  (US title: Jimmy Barnes). The album shot to Number 1 in Australia and cemented it self atop the charts for nearly 2 months over the Aussie summer of 85-86.The album has achieved sales of over 7x Platinum status in Australia and continues to sell well nearly 25 years later. As you played guitar on For The Working Class Man, we would like to ask you a few questions about this classic Australian rock album.  

Jimmy Barnes : For the Working Class Man Jimmy Barnes : For The Working Class Man
US CD cover and Australian CD Cover

KAA: Jimmy went to the USA to record the album with the intention of breaking in the US market. How did the situation arrive that you came to work with Jimmy Barnes on that Album?

Tommy: John Kalodner from Geffen Records called me one day and asked if I wanted to play guitar on a couple tracks for an artist named Jimmy Barnes from Australia . I hadn’t heard of him before, but I heard he was huge in Australia .

Question: Which songs did you play on for the album and which was your favorite at the time?

Tommy: You know I honestly don’t know, but I think it was two tracks. That was almost 25 years ago!

Question: During his period with Cold Chisel Jimmy was known for putting on a high energy live show and tearing down the house with his screaming vocals. During your time working with Jimmy Barnes what do you remember most about him?

Tommy: Jimmy was cool, a very nice guy.

Question: Jimmy enlisted many famous artists such as Mick Fleetwood, Randy Jackson and different producers to work on the album. Did you experience working with them and have any tales to tell?

Tommy: I remember recording the tracks with Mick Fleetwood on drums, Billy Burnette on guitar and the bass player and keyboard player from the band Little Feat.  Years later KISS worked together on a couple projects with Australia producer Mark Opitz whom I became good friends with and one day Mark said, “Didn’t you play guitar on a Jimmy Barnes record back in the mid-80s?” I said "yes" and he replied "I thought so, I produced that session!"

Question: In the past decade you've had the pleasure of coming downunder with KISS many times, have you had the chance to catch up with Jimmy in person or on the phone?

Tommy: Unfortunately I have not.

Tommy Live in Australia Tommy Live in Australia
Tommy Live in Austrlalia
Tommy live in Australia with KISS

Tommy, the KAA hopes you have a great time rocking the KISS Army of South America in April and we hope to see you back on our shores in not the too distant future. We all eagerly await the new album too.

Tommy: THANKS !!

Keep on Rockin,

George, Matt and Keith



Tommy Thayer Official Website
Jimmy Barnes: For The Working Class Man at wikipedia

Mick Fleetwood
Mark Opitz
Billy Burnette

George Xirocostas with TT
KAA's George Xirocostas with Tommy Thayer




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