Barnesy swaps stages for pages to wow fans | Photos, video

Helen Cobden wasn’t going to miss her chance to meet her idol of 40 years Jimmy Barnes.

She was at the front of a queue that stretched down the Centrepoint Arcade two hours before Barnes arrived to sign copies of his latest memoir Working Class Man.

“It’s an honour to meet an Australian legend,” she said.

Mardi Reddan was there to get the book signed as a Christmas gift but admitted she too was a big fan.

Tony Summerfield brought daughter Kasey, 4, along for a brush with fame.

“I’ve been a fan since the early Cold Chisel days,” he said.

“I bought my first cassette in about 1982.”

And will Kasey be a fan too?

“For sure, definitely,” he said.

Renae Weyland and Tristan Cronin have just moved to Orange.

“We’re big fans of his,” she said.

Orange council election candidate Joel Everett was there too.

“I just love listening to his CDs,” he said.

“Working Class Man is probably my favourite.”

Liz Hetherington brought her dad, Frank, and her three daughters, Abbie, 6, Lily, 4, and Maddie, 2, along to meet her idol.

“I just got the two books from my husband for my birthday last week,” she said.

“Working Class Man, its got to be [my favourite] doesn’t it.”

One fan asked Barnes to sign her book to the Working Class Woman.

“Working Class Woman, we love that, we’ll have to rewrite that,” Barnes said.

He is currently on a six week promotional tour.

Barnes said the book of his life had many facets for readers.

“You can take away different things from it,” he said.

“There will be people who’ll look at it just to get an insight into the band and the music.

“Both the books [this and his previous work Working Class Boy] are stories of getting over pain, violence, domestic violence, the darkness, and poverty and trying to get through and trying to get above that.

“There’s a lot of things I went through as a child that really effected everything I did as an adult.

“Some of that was good, some of that was bad.”

“People can see it was a pretty tough childhood and I managed to get through it.”

He said it illustrated how you can overcome problems if you had goals and help.

“Believe me, I had to get a lot of help,” he said.

Barnes said Cold Chisel was originally called Orange.

However, it was not named after the city but rather the colour of an album cover they liked at the time.

Barnes has been accompanied on the book signing tour by wife Jane who said she had seen plenty of book stores around the country over the past few weeks.

“It has been gruelling for him,” she said.

“I love books, we have a library at home.

“I’m doing my Christmas shopping.”

She said they had one more week of the tour to go before heading overseas for Christmas.

“We’re going to have Christmas in Scotland. It’s so cold, it was two degrees in Edinburgh yesterday.”

Store owner Phillip Schwebel said they sold about 300 books and had 200 people line up for the signing.