Christmas 1978 proved to be a significant turning point in young Jim Barber’s life. One of the first presents unwrapped that day by the soon-to-be nine year old was the double album, Kiss Alive 2 (on vinyl!). Upon opening the gatefold and seeing photos of the band and their epic stage show – and then listening to the pulse-pounding music – a rock and roller was born and a lifelong passion for music kindled.
Throughout his youth, whatever pocket money he had was spent on every rock magazine he could lay his hands on as well as on the accumulation of a pretty impressive collection of music (this was the 1980s, so cassettes ruled the day).
Even before embarking on a 20-plus year career as a professional journalist, Jim started writing about bands and music for his university paper. While enrolled in the Print Journalism program (remember print!!) at Centennial College in Toronto, he started writing for some music publications. He started off on a couple of high notes, landing interviews with Canadian guitar whiz Rik Emmett and legendary British musicians Steve Howe (Yes, Asia).
After embarking on a career as a community journalist (including 11 years as an editor), Jim continued writing about music at every stop in towns across Ontario – from Newmarket to Port Colborne, Kirkland Lake to Peterborough, Collingwood, Barrie and Kingston.
Over those two decades, he did his best to highlight the local music scene in each of those communities, and also had a chance to interview an impressive array of music luminaries, including members of Kiss, Deep Purple, Boston, Styx, Creed, Supertramp, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Judas Priest, ZZ Top as well as the likes of Zakk Wylde, Scott Ian, Henry Rollins, Neil Finn, Paul Rodgers, Avril Lavigne, Bob Geldof and even Donny Osmond, Tony Bennett and Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees, to name but a few.
As a huge booster of Canadian music, Jim has also been lucky enough to have interviewed a who’s who of the Canadian music scene, including Geddy Lee, Trooper, April Wine, Tom Cochrane, Saga, The Tea Party, Burton Cummings, Randy Bachman, Gordon Lightfoot, Liona Boyd, Emm Gryner, Mike Reno, Colin James, Alan Frew, Gordie Johnson and many more.
Since leaving the newspaper business in 2012, he has worked as a freelance communications and marketing specialist, including penning bios and other content for artists and music publicists.
Jim happily continues his 25-year passion for writing about bands and musicians as a writer for www.musiclifemagazine.net.
You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.