Barriemore Barlow

Drums and Percussion – 1971-1980

BBBarry was born in Birmingham, England, on Sept. 10th, 1949. He was educated in “Brum” and later as a teenager in Blackpool where he first met Ian and John, then of the beat group, The Blades. By then, Barry had become an apprentice Plastic Mould Tool Fitter, and a damned fine one at that, but walked out in the middle of a Maths exam to answer the call by Ian and John to go to Nottingham that night for a suddenly announced gig.

He didn’t go back to finish the exam. His first major public appearance was not as a musician, but as a TV “extra” in the series “Coronation Street” where he briefly appeared alongside Ian’s then girlfriend, actress Yvonne. Having left the John Evan Band as the Blades were now known, Barry went on to join another local group “The All Jump Kangaroo Band” featuring and run by one Andy Trueman (who later became the production manager for Tull in 1995).

The limitations of the Blackpool music scene proved too much for Barry when he attended a one man audition with Tull in at the Nun’s Home, Lytham St. Annes following the departure of Clive Bunker.Joining Tull in 1971, Barry played on the EP “Life’s a long Song”, before embarking on a concert tour with the band. By this time, the original members of The Blades were now back together with the addition of  Martin Barre, and a relatively long-running edition of the JT lineup was to follow.

Barry’s first gig with Tull involved an unfortunate episode in Denver, Colorado when the local Polizi became a little tad carried away with the judicial powers of law enforcement, tear gassing the audience from helicopters, both outside and inside the Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Deciding that they might as well lock up the Jolly Jethros, to boot, the band made a run for it after the show in an unmarked station wagon where, hidden under a blanket on the floor in the back, Barry was heard to ask Ian, “Will it be like this every night?” Ian may have replied, “As a general rule, only on Tuesdays and Thursdays.”

Following the Stormwatch album in 1979, Barry took the difficult decision to leave Tull prompted by, perhaps, the fact that Ian was to work on a solo project which the record company announced in Melody Maker was to become the new Jethro Tull record.

He began work on a series of projects, first as a musician, then increasingly as a producer and manager. He played on albums by Tandoori Casette which he formed on leaving Tull, as well as Robert Plant’s “Principle of Moments”, Jimmy Page’s “Outsider” album and other records by Richard Digance, John Miles, Kerry Livgren and Yngve Malmstein.

Barrie became increasingly a manager and record producer, rather than drummer, during the 80’s and 90’s but continues to play drums occasionally to date, having appeared with Ian and Jethro Tull at the The Royal Festival Hall in London in 2008.