Barriemore Barlow

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Barriemore Barlow
Background information
Birth name Barrie Barlow
Born (1949-09-10) 10 September 1949 (age 69)
Birmingham, England
Genres Progressive rock, hard rock, heavy metal
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, producer
Instruments Drums, percussion, flute
Years active 1963–present
Associated acts Jethro Tull, Yngwie Malmsteen
Website Biography on official Jethro Tull website

Barrie "Barriemore" Barlow (born 10 September 1949, Birmingham) is an English musician, best known as the drummer and percussionist for the rock band Jethro Tull, from May 1971 to June 1980.

Christened Barrie, the 'Barriemore' was an affectation to suit the eccentric image of Jethro Tull (much as Jeffrey Hammond had become "Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond").

Early career

Barlow first met Ian and John in Blackpool, where the two were member of a beats group, The Blades. By then, Barrie had become an apprentice Plastic Mould Tool Fitter, 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).[2]

With Jethro Tull

Barlow was a former bandmate of Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson. He joined after the departure of Clive Bunker, in 1971. Barlow 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 Jethro Tull lineup was to follow (late 1971–1975).[2]

Barlow's first gig with Tull involved an unfortunate episode in Denver, Colorado when the local police tear-gassed the audience from helicopters, both outside and inside the Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Believing that they would be arrested, 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, Barrie was heard to ask Ian, "Will it be like this every night?" Anderson replied, "As a general rule, only on Tuesdays and Thursdays."[2]

Upset by the death of bassist John Glascock, with whom he had become very close, Barlow left Jethro Tull in 1980 after completing the final leg of the Stormwatch tour.[3]

Since Jethro Tull

Barlow went on to do various session projects, including work with Robert Plant, John Miles, and Jimmy Page, and he also started his own band for a spell called Storm. He played on the Yngwie Malmsteen album Rising Force. He played on the Kerry Livgren album, Seeds of Change.

Barlow has a recording studio, The Doghouse, on his property in Shiplake, Oxfordshire, England. He is currently managing a band from Henley on Thames called The Repertoires, and has also been linked with other local bands which echo his own folk-influenced musical history, such as Reading's Smokey Bastard.[4]

Barlow played percussion on "Artrocker", the opening track of the critically acclaimed 2006 album Get Your Mood On by London indie punk band, Dustin's Bar Mitzvah.

In an interview in the December 2007 issue of Drumhead magazine, Barlow announced that he is looking to play on the road again.


Ludwig blue Vistalite
24 x 14 bass drum
22 x 14 bass drum
13 × 9 tom tom
14 x 10 tom tom
16 x 16 tom tom
18 x 16 tom tom
20 x 18 tom tom
14 x 10 Ludwig snare
Ludwig sticks Rose-Morris
Ludwig silver sparkle
Ludwig black super classic (mainly for recording)
Paiste cymbals
Evans Oilfield drum heads
Ludwig musser marimba
Premier marimba
Ludwig glockenspiel
Natal bongos
Indian tablas

Drumming technique

Barlow is known as a very technical and creative drummer. His drumming on the live album, Bursting Out, is testimony to his creative talents as a drummer, notably on his drum solo in the song "Conundrum". He was called "the greatest rock drummer England ever produced" by John Bonham. In a comment on his drumming for the Jethro Tull albums he said; "I've always admired people who invent – and on a percussion level I admire inventors of rhythm. I tried to strive for that in Tull, but now I go to great lengths to advise the drummers in the bands I'm managing not to play anything like I used to play in Tull, because it was so busy and over-the-top."[5]


With Jethro Tull

With Kerry Livgren

With Robert Plant

With Yngwie Malmsteen

With John Miles

With Jimmy Page

See also


  1. "Photograph of Barlow in concert". Retrieved 2014-07-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Barriemore Barlow". Jethro Tull. 10 September 1949. Retrieved 2014-07-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Jethro Tull Press: Modern Drummer, December 1990". Retrieved 2014-07-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "(February 2008) Smokey Bastard Blog". 18 February 2008. Retrieved 2011-10-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "(December 1990) The Drummers of Jethro Tull in ''Modern Drummer''". Retrieved 2011-10-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links