Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes has hailed Cold Chisel's enduring bond with Newcastle after the band's return to their "second home" was confirmed as part of November's inaugural Coates Hire Newcastle 500.
Supercars CEO James Warburton (left), Jimmy Barnes, Supercars driver Simona de Silvestro, Cold Chisel guitarist Ian Moss and Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes at Fort Scratchley
The Aussie rock legends will headline the race concert on Saturday 25 November in the city where front man Jimmy Barnes fondly recalls playing to "wild and appreciative crowds" in the 1970s … "when we were starving".
"In Sydney Cold Chisel was never the flavour of the day because we were never cool," he said at today's announcement at Fort Scratchley.
"So we used to play in empty houses and come up here to Newcastle to play to full houses, and they would be clambering out the windows and the walls would be swaying.
"Quite often we would be up here three times a month so this would become our second home. In fact, when the band would leave, I would stay until I got run out of town."
The Lord Mayor welcomed Barnes and lead guitarist Ian Moss after writing to invite them to come to Newcastle (letter below).
"It's great to hear that Cold Chisel consider Newcastle to be their second home because for the longest time they've always been considered family, given their historical connection to the city," Councillor Nelmes said.
"We all grew up belting out classic Cold Chisel tracks and I can't wait to see them in November.
"The band is still as down to earth as when they first came to Newcastle in the 70s and I am delighted that they agreed to play. Not only can the city draw major events like Supercars but also legendary performers like Cold Chisel."
Noting the city's transformation, Barnes said it was great to be part of its resurgence almost 40 years after the Newcastle link was immortalised at the Star Hotel during harder economic times.
"With the Supercars there's so much focus on Newcastle," he said.
"It's gonna inject life into this town, and in this day and age, a town like this, I mean look at it, it's a beautiful place. The place has had a complete overhaul. It's really changing the face of Newcastle as it was."
Note: To celebrate the announcement Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes has requested the clock tower be turned gold tonight, Friday 23 June.