Photo by Steve Rose
There’s crazy stories and then there’s really crazy stories. The timeline of Arthur Barrow’s success falls into the “really crazy story” category (without question).
Barrow – a young musician trying to find his way – decides to teach himself the electric bass in 1974 while attending the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. He was studying composition and organ, at the time but had different aspirations. The emerging fusion of rock and progressive music was taking hold, and Barrow became fascinated with the work of Frank Zappa. A year later (1975), he decides to move to Los Angeles with one of his main goals being to play in Zappa’s band. In 1978, he auditions and makes the cut.
In Zappa’s band, he spends the better part of twelve Zappa albums and four tours working that gig (including albums like Joe’s Garage Act I & II, Shut Up ’n Play Yer Guitar, You Are What You Is, and many more). Along the way, he also became a colleague with Robby Krieger from The Doors (who he is still working with) and played with everyone from Joe Cocker and Keith Emerson to Billy Idol and Janet Jackson.
After his Zappa stint, he worked very closely with famed songwriter/producer Giorgio Moroder. You have heard his work in soundtracks for Scarface, Top Gun, The Doors and many more. He has his own slew of solo discs and has worked in many other band situations. Most recently, he has published a memoir of his music business experience titled, Of Course I Said Yes! – The Amazing Adventures of a Life In Music.
Enjoy the conversation…