Courtesy of Terry Plumberg
Axe; The Final Offering…Bobby Barth, Old Boy, 1966
Fifty years of being the lead guitarist, singer, song writer, for both Axe and Blackfoot, touring the world, engineering and producing recordings in a very competitive business, toured with such greats as Ozzy Osbourne, Def Leppard, Aerosmith, Motley Crue, Deep Purple and Judas Priest; Meet Bobby Barth!
Originally from Coffeyville, KS, Bobby attended St. John’s Military School in 1966. He came early in the school year when he was 14 years old, and became a cadet in the Lower School. He attended SJMS, because he needed, “just a little discipline.” He became very close to his platoon leader John Pugh and SJMS’s Sgt. Torpey. Torpey was a person he learned to trust, and Barth looked at him like a father figure as did the entire lower school.
Barth only stayed one year at St. John’s. “Once you go to a school like St. John’s, then try to go to a public school, it’s a very hard adjustment and I couldn’t successfully make that adjustment, so I simply started my career early and just went on the road,” stated Barth.
“Always a Love for Music”
Barth began playing drums in 1960, started working weekend and one-night shows in 1963. Barth learned guitar basics from his stepfather, and in 1968 he left home and began to play music full-time. Barth joined the Colorado group Wakefield in 1969, as lead guitarist and singer. The band parted their ways in 1973. Immediately Barth formed the band Babyface, which produced a Top 20 record on the Billboard charts. However, the band disbanded in 1978.
In 1979, Axe was formed. During this time, the band produced 2 albums for MCA and 3 for Atco records including the album “Offering”, which made the Billboard Top 75 records of the year, it spawned the rock anthem “Rock and Roll Party in the Streets”, both in 1982.
He joined multi gold and platinum band Blackfoot in 1984 and continued to tour with both bands.
In 2012 an anthology of Barth’s work covering seven studio cd’s with Axe was released, titled “Axeology”. Sept 20th 2019 saw the release of “Axe the Final Offering” it is to be the last Axe recording, making a total of 12 records for Axe and over 50 records for Barth.
Barth is retired, living in northern Florida, and adjusting to life at home. His beloved wife of 31 years, Nancie passed away two years ago. When asked what his plans are, Barth states, “just for fun, I’m going to get serious in making/selling Navajo jewelry. I’ve dabbled in it for 40 years.”
How much of an impact did St John’s have on Bobby? “It was the most important year of my life. To this day, I can recite, “How Faireth St. John’s” and “What is a Rat?” States Bobby, whenever I come up against a challenge or need direction, I always think back about my time at St. John’s and what it taught me.”