Marine rocker plays Iraq, set sights on big time

20 Mar 2005 | Cpl. Tom Sloan

Patrolling the streets of the insurgent infested city here is probably the last place most people would expect to find a rock 'n' roll star.

However, that's just where you'll find Lance Cpl. Josh R. Barfield, lead singer and guitarist for up-and-coming metal band Blue Collar.

The 23-year-old Glendora, Calif., native and assault man with 1st Platoon, Company A, may not have reached international recognition for his music yet, but he does have a number of fans in his unit, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. Many of his fellow grunts consider him to be a top nock performer who's destined for rock-star fame.

"He's got great music," said Sgt. Erik D. Sphoon, a 26-year-old Salem, Ore., native and guide for 1st Platoon, Company A. "It's on my favorite play list. His band is awesome. I like how he mixes metal with jazz."

Barfield's band, Blue Collar, which includes four other members, currently has a demo CD out. They've also played a gig in Newport Beach, Calif.

"He has definitely got a future in music," said Sphoon. "If you were listening to his band and didn't know who it was, you'd swear it was a professional group. I'd be real surprised if someone didn't sign him on.

Barfield, who's been deemed by some of his fellow Marines as a young James Hatfield, lead singer for Metallica, plans to make it to the big time.

"I plan on being part of the number one metal band of all time," he said with a smile. "Our band is going to take over Metallica's spot." 

The young performer even looks the part. Despite his high and tight Marine Corps haircut, he has a rocker image. Both his arms are covered with multicolored tattoos, and he speaks in a raspy voice.

For the meantime, his fans are Marines, and his stage is a folding chair surrounded by sandbags.

He often entertains his fellow grunts by singing his original rock 'n' roll songs while belting out complementary lyrics on an acoustic guitar during his downtime.

"I really enjoy relaxing and listening to him sing and play the guitar," said 20-year-old Pfc. Kenneth J. Morgan, a radio operator with 1st Squad, 1st Platoon, Company A. "He's good and we all look forward to hearing him play for us," continued the McFarland, Calif., native

After completing this deployment, he plans to pursue his musical career and start a family.

"I'm going to marry my beautiful minx of a fiancée, Khara Dawn Mori," said Barfield. "I found out four days ago I'm going to be a dad. I'm very happy and ready to go home."