The book’s promo blurb does it justice: “Frenzied stage shows called obscene. Of liquor and firearms. Arrests. Jail time. Fortunes blow. House fires, turbulent marriages. Bankruptcy and the long slow fall”.

Proby could only be lured off his Hoey barstool by the lure of hard liquor or a six-pack of beer travellers. Encounters with the New Christs, the Bambalams, the late Ian Rilen and Janine Hall (RIP also, and largely his nursemaid) litter the pages. You’re left with lots of sympathy for his handlers but also with a sense of: “What the fuck were you guys thinking?”

PJ Proby probably was robbed blind by a 1960s music industry that was rife with conmen and charlatans, but his antics were self-destructive and left him wide open. For the record, PJ is reportedly now sober and still kicking.

“Proby And Me” isn’t so much a cautionary tale as a head-spinning speed trip without the ground-down teeth and next-day headache. What a fucking ride. Available from good online outlets and some stores in Sydney and Melbourne. Google and you shall find.

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