Proby and Me | MJ Cornwall | Avid Reader
Saturday, 19 August 2023
Proby And Me; A Howling Tale Of A Falling Star is a tale of two tales; one, the saga of a bold but doomed attempt by two promoters, Clyde Bramley of the Hoodoo Gurus and colourful Sydney music industry identity Brett ‘ El Dorado’ Stevenson, to tour the prodigiously talented but troubled and turbulent Sixties pop star and enigma PJ Proby around Australia in the long hot summer of 1990, and the flotilla of rolling catastrophes that ensued, these mostly down to Jim Proby’s demons, demands and grand delusions.
The pantheon of Oz rockers of the day were also caught up in the madness, including Tex Perkins, Spencer P. Jones, Stevie Wright, members of The Saints, the Hoodoo Gurus, the Lime Spiders, the Cruel Sea, members of Radio Birdman and way more besides.
This is intertwined with PJ Proby’s incredible life story of five decades in the music business, as regaled by PJ himself to the promoters during his fateful time down under at the dawn of that last decade of last century.
Jim Proby recalled his times with everyone from Elvis, Eddie Cochran, Little Richard, Jackie de Shannon, Glen Campbell and Leon Russell to the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield, the Walker Brothers and Tom Jones to Led Zeppelin and all the way to the Manchester scene of the 1980s.
And of the thousand smoking ruins and blazing bridges in his relentless wake.
PJ Proby’s is a tale of forever wars with immutable foes. Frenzied stage shows branded ‘lewd’ and ‘obscene.’ Of misadventure involving liquor and firearms. Fortunes blown. Turbulent marriages. Suspicious house fires. Bankruptcies. Arrests and jail time. And the long slow fall.
Yet despite all that, six of the greatest albums in rock history, the ones Elvis would have made in the 1960s had he not been beset by Hollywood at the time.
And a muse of fire, forever undimmed.