A compelling memoir of hitting desperate lows at the height of his career
Following on from the first volume of his autobiography, Working Class Boy, Jimmy Barnes moves into his rocker years that made him a household name. He details his life leading into and through the height of his musical career with the same raw honesty that he displayed in the first.
Barnes discusses the hardship, the triumphs, and the relationships that both bonded and separated him. He talks frankly about addiction and abuse – of both alcohol and drugs – along with his passion for his music and career.
Although sounding a bit breathy throughout his narration, Barnes is a compelling narrator. He can crack a joke or break your heart. He is never apologetic, even when regretting his choices. He just tells it as he remembers it.
While most of the narration focusses on Barnsey’s career with his band, Cold Chisel, and his solo endeavours, he also devotes a significant portion to talk about his family and his understanding of himself.
Working Class Man can be brutal to listen to at times, particularly as Barnes dives into the darkest moments of his self-abuse and the consequences. When pieced together from the revelations of his first book however, the trail of self-destruction is a sadly common theme that too many people may relate to.
It takes enormous courage for someone to open himself up so publicly and reveal so many inner demons. Credit must be given to Barnsey’s bravery and honesty. He presents a memoir that is gripping, amusing, tragic and hopefully. Even those who are not a fan of his music will be compelled to keep listening to his story.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Distributed by: Bolinda Audio
Released: September 2018