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Working Class Man by Jimmy Barnes book review

"drank, smoked and snorted”

By his own admission, Jimmy Barnes “drank, smoked and snorted” his way through a lot of his life. Most is laid bare in this, his second volume of memoirs that follows on from 2016’s Working Class Boy, which brutally documents his broken, poverty-stricken childhood in Glasgow and Adelaide, forming the man we read about here.

Working Class Boy picks up with Barnes fronting Cold Chisel, the Aussie band with which he became famous. It’s gritty, often brutal yet wholly compelling. Life on the road in Australia in the 70s and 80s was tough, not helped by the drink, the drugs, the fights and the sex which went hand in hand with it.

As solo fame beckons, the excess heightens – Barnes mistaking a line of heroin for cocaine is particularly harrowing – and naturally everything falls apart. Fortunately redemption is at hand.

An unputdownable memoir from a man who walks it like he talks it.