Long before Cold Chisel and Barnesy, long before the tall tales of success and excess, there was the true story of James Dixon Swan, a working class boy whose family made the journey from Scotland to Australia in search of a better life. Did you know this was the story of Jimmy Barnes?
Raw, gritty, compassionate and darkly funny, Working Class Boy is the childhood memoir of this rock legend. Of this Australian rock icon who’s amassed more #1 albums than The Beatles. Our very own Jimmy Barnes.
When Barnesy visited Booktopia recently, we learnt that his “way of dealing with trauma is to make light of it,” so that’s why you’ll find humour in this book.
We also learnt that Barnesy found writing this memoir very cathartic: “It was really great to get it out. I see a lot of this stuff as wounds that I’ve had since I was a child, and writing the book’s brought them out in the open, put some air on them so they’ll start to heal… The one thing about life is, we all have our stories but this a common story, we’re all just trying to survive. We’re all getting through it the best we can.”
And about the sequel, Jimmy says, “I’ve already started writing it!”
For a very limited time, we’re offering you the chance to see Jimmy Barnes at the Sydney Writers’ Festival! Simply fill in your details and answer one question here and you’ll be in with the chance! The prize also contains entry to see Sarah Wilson, Di Morrissey, and Ian Rankin chat about their latest books.
Working Class Boy
A household name, an Australian rock icon, the elder statesman of Ozrock - there isn't an accolade or cliche that doesn't apply to Jimmy Barnes. But long before Cold Chisel and Barnesy, long before the tall tales of success and excess, there was the true story of James Dixon Swan - a working class boy whose family made the journey from Scotland to Australia in search of a better life.
Working Class Boy is a powerful reflection on a traumatic and violent childhood, which fuelled the excess and recklessness that would define, but almost destroy, the rock'n'roll legend. This is the story of how James Swan became Jimmy Barnes...