This review is from: Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom (Paperback)
This book is an entertaining snapshot in time if read as one man's opinion of popular music. The problem is Cohn has padded his opinions with information about the lives of entertainers he didn't know and in most cases never met. It's obvious his information was poorly researched and came in large part from unreliable sources. Buying into the stereotypes his sources described, Cohn has presented caricatures that support his personal opinions.
After reading Cohn's other works it's clear he spent a good deal of time with a rather obscure American-born singer named P.J. Proby. Not only does this book include an entire chapter about the singer, but Cohn's fictional Johnny Angelo character (I Am Still the Greatest Says Johnny Angelo) was inspired by his meetings with Proby.
The 25 year old Proby was unknown in America when he was brought to England by producer Jack Good. Dressed up in 18th century attire (ala Henry Fielding's fictional Tom Jones) including a beribboned ponytail, Proby was featured in the cast of performers in various Jack Good productions. British magazine writers liked his easy availability and some even believed his wild stories about knowing everyone in Hollywood from Elvis Presley to Paul Newman. Proby continues to tag along on the occasional oldies tour with better known survivors of the sixties.
Cohn is reported to have admitted his "Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night" (published originally as a factual account of working class Brooklyn teenagers) was fabrication. This book should be read with that in mind.