Pip Proud

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Pip Proud (Philip Proud, 1947–2010) was an Australian singer/songwriter, poet, novelist and dramatist whose idiosyncratic song-poems gained a cult following in Australia in the 1960s and around the world in the 1990s-2000s. He was born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1947 and is the brother of the well-known artist Geoffrey Proud.

Proud's unusual musical style has been likened to that of Britain's Syd Barrett, though he was unfamiliar with Barrett's work when he recorded three albums of his own songs in the late Sixties (predating Barrett's own solo releases). The first, De Da De Dum' (Grendel, 1967) was privately produced and only about 50 copies were pressed. He was signed to the Phonogram label and his first LP for them Adreneline and Richard (Polydor, 1968) reprised most of the songs from his first LP, some of them with a full band backing added without his involvement. After recording his second album A Bird In The Engine (Polydor, 1969) he travelled to Britain to further his career. He ceased working with the Philips label and did not release any further recordings until the mid-1990s.

Proud was also the subject of a 15-minute experimental documentary, De Da De Dum, directed by Sydney filmmaker Garry Shead, a member of the Ubu Films collective. One of his greatest supporters in the late 1960s was the highly regarded poet Michael Dransfield, who encouraged him to write novels.

Most of Proud's later output remained unpublished, but in the 1970s two of his plays -- Vlort Phlitson, Intergalactic Trouble Shooter and Don Coyote—were realised as radiophonic works by the ABC's rock music radio station Double Jay.

Proud was tracked down in the mid-1990s by historian/writer David Nichols and this ultimately led to the re-release of his two Polydor LPs on CD on Nic Dalton's Half A Cow label. Proud resumed recording and released several more albums of new music primarily for the Emperor Jones label. He died on 4 March 2010 from throat cancer.


  • Ian McFarlane - Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop (Allen & Unwin, 1999)
  • Peter Mudie - Sydney Underground Movies: Ubu Films 1965-1970 (UNSW Press, 1997)

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