Fifty years ago popstar Normie Rowe was conscripted to fight in Vietnam. After serving for two years and suffering mentally and physically in the aftermath of the war, Normie discovered his conscription was a publicity stunt from then Prime Minister Harold Holt in response to waning public support for the Vietnam War, sending ‘Australia’s Elvis’ into combat. Here, Normie shares his story ahead of the release of his cover of Compulsory Hero, 30 years after the original single was released by Aussie pub rock band 1927.

It was many years before I began to wonder if I was the only person born on 1 February 1947 to be called up.