Freak OutTony Wellington
Freak Out is Australia's coming-of-age story, how we as a nation responded to the global events that filled our daily news coverage, and how the music of the era was anthemic to that process. The gun was fired on a period of unprecedented innovation and creativity in pop and rock music, the likes of which have never been repeated.
Music spoke to young people in their own bespoke language, urging them to view themselves as decidedly separate from mainstream society - even suggesting they might 'drop out' altogether. For a brief time, millions of young people across western culture believed they could successfully reinvent society. Liberation for pacifists, women, people of colour, homosexuals, students and the oppressed seemed just a short revolution away.
There was no room for complacency or apathy in the face of the Vietnam War, Cold War, and dual threats of nuclear and environmental annihilation. Australians were spared the fear of bomb blasts, assassinations and kidnappings. Yet the ructions abroad invaded our national psyche, and the music that was generated in that milieu infiltrated Australian culture and transformed society forever.