Home Music Music on Film & TV GTK


Jon English and Bobbi Sykes on the set of GTK, 1973.

1 9 6 9 – 1 9 7 5 (Australia)

Today, music shows on television are as common as bread and butter. But in 1969, the Australian ABC network made music and pop culture history with a groundbreaking, revolutionary music show that had never been seen before on television. That show was GTK (which stood for “Get To Know”).

The show was aimed squarely at a youth audience, with a brief to inform, entertain and otherwise amuse. Reporters on the series included Adam Bowen, Jeune Pritchard, Julie Clarke, Garry Hyde, and Marilyn McIntyre.

Perfectly positioned at 6:30 pm, just before Bellbird, four nights a week for roughly ten minutes, GTK abruptly introduced middle Australia to an emerging rock counter-culture.

The show did not dispense the hits of the day. It certainly presented the favourites of the period – Zoot, Axiom, Sherbet, The La De Das, Blackfeather, Billy Thorpe, Chain, Hush, Max Merritt & The Meteors, Russell Morris, Daddy Cool, Spectrum etc – but the show also presented new, challenging acts such as Captain Matchbox, Tamam Shud, Band of Talabene,  Wild Cherries, Band of Light and Buffalo.


Every Monday morning, rain or shine, the ABC’s Sydney Gore Hill studio (where the show was recorded) used to explode with live music – often from bands who had just finished their last set at the Whisky Au Go Go at 3:00 am . . .

In between the sounds were interviews, reports and, sometimes, just meandering snatches which brought long haired freaky people into the nation’s living rooms – dancers, poets, filmmakers, photographers, fashion designers, painters, actors and surfers.