Airdate: Sounds Like Teen Spirit: triplej at 40

2015-01-04_1330Later this month ABC celebrates triple J’s 40th birthday, by looking back at this irreverent cultural icon.

Sounds Like Teen Spirit: triplej at 40 features plenty of the station’s well-known faces including Roy & HG, Jono & Dano, Wil Anderson, Adam Spencer, Myf Warhurst, Mikey Robins and Helen Razer.

The story of triple j is the story of a recalcitrant Australian teenager growing up, adapting to, and impacting upon a very different world to the one in which it was born. From the station’s anarchic beginnings in 1975 as Sydney’s alternative radio station, Double J, to its restructuring and controversial rebranding as it went national as triple j in the 90s, to its role in unearthing new talent and staging major music events for the nation’s youth.

We also look back at the station’s first female DJs Gayle Austin and Keri Phillips; the controversial radio documentary Ins and Outs of Love; at Fuck the Police – the song that shut down the station due to its explicit lyrics and themes; Jen Oldershaw’s disastrous interview with Nirvana; and the debate about triple j’s playlist as the station continues to field criticism for what it plays and what it doesn’t.

This tale of triple j is told by a stellar line-up of the larger-than-life characters – DJs, managers, producers, comedy duos, and music stars from the 70s to now. We hear behind-the-scenes anecdotes from Roy & HG, Jono & Dano, Gotye, Missy Higgins, Daniel Johns, Wil Anderson, Adam Spencer, Myf Warhurst, Hilltop Hoods, Peter Garrett, Mikey Robins, Helen Razer plus many more, who share their stories of what it was like to work at this iconic station.

With a pumping soundtrack evoking the mood of each decade, Sounds Like Teen Spirit explores how one small radio station became the finger on the pulse of a burgeoning Australian youth culture and revolutionalised the cultural landscape for a new generation.

Monday, January 19 at 8.45pm on ABC.


  1. Bizarrely, 2JJ (as it was) was intended to be relayed to Melbourne almost at the same time – 1975 – but for whatever reason it didn’t end up happening until 1989 and Melbourne instead had a short-lived experimental/multicultural station 3ZZ from the ABC. They should have perhaps stuck to their original plan.

    I remember listening to JJJ beginning in Melbourne while studying for my VCE/HSC. That was 25 years ago now. I’m feeling very old.

  2. Triple J and 40 is just wrong. I remember buying my first FM radio so I could switch from Double J to Triple J and know it wasn’t 40 years ago.

    Though I haven’t owned a radio for over decade since I switched to using an MP3 player while walking and commuting.

  3. Secret Squirrel

    Woohoo! Discovered JJJ when I worked in Canberra for a while. Was so happy when they came to Perth as the only other good FM station had been taken over by MMM, plasticised, and moved to the safe and boring middle of the musical wasteland. Ugh.

  4. No worries. Well done anyway. It was a good mistake, because at least it shows that you know the song they’re referring to in the title of the show.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.