The Herd - I Was Only 19
It's been 34 years since John Schumann and his group Redgum penned this song and 12 years since Hip Hop collective The Herd covered it and exposed it to a new generation.
It was a chart topping single back in the 80's, a song that explored the psychological and medical side-effects of serving in the Australian Forces during the Vietnam War.
The Herd covered it for triple j's Like A Version back in 2005 and it quickly became popular amongst the listeners, the themes resonating with a younger audience, still exposed to conflicts in the Middle East and the proclaimed ' War On Terror'.
Broken Yellow, the production company behind the video, pulled this incredible remake for $2k and worked closely with the Vietnam Veteran's Association in depicting the horror of war and the long term suffering of a majority of soldiers post war.
The video has a sentimental bearing on me for various reasons. Firstly, I am friends with the band and production company and I also played 'tail-end Charlie' in the video. (The solider who operates a gun from a compartment at the rear of a group.) My mate Blair (who sadly passed away in 2011), also acted in a clip.
It was an amazing experience working with the Vietnam Veteran's and Graham Walker who was lead consultant is still a good friend today. As a group of young males in our twenties, we learnt a lot about the effects of war and trauma., something that really wasn't taught during school. The bond within the production company was really special and you can tell by the end result; an emotive and powerful depiction of the major themes.
On this Anzac Day 2017, I remember all soldiers who fought hard for their rights on returning to 'normal' civilisation against Governments who didn't acknowledge the major effects of how war crippled these returned Soldier's and their families. May we also not forgot the the suffering and sacrifice of Indigenous warriors who also perished in the frontier wars. Lest We Forget.