Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] Article on Pollstar.com

Dan Brunner dbrunner@execpc.com
Tue, 3 Dec 2002 15:17:30 -0500


Lead Singer Quits Midnight Oil
Updated 10:30 PST Tue, Dec 03 2002
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ Peter Garrett, the energetic lead singer of 
Australian rock band Midnight Oil, has quit the band after 25 years.
 With his distinctive bald head, wild dancing and strident voice, 
Garrett was one of the most recognizable Australian singers of the last 
 Midnight Oil's protest song about Aboriginal land rights, "Beds are 
Burning," was a hit around the world and the band played it at the 
closing ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
 They managed to further politicize the performance by wearing black 
clothes emblazoned with the word "Sorry" in a reference to the 
government's refusal to apologize to Aborigines for past mistreatment.
 "The last 25 years have been incredibly fulfilling for me, and I leave 
with the greatest respect for the whole of Midnight Oil," Garrett said 
in a statement posted on the band's Web site. "The band has brought a 
lot of pleasure and meaning to people's lives, including my own. Who 
could ask for more?"
 But Garrett, a committed and eloquent environmental activist, said it 
was "time for me to move on and immerse myself in those things which 
are of deep concern to me and which I have been unable to fully apply 
myself to up to now.''
 The remaining members of the band said they were committed to continue 
making music together "in another guise at some point down the track."
 "We've had a unique relationship and special chemistry for many years, 
one too good to lose," band members Rob Hirst, Jim Moginie, Martin 
Rotsey, Gary Morris and Bones Hillman said in the statement.
 Alongside his singing career, Garrett has served as president of the 
Australian Conservation Foundation between 1989 and 1993. He also has 
served on the international board of environmental group Greenpeace.
 In recent years, Garrett has focused his activities closer to home, 
with particular emphasis on campaigns against genetic engineering, 
coastal development and the nuclear industry.
 In the early 1980s, Garrett was narrowly defeated in a bid to gain a 
seat in the upper house of federal parliament on a Nuclear Disarmament 
ticket and speculation was rife Tuesday he would take another tilt, 
possibly for the Greens.
 Greens Senator Bob Brown did not rule out Garrett running for his 
 "Peter's a great and wonderful, warmhearted Australian. I've had a 
long friendship with Peter and I really appreciate that," Brown 
said. "But everyone's been calling me about Peter except Peter."
 When asked about Garrett's links with the Greens, Brown said: "Peter's 
already in the fold as far as I'm concerned, you know these things 
aren't determined by whether you're a member of this or that."
 Midnight Oil had just wrapped up a tour of their native land. This 
trek was particularly relevant for the band as their latest, and 
incidentally 14th album, Capricornia, was named after the tropical 
northern reaches of Australia where they were touring. 

Dan Brunner