Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] What got you started?

Heidi Shenk nedkellytheking@hotmail.com
Mon, 02 Jun 2003 08:12:01 -0500

I first got into the Oils when I was 6.  I was hanging out at my dad's 
guitar shop after school and one of his best friends stopped by and dropped 
off BSM for my dad to borrow.  The album had just come out a few months ago 
and he thought it was really great and wanted my dad to hear it.  The first 
thing that caught my attention was King of the Mountain...it had so much 
energy.  So I asked my dad if we could take it home.  So he took it home and 
I think we ended up borrowing that cd for well over half a year!  My 
favorite song on the album at the time was definitely King of the Mountain 
and I would blast that song, run all over the house and sing at the top of 
my lungs.  I remember that Mountains of Burma always really freaked me out 
especially at the end when Pete does that screaming bit so I would always 
skip over that song...now I love that song.

My dad, seeing that I loved BSM so much asked his friend if he had any more 
Oils cds that I could listen to.  He had D&D so he gave it to my dad to 
borrow...again it ended up being at our house for so long that my parents 
thought it was their cd after a while!  I loved The Dead Heart...it was my 
favorite from the album and I would always say...some day I'm going to tour 
with the Oils and play cello for them on The Dead Heart.  That of course 
never happened.

Then ESM came out.  My dad bought it because he liked the Oils, but also 
because he thought I might like it.  Every Saturday I would put it on and 
listen to it while I did my weekly chores...I think I did that for about 
three years.

When I was probably in 8th grade, another family friend stopped by our house 
one evening unexpectedly.  He had Head Injuries, PWAP and Bird Noises on 
cassette and he thought that I might like having them...he didn't want them 
anymore anyways.  He and some of his other friends now are in a band 
together...when I suggested that they play some Oils a few years back, all 
the guys said...nah...the Oils aren't that great...we kinda grew outta that 
one...they aren't that great anyways.  Then they heard that I was going to 
see the Oils last Fourth of July in Chicago in Grant Park and that it was a 
free show.  I dragged one of my friends along with me and she kept telling 
me...this better be good!  While my friend and I were sitting on the train 
waiting to go home after the show, four of the guys from that band walked on 
the train.  I said, 'Hey guys!  What are you doing here?!'  They said, "Hey 
Heidi, we came to see the Oils!  They were absolutely amazing!!  They were 
so tight!  It had to have been the best show we've ever seen!"  I just 
thought back to the one guy giving me his old Oils tapes because he was sick 
of them.  It just made me laugh.

When I was in Belgium for summer break after my 8th grade year, I bought 
five Oils albums at FNAC because I couldn't find them anywhere in the 
States.  I think that was the best purchase I made out of all the shopping I 
did while I was there! :)

Well anyways...that's my rambling of how I got addicted! :)


----Original Message Follows----
From: "jr3" <spoon.surfer@verizon.net>
To: "MOils List" <powderworks@cs.colorado.edu>
Subject: [Powderworks] What got you started?
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2003 13:30:44 -0700

That little (er...) discourse between Sebastian and Stephen piqued my 
interest.  Thought I'd take a shot at breaking out of lurker mode with 

My first discovery of the Oils was hearing P&P on the radio in Seattle in 
1982.  Had moved back the year before and was working on a band project with 
a couple friends.  We did a lot of different material as well as our own and 
paid a good deal of attention to "alternative".  I was always looking for 
good new stuff on 107.7/The End and local college radio.

I clearly recall being struck by the "whole package" of that song the first 
time I heard it.  That opening guitar/bass riff, the drums/percussion, 
Pete's vocal, the chorus vocal, the lyrics, the dynamics, the horns at the 
end, just the whole concept really... something special was there, at least 
to my ear. The rest of our band were uneasy about taking up the call, but I 
persisted until we worked up a cover version, admittedly somewhat lame to 
start, but it got better. Because it was different and powerful I thought it 
was great challenge and a lot of fun, but because of our "democratic" 
approach we never had the collective balls to really play it out much for 
people before we parted ways.  Probably wise I suppose.

Of course, figuring out how to pay respect to Pete's vocal style can be 
awfully tough - that unique quality that helped put the stamp of 
authenticity on Oils work (and the heart of the "S vs.S dialogue" that 
caught my attention).

When I got my hands on 10-to-1 I was hooked for good.  PWAP was the same 
thing. When I went back to the original MO release it was all there again, 
maybe not as refined.  On it went through Red Sails, Species, D&D and on.  
For me it's always been the unique and striking blend of personality, 
musicianship and message that these guys have managed to generate.  They're 
also such accessible blokes as well - everyday people.  All part of the 

I suppose this is pretty redundant so please accept apologies, but 
what/where/when/why (any combination) did you get started on the Oils trek?  
Any takers?


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