[Powderworks] Ghosties Story in SMH
Kate Parker Adams
Thu, 06 Mar 2003 19:07:19 -0500
I'd keep an eye out for it on http://www.petergarrett.com.au/speeches.html
At 06:11 PM 3/6/03 -0500, Beth Curran wrote:
>"Lickspittles".....what a great word, and so seldom used. Typical of RH
>to find the right word for the right moment. It flies off your tongue
>in such a satisfyingly venomous manner.
>By the way, does anybody have the text of PG's speech at the protest? -
>[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Tari, Vince
>Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2003 4:34 PM
>Subject: [Powderworks] Ghosties Story in SMH
>The Oils ain't Oils any more, but drummer Rob Hirst keeps bashing away.
>Midnight Oil may have called it a day but you can't quell that power and
>passion - especially when on the verge of war.
>Lead singer Peter Garrett quit the band to pursue as yet unspecified
>interests, most likely politics, and fuelled the rumours by addressing
>peace protest in Melbourne.
>Drummer Rob Hirst joined the quarter of a million on Sydney's streets.
>times like this, when journalists are gagged, with some notable
>it's often up to people from the arts to lead the way," says Hirst, who
>co-wrote such protest anthems as Power and the Passion, Beds are Burning
>"Fortunately, there are bands of the calibre of the John Butler Trio,
>are more than able to put the musical case for peace.
>"As for Howard and his lickspittles, I don't even want to talk about
>He doesn't want to talk about the end of the Oils, either - other than
>say the remaining band members are likely to play together again.
>What he wants to talk about is the Ghostwriters, the project he launched
>with Hoodoo Gurus bassist Rick Grossman in 1991.
>"I'm still going to write [political] stuff, but we want to make this
>Ghosties album much more uplifting, while not shirking our songwriting
>lyrical duties and our passions.
>"There's a song, God's Not Busy, which if it were ready I would love to
>out right now. It's talking about an Australian soldier being sent off
>conflict and surviving his term of duty by keeping his head down."
>The Ghostwriters' first played dark acoustic pop, producing the hit
>Someone's Singing New York New York off their debut album, but the next
>releases were heavily textured affairs.
>The next album, which Hirst hopes to release this year, will feature the
>band's newest member, Sydney singer-songwriter Paul Greene.
>"It's shaping up as a real folky pop album, using our twin voices very
>much," says Hirst, "actually recording it that way: Paul and I go in
>our guitars and play the tunes facing each other so we can actually get
>the downstrokes together and our vocals pretty much together."
>Greene: "Very Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. But really, it's an
>way to write songs ... working with stuff that's got double parts."
>Hirst: "Paul has an uncanny ability with melody, to be able to pick out
>variety of melodies on top of one another."
>Greene also had the uncanny ability to run very fast. He represented
>Australia in the 400 metres at the Atlanta Olympics and was training for
>Sydney Games, in between playing gigs, when he ran into the
>"Rick and myself were producing an album for the Olympics, and the
>who were bankrolling this album insisted upon athlete participation,
>"After we got up off the floor, we realised we had at least one athlete
>was talented musically - Paul. So Rick and I, being the opportunists
>are, purloined Paul to the Ghosties, knowing that his golden voice would
>an enormous asset to the band."
>How did the then 27-year-old athlete deal with suddenly being in a band
>"I did [feel intimidated] for a while. I was just sitting in this room
>these guys, just going, 'How the hell did I get into this one?' But
>while I just had to throw myself in."
>Hirst: "He was much braver than I. If anyone called Paul Greene had the
>to stare down a guy called Mo Greene on a track, that takes a lot more
>playing guitar and drums."
>Did Paul really stare down the world's fastest man over 100 metres?
>"No, but Michael Johnson [world-record holder over 200m and 400m]; I got
>stare him down. But he kicked my arse, anyway."
>Despite the Ghostwriters' leg up, Greene has put in a lot of leg work,
>releasing two solo albums and touring the country solidly.
>"I did 250 gigs last year at pubs around Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle,
>anywhere," he says. "I've been known to drive to Perth for just a couple
>gigs and back."
>Greene has a touch of Jeff Buckley about him and his acoustic shows are
>impressive, especially when he loses himself in the moment while
>guitar, vocals and harmonica.
>"There's been this misunderstanding that the live scene has been
>Melbourne and Brisbane," says Hirst. "But when you scratch the surface
>you find there's a lot of musicians playing all the time. You don't hear
>them on the radio because no station caters for them, but they have
>loyal following and their own albums, self-financed, like Paul's."
>As for the Oils' loyal following, they may be pleased to know that the
>members are likely to record together again. "It's very hard to tell
>kind of shape it'll be at this stage, which is an exciting prospect,"
>But you can be sure Jon Stevens won't be fronting the band. "If that
>happens, I'm leaving the Ghosties," says Greene.
>Hirst: "I don't think we're planning to go out and play live. We might
>in dim corridors of recording studios for a while.
>"I feel me personally and [the Oils] have been survivors, we made strong
>compelling music right to the end and shows which still galvanised
>Greene: "And he still kicks my arse when we go for beach runs."
>Hirst: "And the fact that I can beat an Olympic athlete gives me no end
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