While fans of Australian rock legends have always hoped for reunion from Midnight Oil, given iconic frontman Peter Garrett’s involvement in the political realm – it’s always seemed unlikely. Even when he helped fans continue to burn the midnight oil of hope with their one-off 2009 reunion at the charity concert, Sound Relief.
But even following their split in 2002, with their frontman shifting his focus towards his political career, the rumours are back once more after Garrett’s appearance on yesterday’s ABC News Breakfast program.
As TheMusic reports, the morning program’s host Michael Rowland had an evident side agenda to his questioning over a recent survey that raised great concern about the effectiveness of our country’s National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) program.
After discussing the issue, he went on to question Garrett over his perspective of old school rockers The Rolling Stones – who are gearing up for their 50th Anniversary shows. “We’ve been covering the big entertainment on News Breakfast this morning, and that is the Rolling Stones – as we go to air. Back on stage to mark their fiftieth anniversary, does this show there’s life yet for old rockers?”
Garrett responded with praise of the band stating: “Well, you’ve got to hand it to them. I mean when it comes to longevity, I guess, there’s something happening there, and they, obviously, still enjoy playing together.”
“I find it a little staggering,” Garrett continued, “even though, of course, I’ve been up on stage only a couple of years ago. And I’m not that much younger than Mick [Jagger]. But anyway, good luck to them.”“I’ve been up on stage only a couple of years ago. And I’m not that much younger than Mick [Jagger].”
While only skimming the issue Rowland went on to insist: “You’ve got ten years on Mick. There’s life yet, Peter Garrett, for the old band.”
Garrett responded with “Well, who knows? Watch this space.”
A passing comment or something more? Whether or not there is possibility of a reunion is still questionable with his political career still very much in the driver’s seat with his current position as Australia’s Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth.
Although, Garrett’s enthusiasm and passion for music is still largely evident in his political career, with the 59-year-old regularly speaking out about the importance of music in the school curriculum, including a 2011 speech to a NSW high school on the subject, as well as the importance of the live music scene – and especially the Sydney venues he and his band started their early career in.
But fellow band mate, Midnight Oil drummer Rob Hirst, has also admitted his interest in a reunion.
Speaking with The Australian earlier this month, Hirst added to the growing possibility, saying “I have a sneaking feeling we might do it one day,” later adding “It would be nice if it were under less traumatic circumstances. I think we’re all still match fit and musically curious.”
While a fully fledged Midnight Oil reunion seems unlikely, it’s certainly good timing to be considering one given that this month marks the 30th Anniversary of the band’s well-respected 1982 album 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. The labels are ensuring that Midnight Oil aren’t fading into obscurity either, with the release of the brand-new career-spanning compilation, Essential Oils.
Even so, at this point in time it seems Garrett’s focus on reform is targeted towards education, not Midnight Oil.