It’s been over a decade since Midnight Oil officially called it quits, but following former singer-turned-politician Peter Garrett’s announcement after the late June leadership spill that he’d be retiring from politics at the forthcoming Federal election, offers for the iconic Australian band to reunite have been circulating.
Midnight Oil have been offered upwards of US$ 200,000 (approx. AU$ 215,000) per show to play music festivals in America reveals the band’s manager, and unofficial sixth member, Gary Morris, as the Herald Sun reports.
Morris confirms that entertainment agents and concert promoters from the US and Australia have begun circling now that Garret’s schedule is seemingly clear for a reunion in the future. Harbour Agency’s Tony Grace Guarrera represents Midnight Oil in Australia while Mitch Rose at CAA – who counts Daft Punk and 50 Cent among their clients – handles the band’s US affairs.
Morris says that it was the latter who contacted him about the reunion offers, “Mitch said there were 50 festivals in America (that would suit Midnight Oil) where the band could earn between $US75,000 and $US200,000 per date,” he says.
But don’t break out your best 80s concert attire or piggy bank just yet, as the Midnight Oil manager doubts the band will crumple at the big budget temptations. “Knowing where everyone’s heads are at, I can’t see it happening,” says Morris, adding democratically, “I can only speak for my point of view.”
Upon the announcement of his upcoming resignation, Garrett tweeted that thanks to his ongoing supporters and had “no regrets” at retiring from his position as Education Minister to “rejoin my dear family with good things done four our nation.”
Morris adds that the singer, who first entered Parliament in 2004 – two years after Midnight Oil’s own resignation – has indicated that he plans to use his newly freed-up schedule to be with his family.
“I’ve spoken to Pete and he’s happy to have time to spend with (wife) Doris and his daughters (Emily, May, and Grace) and catch up on a bit of sleep,” says Morris. ”From what he said to me I think he will take two years out,” he adds, noting their conversation featured no mention of Midnight Oil, his band mates, or the concert offers. ”I guess at some point when we get chatting I’ll drop in, ‘Oh, by the way, I had calls from Gracie and Mitch Rose’,” adds Morris.
Harbour Agency agent Mr Guarrera says he’s hopeful that Midnight Oil will one day reform for Australian concerts. “Nothing has been discussed, but if they do, they would be very special events that would take a lot of planning, and they certainly wouldn’t be about the money,” he said.
There was a Midnight Oil semi-reunion this past April when Peter Garrett made a surprise appearance live on stage, joining his old bandmates guitarist/keyboardist Jim Moginie and drummer Rob Hirst for a rare live performance at the Rock For Doc Neeson benefit concert, a star-studded charity gig in support of The Angels singer who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in January.
The Rock For Doc gig marked the first time the Midnight Oil members have played together since their 2009 appearance at a the Melbourne leg of the Sound Relief charity concert, raising funds to aid victims of the Victoria bush fires, preceded by a warm-up show in Canberra.
Back in 2005, they first reunited for the Wave Aid charity concert at the Sydney Cricket ground, raising funds for victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami, also preceded by a special warm-up show at Sydney’s Manly Leagues Club.
While Garrett moved into politics following the 2002 disbanding of Midnight Oil, Jim Moginie, Rob Hirst, and guitarist Martin Rotsey went on to form supergroup The Break with Violent Femmes frontman Brian Ritchie and Hunters & Collectors’ Jack Howard. Meanwhile Hirst also drums for roots band The Backsliders, former Oils bassist Bones Hillman plays for US country star Elizabeth Cook, and Moginie has released a number of solo albums.
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