Last week, it was revealed that Midnight Oil were receiving big money offers from international music festivals to reform more a decade after calling it quits.
Following news that former singer-turned-politician Peter Garrett’s plans to retire from politics at the upcoming Federal election as a result of the Labor leadership spill, the iconic Australian band were receiving offers of up to US$ 200,000 (approx. AU$ 215,000) per show from entertainment promoters in the US and Australia.
Though Midnight Oil’s manager, and unofficial sixth member, Gary Morris, added that it was unlikely the band would accept any offers to officially reunite. “Knowing where everyone’s heads are at, I can’t see it happening,” Morris remarked.
In fact, so sure is Morris of the band’s plans to keep the lid on the Midnight Oil legacy closed that today he announces his resignation as the band’s manager, putting an end to reformation rumours. A statement issued today reads:
In light of Peter Garrett’s recent resignation from politics and speculation of the reformation of Midnight Oil, the band has no plans to reform or tour at this time.
Gary Morris, long term manager and behind the scenes 6th member of Midnight Oil has announced that he is relinquishing his role in the wake of this recent conjecture about whether the Oils will reform.
Due to reports of offers to headline festivals across the world demand for the band to reform has been gathering momentum from fans across the globe. It is because of this ever increasing pressure for the seminal rock band to reunite that Morris has decided to make his position clear at this point in time.”
“Midnight Oil’s legacy is undeniable, we have achieved great things together, there is much to be proud of in the band’s list of achievements, we are brothers in arms and I will always be there for them” says Morris adding “However in light of recent speculation as to whether the band will reconvene now that Peter is quitting the political arena, now is the time to make my own position clear as to my future involvement with Midnight Oil.”
Stepping down from his role as The Oils’ manager draws a curtain on nearly 40 years of history with the iconic Australian band. Starting in the late 70s as they came up through the pubs of Sydney’s beachy north, right up to the band’s final US tour and split in 2002, after which Morris focussed on other business ventures from his home in Hobart.
Morris was the catalyst for many of Midnight Oil’s high watermarks, including their ‘Goat Island’ show on Sydney Harbour, the 1986 tour of the Australia desert outback that led to the creation of their 1987 masterpiece Diesel and Dust, and the ‘Sorry’ statement of the band’s dress for their 2000 Sydney Olympics performance.
“We truly did accomplish amazing and enduring things working together and we should treasure that, now and in the future,” said Peter Garrett in light of Morris’ resignation. While drummer Rob Hirst noted that “this news comes with mixed emotions: quiet reflection, warm affection and misty nostalgia for our shared history, alongside a real sense of achievement and well-deserved pride.”
Despite quashing the rumours of a full-blown reunion from Midnight Oil, there have been several brief reunions since the band first called it quits over a decade ago. More recently, it was a surprise appearance from Peter Garrett in a rare live performance in April that sparked reunion rumours; joining his old bandmates guitarist/keyboardist Jim Moginie and Hirst on stage 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.
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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