Midnight Oil

 Midnight Oil

 Peter Garrett – circa 1984

 “You take all the trouble that you can afford / At least you won’t have time to get bored” – ‘Power And The Passion’ (Rob Hirst, Jim Moginie, Peter Garrett)

He has lost.  It’s over.  Peter Garrett looks over the debris of his political campaign and tries to come to terms with the fact that he will never be a Member of Parliament.  Garrett is best known as the lead vocalist for Australian rock band Midnight Oil.  In his words, he has just become “the most famous politician not to be elected.”  It is December 1984.  Garrett stood for the Senate as the New South Wales candidate for the Nuclear Disarmament Party.  It was a good showing; Garrett ended up ‘losing only by a narrow margin.’  The party was only formed earlier in 1984 and this was the first election they’d contested.  Garrett was the star recruit and the person whose high profile did the most to publicise the party’s cause.  But it all ended in defeat.  Politics can be cruel…as can the rock music industry.

Peter Garrett is actually the last person to join the nascent Midnight Oil.  So let’s start the story with the beating heart of the band.

Rob Hirst is born 3 September 1955 in Camden, New South Wales (NSW).  “When I was about 13,” Rob says, “after a long stint in hospital with this benign tumour that I had in my right leg [I got into music].  When I got back [home from the Royal North Shore Hospital], I asked for a drumkit.  I attacked it immediately.” This may have been a mistake.  The doctors had urged young Rob to take it easy with his leg.  The outcome is that, due to his use of the foot pedal of his drumkit, his right leg turns slightly so his foot is permanently a bit splayed out.  Rob jokingly refers to himself as “a genetically modified drummer” since this altered physiognomy makes him well adapted to playing his chosen instrument.

In the early 1970s Rob Hirst begins playing in a band called Schwampy Moose.  Two other youngsters in the band are bassist Andrew ‘Bear’ James and guitarist Jim Moginie (born 18 May 1956 in Sydney, NSW).  By 1972 this band has become The Farm.  At this time Rob and Jim are both university students.  Rob is at the University of Sydney doing a Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws (BA/LLB).

Serving in The Farm alongside Hirst, James and Moginie is guitarist Martin Rotsey.  He comes from a slightly different background, working in the day as a labourer.

In 1976 Rob Hirst places an advertisement in a local newspaper, ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’, for a vocalist for the group.  One of the respondents is Peter Garrett.

Born in Wahroonga, NSW, on 16 April 1953, Peter Garrett’s early life is marked by loss.  His father dies while Peter is still at school.  From the Gordon West Public School, he moves on to Barker College in Hornsby, then studies Arts at the Australian National University in Acton in the Australian Capital Territory.  Peter’s mother dies in a fire at the family home while Peter is away at University.  This is just before 1973.  Peter switches to the University of New South Wales where he eventually obtains a law degree.  If this makes him sound rather prosperous and conservative, that doesn’t match the image that greets Rob Hirst and his friends.  Peter Garrett shows up for the audition in a beat-up car, thick with discarded hamburger wrappers, his hair is long and blonde.

Rob Hirst describes Peter Garrett’s performance at the audition this way: “It was unique.  The voice was unique.  The presence was unique.  He was a charismatic man, a surfer.  He sang a unique version of ‘Locomotive Breath’ by Jethro Tull [a British art rock band with a medieval flavour] in a high falsetto…We had a couple of other folks come to audition.  After the audition, I said to Jim [Moginie], ‘These guys can actually sing but Pete’s got this special something.  Whatever happens in the future, no one is gonna forget this guy.’”  So the job goes to Peter Garrett.

As Rob Hirst mentions, Peter Garrett was a surfer.  Not long after getting the gig with The Farm, he sees a photograph of himself with wet hair and doesn’t like the look.  So Garrett has his hair cut short.  However he is even more horrified at how this alters his appearance.  “[I] looked like someone who worked at a bank.”  Disgusted, he proceeds to completely shave his head.  This is the origin of Peter Garrett’s distinctive bald pate.  It is suspected that, as the years go by, his long blonde hair may require less shaving and the baldness may be more natural.

The group acquires a manager, Gary Morris, who becomes like a sixth member of the band.  “Early uni courses were ditched in favour of the band,” says Rob Hirst.  Although he and Jim Moginie drop-out, Peter Garrett continues to study part-time until he gets his law degree.  This accounts in part for the band’s slow start.

The Farm changes their name to Midnight Oil.  This may be derived from the phrase for working late and working hard, ‘burning the midnight oil.’  There is also a claim that the name is taken from the 1967 song ‘The Burning Of The Midnight Lamp’ by guitar hero Jimi Hendrix.  Midnight Oil debuts in 1977 with a line-up of: Peter Garrett (vocals), Jim Moginie (guitar, keyboards), Martin Rotsey (guitar), Andrew James (bass) and Rob Hirst (drums, vocals).

Peter Garrett says that, “Midnight Oil just started jamming at the Antler Hotel in Narrabeen [a surfing community in NSW].  That’s where we started.  Just a jamming band.”  ‘Jamming’ is improvising, playing music in an unstructured way.  It is also how the members of Midnight Oil begin writing their own songs.  “We started with pretty humble ambitions,” Garrett recounts.  “Can we write songs about our country and live in our country and stay alive by doing that?  If we can then we’ve succeeded.”

The main characteristic of Midnight Oil is the social conscience of their songs.  The lyrics rarely refer to romantic love or having a party, the most common themes of rock ‘n’ roll.  Folk music artists such as Bob Dylan began writing about serious stuff like racism, war-mongering and social inequality in the early 1960s, but these ‘protest songs’ were usually accompanied merely by a simple acoustic guitar.  More relevant are the British punk / new wave acts of the mid to late 1970s such as The Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Jam.  These performers raged against the oppressive government and howled about the pointless consumer-oriented world in which they felt trapped.  Yet Peter Garrett makes the distinction that, “We’re dealing with a highly complex society that’s about to discharge itself off the face of the Earth, and it’s no time for nihilism…We’re an Australian band because we’re Australians who write about the things that concern us, the things we see and do.”  Over the years, Midnight Oil lend their name to such causes as the unemployed, environmental issues, anti-nuclear groups and the plight of indigenous Australians.  In the Australian vernacular, they are s***-stirrers.

“We weren’t a ‘worthy’ band all the time,” Rob Hirst insists, conscious that Midnight Oil are perceived “like we were 24/7 [i.e. full-time] activists…Some people just liked the sonic charge of the band…the excitement…the volume…Other people took the albums home and dissected every word.”  Peter Garrett says, “I’ll agree that there are people in our audience for whom the band’s politics are a minor annoyance.  By the same token there are a lot of people who get off on what the band does and who do respond to what’s in the lyrics, and I know that for a fact.”

Rob Hirst referred to Peter Garrett’s ‘unique’ qualities.  Although he doesn’t sing in a falsetto as he did in his audition, he is quite capable as a vocalist.  “I don’t see myself as a singer…or a particularly good one…They are performances, as opposed to singing,” Garrett says humbly, but accurately.  Standing six feet, four inches tall, the bald-headed frontman can be quite intimidating, hectoring audiences about whatever issue is the subject of the Oil’s latest song.  Then there is what might be generously described as his ‘dancing’, ‘thrashing and prancing like a deranged madman.’

Musically, Midnight Oil plays a powerful brand of hard rock.  Again, the obvious touchstone is the punk / new wave bands.  However there are other, older threads also present.  The twin guitar attack is reminiscent of The Rolling Stones and Rob Hirst’s hyperactive drumming perhaps owes something to Keith Moon of The Who.  There are even undercurrents of art rock acts of the early 1970s like David Bowie and Pink Floyd…though perhaps not Jethro Tull (the source of Peter Garrett’s unlikely audition song).

Midnight Oil’s songwriting is shared amongst the whole band.  It seems as though every track is the work of some combination of various members.  Most often, it appears the lyrics are by either Peter Garrett or Rob Hirst and Jim Moginie shoulders most of the responsibility for the music.  Around 1987, they stop trying to chronicle the various songwriting permutations and just attribute the compositions to ‘Midnight Oil’.

After building up a live following on the pub circuit, Midnight Oil makes the rounds of the record companies in search of a recording contract.  Unimpressed by what is on offer, they set up their own label, Powderworks, which releases their debut album, ‘Midnight Oil’ (1978) (AUS no. 43), in November.  This effort is ‘recorded in four days, no overdubs, no frills.’  It includes the song ‘Powderworks’, after which the record label is named, and their first single, ‘Run By Night’ (AUS no. 100).  This album is ‘a taut, impassioned collection of guitar rock which quickly establishes the Midnight Oil sound.’

Midnight Oil’s second album, ‘Head Injuries’ (1979) (AUS no. 36), is their best.  It is here that the pieces really come together.  Producer Les Karski came to Australia as part of the British group Supercharge, but stayed on to oversee this recording.  He gives the group a glossy, polished sound without sacrificing one iota of their innate rawness.  Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in the whiplash rock of the opener, ‘Cold, Cold Change’.  The band bristles with punkish fury as Peter Garrett decries new wave’s empty promise: “Left us all angry and bewildered / Laughing at the way we were taken in.”  The same sort of urgency galvanises ‘Stand In Line’: “It’s a circus, we’re the clowns, as the giant ones disown / Every bit of something we call home.”  On this song, Jim Moginie contributes a jaw-dropping guitar solo that sounds like the dying moans of a wounded buffalo.  ‘Back On The Borderline’ thrashes at bullet time, threatening to break land speed records.  The audience gets a slap in the face with the taunting ‘No Reaction’.  But it’s not all wall-to-wall bashing about.  The complex, agitated guitar and keyboard interweaving on ‘Section 5 (Bus To Bondi)’ shows the band has some finesse at arranging [Bondi is a beachside suburb of Sydney].  Midnight Oil go on to make other more famous, more ‘mature’ works, but the sheer dramatic power of ‘Head Injuries’ best serves the twin purposes of conveying their rabble-rousing rhetoric and delivering it with an electrical blast of energy.

Andrew ‘Bear’ James, the exemplary bassist, leaves Midnight Oil in 1980 ‘due to health problems.’  The very capable Peter Gifford (born 1955) takes over bass duties.

The four song EP ‘Bird Noises’ (AUS no. 28), released in October 1980, is the first recording to feature Peter Gifford on bass.  ‘No Time For Games’, ‘Knife’s Edge’ and ‘I’m The Cure’ are all high quality hard rock songs but the lion’s share of attention goes to ‘Wedding Cake Island’.  This is named after a real speck of land off the coast of NSW.  Martin Rotsey is said to be the prime mover behind this surf instrumental with twangy guitar and eerie synths.  “It was very light-hearted.  Just a fun thing from Midnight Oil,” claims Peter Garrett.  “I’d originally put a vocal over on that…Unfortunately it was libellous, obscene…So we pulled most of that.”

The next full-length Midnight Oil album is recorded in England with producer Glyn Johns.  The band is now so popular that this becomes their first release on CBS, a major label now being necessary since Powderworks has been outgrown.  ‘Place Without A Postcard’ (1981) (AUS no. 12) takes its name from a line in the song ‘Brave Faces’.  The same song provides what might be the Midnight Oil motto: “Straight and loud’s the way.”  The single from the album is ‘Don’t Wanna Be The One’ (AUS no. 40).  The throaty organ powering this tune gives it an unusual keyboard foundation.  The bashing drums are more familiar, as is the lyrical attitude: “I’m an innocent victim, I’m just like you / We get up in home units with the brick-wall view.”  The gloomy and doomy ‘Armistice Day’ (AUS no. 31) comes packaged with a free t-shirt when it is released as a single – which may explain its comparative success.  Some wags describe it as the first t-shirt to make the Top Forty.  Actually, with tracks like ‘Burnie’ [a place in Australia’s southernmost State, Tasmania] and ‘If Ned Kelly Was King’ [a real life bushranger of the late 1800s who occupies a role like Robin Hood in Australian legend], this is one of Midnight Oil’s more underrated works.

After a year of touring Australia, Midnight Oil returns to London to make their next album.  ’10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1’ (1982) (AUS no. 3, US no. 178) is produced by Nick Launay.  This is a much more experimental and arty album.  Notice is immediately served with the first song, ‘U.S. Forces’ (AUS no. 20), which has an acoustic guitar front and centre, though it remains as tough and propulsive as previous Oils product.  There is, in passing, a swipe at the founder of scientology in this song: “L. Ron Hubbard can’t save your life / Superboy takes a plutonium wife / In the shadow of ‘ban the bomb’ we live.”  There is also a throttled electric guitar solo.  Rob Hirst contributes a remarkable drum break to ‘Power And The Passion’ (AUS no. 8) during which it sounds like he’s throwing cutlery around the kitchen sink.  There is a brass section at the end of this expansive song, a track which sounds almost danceable…and not just in Peter Garrett’s eccentric style.  The slow march of ‘Maralinga’ befits the subject of the song: a region in the State of South Australia where the British military conducted nuclear weapons tests from 1955 to 1963.  Hence the lyrics warn, “In the wind / The ashes fly / The poison crown, the charcoal ground.”  ‘Short Memory’ provides a death-list of mankind’s inhumanity including, “The story of El Salvador / The silence of Hiroshima / Destruction of Cambodia” [respectively instances of U.S. military involvement in Central America, the site of the first nuclear bomb strike, and the countryside ravaged by the war In Vietnam].  ‘Read About It’ pits flurries of acoustic guitar against a critique of media manipulation and snarls, “The rich get richer / The poor get the picture / The bombs never hit’cha / When you’re down so low.”  ‘Midnight Oil’s most adventurous and radical album becomes their most popular.’

In 1984 the Nuclear Disarmament Party is added to the Australian political landscape.  When Peter Garrett agrees to stand as a candidate for this group in that year’s general election, it raises questions about Midnight Oil’s future.

‘Red Sails In The Sunset’ (1984) (AUS no. 1, US no. 177) is released in October.  Nick Launay returns as producer and this album is recorded in Japan.  With its cover image of Sydney Harbour as a burned-out crater, Peter Garrett’s Nuclear Disarmament Party affiliation and the recording taking place in the country where Hiroshima and Nagasaki were hit by nuclear bombs during World War Two, the anti-nuclear approach is very strong here.  It seems like Midnight Oil are trying to prepare for a bombshell of their own: the possible loss of Peter Garrett to Federal politics.  Rob Hirst provides lead vocals on the album’s two most famous songs, ‘When The General Talk’ and ‘Kosciuszko’.  The former is a critique of not only the military, but the big corporations.  ‘Kosciuszko’ (pronounced KOZ-ee-os-ko and named after a mountain in NSW) features acoustic guitars that are nearly flattened by huge drumbeats, and the chorus, “No end to the hostility / Now they want to be somewhere else / No stranger to brutality / Now they like to be someone else.”  ‘Best Of Both Worlds’ looks at Australia’s place between U.S. and U.K. influences, “the new world” and “the old world”.  ‘Jimmy Sharman’s Boxers’, about a troupe of Aboriginal pugilists, is an early example of what will become a regular theme in the future for Midnight Oil: Australia’s treatment of its indigenous population.

As it turns out, Peter Garrett fails to win a seat in Parliament in the December 1984 election.  What’s more, in April 1985 Peter Garrett is one of those who leaves the Nuclear Disarmament Party.  These defectors claim the Socialist Worker’s Party is taking over their organisation.  Always a minority group, the Nuclear Disarmament Party quickly fades from public consciousness and is eventually deregistered in December 2009.

With Peter Garrett’s services secured for the band, Midnight Oil issues another four song EP, ‘Species Deceases’ (AUS no. 1), in December 1985.  The track list is ‘Progress’, ‘Blossom And Blood’ and ‘Pictures’, but the highlight is ‘Hercules’.  This is not about the hero from Greek mythology; its subject is the oversized military transport planes bearing that designation: “Here come the Hercules / Here come the submarines / Sinking South Pacific dreams.”

In 1986 Peter Garrett marries Doris Ricono.  The couple go on to have three daughters: Emily, May and Grace.

In 1986 Midnight Oil undertake a tour of the Australian outback with Aboriginal group The Warumpi Band under the banner ‘Black Fella, White Fella’.  ‘Travelling miles and miles with no sign of humanity on the horizon has a profound impact on Midnight Oil.’

The experience feeds into ‘Diesel And Dust’ (1987) (AUS no. 1, US no. 21, UK no. 19) in August.  This album is co-produced by Warne Livesey and Midnight Oil.  ‘The Dead Heart’ (AUS no. 4, US no. 11, UK no. 62) is a pounding acoustic discourse on aboriginal rights: “Don’t serve your country / Don’t serve your king / Know your custom / Don’t speak your tongue / White man came / Took everyone.”  ‘Beds Are Burning’ (AUS no. 6, US no. 6, UK no. 6) continues the theme with its pointed reference to indigenous land ownership: “The time has come / A fact’s a fact / It belongs to them / Let’s give it back.”  Even more so than ‘Power And The Passion’, ‘Beds Are Burning’ can pass as a dance track with its blasting horns and rubbery bass figures.  The hasty, jangling ‘Dreamworld’ (AUS no. 30, US no. 37) again makes reference to “The last square mile of terra firma / Gavelled in the mail.”  ‘Put Down That Weapon’ (AUS no. 32) is given an appropriately solemn reading.  ‘Diesel And Dust’ is ‘arguably one of the best Australian albums of all time.’  Paradoxically, by writing such an intensely Australian work, the band gains a higher profile than before in overseas markets.

Later in 1987 bassist Peter Gifford resigns from Midnight Oil.  Dwayne ‘Bones’ Hillman (born Wayne Stevens in 1958) is the replacement.  “Bones got the job as bass player,” says Rob Hirst, ”but also because we knew he could sing.”  Strengthening the group’s backing vocals is seen as a desirable goal.

The amended Midnight Oil line-up debuts on ‘Blue Sky Mining’ (1990) (AUS no. 1, US no. 20, UK no. 28) in February.  Warne Livesey again shares a production credit with Midnight Oil for this set.  The (sort of) title track, ‘Blue Sky Mine’ (AUS no. 8, US no. 1, UK no. 66), details the health perils associated with mining blue asbestos in Wittenoom, Western Australia and the economic imperative that drives men to such risks.  The company involved, Australian Blue Asbestos, was founded by Australian mining magnate Lang Hancock.  It was sold to CSR Limited in 1943.  Created as the Colonial Sugar Refining company, this business becomes a leader in the field of products used in construction work, eventually selling off the sugar concerns.  It is sued for negligence over the asbestos mining conditions.  “My gut is wrenched out,” sings Peter Garrett with real feeling, while also conceding that “The balance sheet is breaking up the sky” (Garrett’s pronunciation makes “sheet” sound like ‘s***’) and noting that “Nothing’s as precious as a hole in the ground…” or maybe not…This is another ‘danceable’ track with piping keyboards and Garrett tapping previously hidden talent to add a wailing blues harmonica to the mix.  ‘King Of The Mountain’ (AUS no. 25, US no. 20) finds the group resisting their stardom (“Don’t put me up on your bedroom wall”) while giving an oblique nod to the Aboriginal flag (“Yellow-bellied black snake sleeping on a red rock / Waiting for the strangers to go”).  A ringing guitar that is troubled by an ominous atmosphere features in the peacetime anthem, ‘Forgotten Years’ (AUS no. 26, US no. 11, UK no. 97).  ‘One Country (AUS no. 51) is another track where a resilient attitude is undercut by brooding music.

On 24 March 1989 the ‘Exxon Valdez’, a sea-going oil-tanker, is responsible for an oil spill near Alaska and associated environmental damage.  On 30 May 1990 Midnight Oil plays a brief six song set in front of the oil company’s New York offices to protest.  Above them is strung a banner reading ‘Midnight Oil makes you dance, Exxon oil makes us sick.’  The whole thing is filmed and released on video as ‘Black Rain Falls’ (1990) with the proceeds going to the environmental organisation Greenpeace.

“In the ‘90s,” Rob Hirst explains, “we made a decision…that if we continued the rate of touring we’d explode…There’d be no Oils…So we pulled out for seven or eight years.  We came home.  We had young families.”  Aside from Peter Garrett’s previously mentioned trio of daughters, the only other known youngsters belonging to the group are Jim Moginie’s son, Samuel (born 1987) and daughter, Alice (born 1989).  There may be others, but the members of Midnight Oil tend to keep their private lives out of the spotlight.

‘Earth And Sun And Moon’ (1993) (AUS no. 1, US no. 49, UK no. 27) is best known for ‘Truganini’ (AUS no. 10, US no. 10, UK no. 29).  Over an incongruously bouncy beat there are bursts of guitar.  The lyric again deals with indigenous Australians: “I see Namatjira in custody / I see Truganini in chains.”  Albert Namatjira was a famous Aboriginal landscape painter.  The “in custody” reference is a gesture to the troublingly high incidence of Aboriginal deaths in police custody.  Truganini was the last full-blooded Tasmanian aboriginal, her people having been wiped out by white settlers.  Truganini died on 8 May 1876.  In other words, the song is pointing out that the Aboriginals, a race of talent and spirit, have been – and still are – being crushed by white Australians.  It’s a song of regret and remorse that tries to find a better way forward.

‘Surf’s Up Tonight’ (AUS no. 88) from ‘Breathe’ (1996) (AUS no. 3, US no. 155) finds Midnight Oil nostalgic for their days as a surfers’ band.  ‘Redneck Wonderland’ (1998) (AUS no. 7) has some of the group’s most heavily-treated work.  Processed vocals, fractured beats and clutching bass can be heard on tracks like ‘What Goes On’ and ‘White Skin, Black Heart’ (AUS no. 80).  ‘Capricornia’ (2002) (AUS no. 8) brings the band into the twenty-first century.

Halfway through the tour to support ‘Capricornia’, Peter Garrett tells his companions that he wants to leave Midnight Oil.  He stays on to complete the tour, but officially resigns in December 2002.  If Midnight Oil considered carrying on without their ‘unique’ frontman back in 1984 when it seemed possible he would become a Member of Parliament instead, that is not an issue this time.  “We can’t be Midnight Oil without Pete,” Rob Hirst softly says.  For his part, Garrett claims his greatest achievement is “staying sane after twenty-five years in a rock ‘n’ roll band.”

Peter Garrett’s political aspirations resurface.  He joins the Australian Labor Party, one of Australia’s two major political factions.  The Labor Party is towards the left wing of the political spectrum.  In October 2004 Garrett is elected as the Labor Party Member of the New South Wales electoral district of Kingsford Smith.  When the Labor Party wins the general election in November 2007, Peter Garrett becomes a Cabinet Minister.  However he decides not to contest his seat at the September 2013 election, stepping down from politics.

During Peter Garrett’s political career, the final line-up of Midnight Oil – Peter Garrett, Jim Moginie, Martin Rotsey, Dwayne ‘Bones’ Hillman and Rob Hirst – reunite twice.  In both cases they are performances for charitable causes in all-star concerts.  On 29 January 2005 Midnight Oil performs at Wave Aid, a benefit for the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami that struck on 26 December 2004.  The group is also involved in Sound Relief on 14 March 2009 to raise funds for those affected by the bushfire disaster in the Australian State of Victoria.

The compilation album ‘Essential Oils’ (2012) (AUS no. 7) is a two CD look back over the career of Midnight Oil.

Peter Garrett’s ‘Big Blue Sky – A Memoir’ is published by Allen and Unwin in October 2015.  It deals with music, politics and more.

Peter Garrett releases a solo album, ‘A Version Of Now’ (2016) (AUS no. 3).

Midnight Oil reunites for ‘The Great Circle Tour 2017.’  This is the line-up that includes bassist Dwayne ‘Bones’ Hillman.  The tour starts at Marrickville Bowls Club in New South Wales on 9 April 2017.  Shows take place in South America, the U.S.A., Canada, Europe, South Africa, Singapore and New Zealand before Midnight Oil returns to Australia, winding up the tour on 2 October 2017 at Anzac Oval in Alice Springs.

Midnight Oil’s best work was in the period 1978 to 1990.  At their worst points during that time, Midnight Oil could be didactic and holier-than-thou.  However it seems churlish to knock them for caring about issues that almost everyone could agree are important.  Midnight Oil deserve credit for creating intelligent, compassionate rock music with more depth than just another bunch of songs about chicks, booze and cars.  From blistering hard rock through acoustic folk to danceable grooves and electronic experimentation, they travelled a long road musically.  Even though the fortunes of a rock band can be harsh, Midnight Oil was comparatively blessed in that regard, partly due to them having the courage of their own convictions.  Politics was a lot tougher for Mr Garrett.  ‘Australia’s Midnight Oil brought a new sense of political and social immediacy to pop music.’  The band was ‘notorious for always insisting on total control over its recorded product and media releases.’


  1. civicsandcitizenship.edu.au as at 23 August 2013
  2. wikipedia.org as at 22 July 2013, 3 January 2017, 2 January 2018
  3. ‘The Big Australian Rock Book’, ‘Midnight Oil’ by Ed St John (Megabooks, 1985) p 43, 44
  4. allmusic.com, ‘Midnight Oil’ by Jason Ankeny as at 11 February 2002
  5. ‘Enough Rope’ (Australian television program, ABC Network) – Rob Hirst interview conducted by Andrew Denton (5 May 2003)
  6. ‘Friday On My Mind’ by Ed Nimmervoll (Five Mile Press, 2004) p. 122, 137, 156
  7. ‘Sounds’ (Australian television program, Seven Network) – Peter Garrett interview conducted by Donnie Sutherland (1980)
  8. oilbase.deadheart.org.uk as at 23 August 2013
  9. ‘Head Injuries’ – Anonymous sleeve notes (Columbia/CBS 1979) p. 5
  10. ‘Sunday Age’ (Melbourne, Australia newspaper) – Peter Garrett interview conducted by Peter Holmes (1997) (reproduced on deadheart.org.uk)
  11. popmatters.com (7 May 2013)
  12. lyricsfreak.com as at 23 August 2013
  13. ‘The Virgin Encyclopedia Of Eighties Music’ – Edited by Colin Larkin (Virgin Books, 1997) p. 322
  14. allenandunwin.com as at 2 January 2016

Song lyrics copyright Sprint Music, Warner/Chappell Music

Last revised 7 January 2018


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