Midnight Oil: Black Rain Falls

By Walter Price

‘Midnight Oil Makes You Dance, Exxon Oil Makes Us Sick’
Remember when in 1987 you thought you were the coolest cat in your town with your car stereo blasting You’re Living All Over Me, Louder Than Bombs, Document and the Joshua Tree and then that buddy of yours decided to pop in that cassette of a band he ‘just discovered’ going by the serious sounding Midnight Oil? Do you also recall how from the first sound of the singer’s voice you just knew this was something completely different? Something that combined all that you had been listening to up until that day that album was popped into your Blaupunkt.
 
That album was Diesel and Dust and was the breakthrough album (for us Americans anyway) for Australia’s hard rockers with not just a unique take on good ole blues soaked bar rock but there was a message in that there album that to this day you’ll never forget.
Flash-forward to 1990 and the band, that now has handsome slots in your collection, is continuing their give a voice to the people way of delivering Rock N’ Roll with a protest performance outside the Exxon New York offices in a stand against the ’86 Valdez oil spill. A spill that let loose nearly 11 million gallons of oil into Prince William Sound (Alaska), effecting 1300 miles of coast line. Don’t forget about the harbor seals, bald eagles and thousands of other of nature’s cute and cuddlies, the economic toll and the initial sub-par reactions/actions of Exxon! Tragic.
 
This is now and on 20 June Midnight Oil is set to release a documentary about that May 1990 day for the first time digitally and on DVD called ‘Black Rain Falls’ and you can check out the 2007 trailer/snippet for the film that the Midnight Oil offices sent us:
 
Lets all make sure we check that out when it hits later in the month. It’s never too early or too late to get involved.
 
In other Midnight Oil news, they want to get the band back together, perhaps. In an interview, which spread through the internets like a crazy cat video, the band’s drummer Rob Hirst spoke to Faster Louder on the subject, saying, “Peter [Garrett]’s writing his memoirs at the moment so that might take a while, but I think everyone’s up for it,” he said. “Bonesy’s [Bones Hillman, bass] living in Nashville, and by all accounts playing better than ever – the callouses on his fingers must be enormous by now! And of course Martin [Rotsey], Jim [Moginie] and I all play in The Break, so everyone’s around. We’ll just see down the track. Hopefully it won’t be so long that we won’t be able to put on the sort of show that we’d like to put on.”
 
According to the Faster Louder article, the band is in high demand on the festival circuit with offers into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. That seems absolutely legit and more than reasonable to me and hope they figure out a way to make it all happen. I have long ago lost that original cassette left in my car by my buddy way back when…

Longtime fan or new to the sounds of The Oils, check out their career spanning  Essential Oils (2012)
 
Midnight Oil: Facebook. Website. VEVO.
“There are things we think are so important that they have to be said,” – Peter Garrett

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