Midnight Oil

Subject: Re: [powderworks] 'The Break' break for a bit, and why Sir Walter Scott was happy to sell out.
From: James Warren
Date: 5/04/2011, 2:00 am
To: powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au

This is the fate suffered by the Oils post-1993 in the US.

On Apr 4, 2011, at 6:01 AM, tomspencer@eml.cc wrote:


I recall Rob once saying 'The Clash' were a great band that went nowhere because they enjoyed, once, just once, telling CBS where to go.
On Mon, 04 Apr 2011 03:58 -0700, "Miron Mizrahi" <mironmizrahi@yahoo.com> wrote:
Michael Caine once said in an interview: " ... it meant that if I wanted to continue to have a high standard of living, I had to do low standard movies"

How could people get so unkind?

From: "tomspencer@eml.cc" <tomspencer@eml.cc>
To: powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au
Sent: Mon, April 4, 2011 5:52:08 PM
Subject: [powderworks] 'The Break' break for a bit, and why Sir Walte r Scott was happy to sell out.

Interesting point, Miron, and I kinda' agree.
I remember when the Oils toured with Crowded House and Hunters and Collectors (1995?), in the 'Breaking the Dry' series of concerts.  Lots of people assumed they were raising money for farmers, but no, even the Oils had to make a living!  (But they still let some folks out the front of one of their concerts collect for charity).
Apparently nineteenth-century writer Sir Walter Scott had the view that it was more important to pay his debts if he could, rather than produce high quality art that didn't necessarily sell.  In his diary he wrote of two books 'I think it is the publick that are mad for passing these two volumes. But I will not be the first to cry them down' (Australia Day, 1832, p 213). So 'selling out' in the modern artistic sense was not a problem.
But when I posted, I was thinking of Jim M. who posted a link to John Densmore ('The Doors'), on the question of art for art's sake:
PS - I just noticed that The Break are taking a breather (after their recent shows, I guess), some of which time will be spent in the studio:
On Sun, 03 Apr 2011 23:35 -0700, "Miron Mizrahi" <mironmizrahi@yahoo.com> wrote:
not sure I agree. we seem to subject musicians to a different set of rules and we seem to forget that it is their job and they are out there to make money. being a musician is not like your run-of-the-mill job. how many of us have spent the first few years of their careers working but not making any money? how many jobs are out there where you are only as good as your last performance? how many of us are protected by a slew of legislation - from long service leave to unfair dismissal? how many musicians have pensions and IRAs? would any of us be "accused" of selling out if we took a job for higher pay? or a job with a global company? nearly all of them can be accused of some unsavory, or worse, behaviour. Shell and Saro-wiwa, BHP in PNG, Enron, Apple and HP and Foxconn. yet for us, this is a no brainer.

there seem of be a culture of entitlement which is prevalent amongst fans. as some of you may know, I am a huge Neil Young fan. he has just started touring and as if on queue, the "ticket prices" debate on the list reared its ugly head. "he is charging more than the Stones and when Springsteen played here last month he charged less". he can charge what he pleases and I can decide whether to go or not and we don't owe each other anything.

yes - there are some extreme cases like the Oils who seem to exhibit more "moral fiber" than other contemporaries. but I would argue that most, if not, all of their decisions were done based on what is best for them rather than following some set of noble ideas. the fact that their decision and our view of nobility was often the same is great. but should not distract us from the fact that they knew the consequences and did what they thought was the best for the band.

so the concept of a musician who sold out, is IMO, more often than not, our own fabrication. they are just like everybody else. how howzat for stating the obvious? :)

How could people get so unkind?

From: Tom <tomspencer@eml.cc>
To: powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au
Sent: Mon, April 4, 2011 4:13:44 PM
Subject: [powderworks] Selling out



The Oils only ever 'sold out' stadiums, and a beer barn at Beenleigh (Brisbane) where the opening act, a local diva, asked everyone to stop smoking because it was bad for her voice. And they did! Perhaps even that security guard at the front that Peter Ga. told to turn around, rather than watching the show for free.