Midnight Oil

Subject: RE: [powderworks] PG at Powerhouse Theatre audio
From: "oilyshark" <oilyshark@optusnet.com>
Date: 5/11/2015, 4:12 pm
To: <powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au>, "'Geoffrey ODonoghue'" <go1845@yahoo.com>

Agree 100% with you Geoff


From: powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au [mailto:powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au]
Sent: Thursday, 5 November 2015 1:38 PM
To: powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au
Subject: Re: [powderworks] PG at Powerhouse Theatre audio



I'm on the final stretch reading Big Blue Sky and, although I'm enjoying it, I find that there are aspects of it that are diminishing my enjoyment - one of which Nathan pointed out below.


(There may be some minor spoilers in this so don't read further if you would like to avoid that sort of thing)

Nathan heard PG say that the book was aimed at all readers and that should give you an idea of how PG has approached his tale. In the earlier stages of the book when the primary activities for PG are his studies and his music then the Oils activities get some fairly decent coverage. As he expands his political and environmental activism, the Oils become just one of a great many items that PG is documenting - hence the complete absence of some albums.

The book really is, in my opinion, primarily a political memoir and an autobiography second. I suppose this is not really surprising but the result is that details of Oils recording sessions, tours and personal interactions are covered at a high level or are only briefly touched on. Conversely, many of PG's environmental and political campaigns are well detailed and comprehensive (and I've only just gotten to the part about his Labor political life).

Understanding the book to be an account of PG the politician, my impression is that he is coming across as too reserved and, dare I say it, too diplomatic at times (except for when he talks about Kevin Rudd - his antipathy for the man comes across loud and clear and he doesn't miss any opportunity to recount KRudd's shortcomings). In some ways it's almost as if PG is still a political animal and wary of providing ammunition for potential attackers although, as far as I know, he's retired from politics and could therefore afford to loosen the reins a little (maybe he's got a political comeback planned!)

To be clear - I'm not reading this book in anticipation of a lot of salacious gossip or mud-slinging in the tradition of trashy Murdoch tabloids or women's magazines. I really dislike that kind of cheap, underhanded 'journalism'. But I was sort of expecting a more open account of what life was like in what some musicians describe as another kind of 'marriage' - being in a band. PG mentions a number of times that he considers the Oils to be brothers to him and not just colleagues or band-mates, but he doesn't really explore this relationship to any extent and is cautious and tentative in describing inter-band issues. For example, Giffo's departure is covered in a very short paragraph that hints at political differences and personal problems. I don't need an account of the latter but the former would seem to be worthy of a more detailed discussion given the Oils' and PG's political stance.

Just my two cents



From: "Nathan Arrowsmith nathan@arrowsmithwebsites.com [powderworks]" <powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au>
To: powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au
Cc: Simon Kierse <skierse@netspace.net.au>
Sent: Thursday, 5 November 2015, 7:37
Subject: Re: [powderworks] PG at Powerhouse Theatre audio


Pete said he wanted the book to be interesting to all readers, not just the Oils fans, so he didn't include the EPs and some of the albums.