Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] Re: Antarctica

michel quak miekwaa@hotmail.com
Mon, 10 Jun 2002 21:44:42 +0000

G'day mates,

It's amazing indeed, how music can remind you of certain situations, places 
and things that happen in one's life. And I'm not only talking lyrics but 
also the whole atmosphere, the musical landscape.

But the opposite is also possible:
I started listening to the Oils back in 1998, after I went to Australia for 
5 months. I bought the Diesel and Dust album since Beds are burning was on 
it, but my eye fell on the song that is titled Gunbarrel Highway: I went on 
a tour from Perth -> Laverton -> Kata Tjuta -> Uluru -> Alice and we took a 
part of the Gunbarrel highway...

The song gives me the EXACT feeling I had when we were driving though the 
outback, remote places. But also Blue Sky Mine, Earth and sun and moon: 
these albums all have their special sounding songs that remind me of that 
certain period.

Another great album I absolutely appreciate is Afraid of Sunlight by 
Marillion. If you get the opportunity, listen to the songs Out of this 
World, Afraid of Sunlight and Beyond You: each very atmospheric...
Another album I played in a rented car while driving from Perth up to Monkey 
Mia (Via Carnarvon's infamous Pinnacles and Nature's Window)was Iris - 
Crossing the Desert. This instrumental album is a get-together of 
Marillion's Pete Trewavas (Bass)and Ian Mosley (Drums) and Arrakeen's 
Sylvain Gouvernaire (Keys, Guitars). And I can tell you: it's hard to keep 
your car under 150 km/h (and out of the police -radar....) while playing 
this progressive highlight very loud...

Point is: everytime I listen to these songs, looking at my framed Ken Duncan 
photograph of the Twelve Apostles hanging on my wall of my Rotterdam 
appartment I'm back Down Under....(and wondering what the hell I'm still 
doing here).


Cheers everyone, have a VB or Triple X and keep up the good work..


>From: "Lane, Andrew" <Andrew.Lane@experko.chh.com>
>To: Duane Heath <duaneinsweden@hotmail.com>, powderworks@cs.colorado.edu
>Subject: RE: [Powderworks] Re: Antarctica
>Date: Sun, 9 Jun 2002 12:01:44 +1000
>Duane, that is truly the most moving and amazing post I have ever read on
>Powderworks (and that goes back to around 1994!).  It reminded me of the
>calibre of notes written in the sleeves of Oils recordings, such as the one
>by Michael Lippold for Scream in Blue.  This is one I am not going to
>Andrew (in Melbourne)
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Duane Heath [mailto:duaneinsweden@hotmail.com]
>Sent: Friday, 7 June 2002 7:03 AM
>To: powderworks@cs.colorado.edu
>Subject: [Powderworks] Re: Antarctica
>I agree with the views about Antarctica. I have lucid memories of listening
>to the crescendo ("I'm a landslide humming, I'm a downhill running) on my
>walkman sitting in a window seat of a muggy 767 circling Johannesburg in
>1998, and looking out to heat haze, dry skies and red earth, tin townships
>rusting under an iron sun, and having tears in my eyes as I returned 'home'
>after two years away. The contrast to the world I saw outside, and the 
>I imagined in my ears, was profound indeed. An experience I always recall
>when listening to the song.
>BSM remains probably my favourite album; memories of working for nothing in
>a dusty surf shop in the summer of 1989, spending our salaries on surf wax
>and Kentucky Fried Chicken, and one day popping across to Heather's little
>record shop and purchasing the record, hearing its static scratch ingrain
>itself into my memory in a December of north-easters, sandy shorebreaks and
>endless days spent with Simon and the Scottburgh crew listening to tapes of
>tapes of tapes of early Oils swopped with travelling Aussie surfers,
>screaming off to Bruce's in my grandfather's yellow beach buggy where Ben
>was getting hysterical about a 'new' Oils tape he'd got on the weekend. 
>gotta hear these new songs,' he'd say, 'Catch the Bus to Bondi, sit on the
>beach and wonder'. For months we'd thought there was an Oils record called
>'The Very Best Of Midnight Oil', cos that was what was scribbled on the
>cassette and there was no internet to check.
>October days in 1994 sitting at Shaun Stretch's, smoking and looking out at
>onshore slop, trying to figure out how we'd get from Durban to Joburg to 
>the Oils for the first time after all these years, somehow convincing
>Jocelyn to load us into her car and her dropping us off at the YMCA in the
>middle of a strange city; us walking through notorious Hillbrow without 
>realising it, innocent fans in a dangerous place; almost fainting in the
>spring sun of Ellis Park as we sat through Sting and, it seemed, an endless
>array of artists hell bent on keeping Peter, Rob and the crew off stage. 
>then the moment we'd waited, it felt like, all our lives to see: the Oils 
>stage. Two days later, the Monday, back in Durban somehow and crazily
>walking into their one and only press conference in SA, chatting, with my
>mate Mike, with Peter, who was interested in the Shaka, the Zulu king, and
>our south coast of point breaks and green palms. And getting a candid black
>and white photo of me and Rob which Mel took with her old Pentax, one I'll
>treasure forever and which I still carry wherever I go. (In my state I went
>out and bought a set of drums, and enrolled at music college for the
>following year...me and Bruce playing increasingly good covers in my 
>room and thinking all the while how my life took such a detour that 
>And then more of the same two days later, 5000 people under a dark and warm
>summer sky heavy with rain at Westridge, Rob a blur of sticks and cymbals
>during Read About It, and the drops frozen as in the flash of a camera as I
>looked around and watched, almost beside myself, the crew all around me:
>Simon (his paper poster long since soaked), Ben (who managed to catch a
>drumstick at the end), Stretch, Jeff, Bruce.
>Nearly eight years ago now, and many of those faces faded with time, our
>different roads diverging as life cycles go their separate ways. And yet 
>Oils remain as my constant, wherever I am in this world. From Durban to
>Joburg to Cape Town to London, back to SA and now near the Arctic Circle. I
>sat at home last Sunday and Todd in London kindly kept his phone on while
>Peter sang Truganini somewhere in England; me, two thousand kilometres 
>listening to memories and ghosts across a sketchy line and a North Sea of
>missed opportunities and new horizons. A big phone bill coming for that one
>but never did a song resonate so between the good old days and the even
>better ones that are right around the corner.
>I hear the band is returning to Europe in the autumn; if that is so, 
>shall keep me away.
>Thanks for listening.
>in Stockholm
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