I first heard Midnight Oil in about 1982 but at the time I thought they were too heavy, too loud and so I gave them a miss. I then came back to the Oils in 1987/88 and have been enjoying them ever since. I loved their anti-development, conservation, social justice, anti war message and I am a devout fan of Peter Garett’s dancing style – which I have done my best to emulate, for the last 3 decades ! Midnight Oil were one of the first bands that I knew who tried to STICK IT TO THE MAN and in many ways what they did was very similar to some of the best, most rebellious heavy metal bands of the 80s. I think their music stands up to the test of time and I still have my Oil days, where I’m back in the 80s or 90s, fuel injected with Peter Garrettitis, my limbs twitching as I eat up the lounge room dance floor ! Peter Garrett was once the head of The Australian Conservation Foundation and later went into federal politics here in Australia, where for a while he was the Minister for Environment, trying his best to slow down the corporations who are doing their best to eat up the natural resources of this country. he did some good work but there was little he could do with a sick system. Now thank God, he’s gone back to making music ! Long live Midnight Oil !
Start with these two videos from the early 80s.
In the late 80s / early 90s I got it in my head that I wanted to be a guitar god. Thankfully I woke up and realised that I was absolutely useless at playing guitar and went back to listening to those who could play. Today I don’t listen to much guitar music but nearly 30 years I can still appreciate the talent that many of these players have.
Marty Friedman and Jason Becker were two of my favourite players, along with Bucket Head, Paul Gilbert and Steve Vai. Jason Becker is one incredible human being. For over 20 years he has lived with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and has continued to live life to the fullest and make music.
Moondog (Louis Thomas Hardin) was a one of a kind ! A self taught blind Avant Garde / Experimentalist / Jazz composer and musician who performed on the streets of New York and influenced musicians like Philip Glass and Steve Reich. If you want weird and unusual but interesting, melodic and engaging; look no further than the legendary Moondog.
The one and only, Diamanda Galas – straight from the fires of hell ! What a vocal range ! And what passion and madness !
There is only one Buckethead. What an extraordinary musician ! One of the most unusual, gifted and prolific in the history of man ! And probably the best guitarist ever !
The wonderful Robert Rich’s sleepish Perpetual – an electro minimalist masterpiece.