A new national tour planned by Midnight Oil is expected to show a thaw in the longstanding tensions between former prime minister Kevin Rudd and his environment minister and band frontman Peter Garrett.
The upcoming tour, Beds Are Still Burning, is expected to kick off in early 2021 although precise tour dates have not been finalised.
A source close to Midnight Oil told me that a lot of time and energy was spent in negotiating Rudd’s involvement in the tour.
“Peter reached out to Kevin via former mutual friends in politics and made the offer to share the stage on the tour which quickly grabbed Kevin’s interest,” the source said.
“It was tough going at first because Kevin initially thought that Peter was having a dig at him with the new tour name.
“He thought it was a less than subtle reference to the disastrous ‘pink batts’ scandal that ruptured their relationship during the Rudd Government.
“But he settled down when it was explained to him that it was merely a reference to one of Midnight Oil’s biggest hits.
“Once that was sorted, Kevin agreed to participate on the condition he could sing some of the original songs he has penned since leaving office.
“I can’t tell you what they are but I can say people will be surprised when he takes the stage if rehearsals are anything to go by.”
The band source said everyone associated with Midnight Oil was surprised at the news of Rudd’s involvement in the tour at Garrett’s invitation.
“You’ve got to hand it to Peter. He’s a smart guy,” the source said.
“Peter recognised that right now is the perfect time to build bridges with Kevin.
“They can both appear on the same stage and give the impression that all is well between them, but because of social distancing requirements for the COVID-19 pandemic, they needn’t come anywhere near each other let alone hug or even shake hands.”