The rift between former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard appears to have been healed thanks to the efforts of Mr Rudd’s former environment minister Peter Garrett and the tragic death of a former Midnight Oil band member.
The Bug recently reported on the unexpected thaw in the previously icy relations between Mr Rudd and Mr Garrett with the Midnight Oil frontman inviting the former PM to join the band’s upcoming Beds Are Still Burning national tour expected to start early next year.
According to a music industry insider Mr Garrett reached out to Mr Rudd and made the offer to share the stage and lead vocals on the tour.
“The offer quickly grabbed Kevin’s interest, although at first Kevin thought that Peter was having a dig at him with the new tour name,” the source said.
“Kevin thought the name was a less than subtle reference to the disastrous ‘pink batts’ scandal that ruptured his relationship with Peter during the Rudd Government.
“But once it was explained that it was a reference to a big Midnight Oil hit, Kevin readily agreed to join the 2021 tour.”
The industry insider said the tragic death of Midnight Oil bassist Bones Hillman last month opened the door for another rapprochement – this time between Mr Rudd and Ms Gillard.
“Peter realised he’d need another bassist. Although nobody will ever truly replace Bones, Peter knew that Julia had little-known talents as a guitarist so he sought her out to come on board,” the source said.
“Once again Kevin was a bit resistant to the idea but the opportunity to be involved in such an iconic and historic tour outweighed his doubts and he agreed to share the stage with Julia.
“They’ve been rehearsing together (main picture) and getting on like a house on fire. And their chemistry on stage is simply electrifying.
“It’s going to be a great tour and Peter couldn’t be more pleased,” the insider said.