June 14, 2004


Midnight Oil manager Gary Morris inspired Peter Garrett’s conversion to Christianity, according to music industry talk. So who first inspired Morris -- and, by extension, the Midnight Oil frontman?

Given Garrett’s opposition to conservative Americans, you may be surprised.

UPDATE. Malcolm Farr:

It is said the Nationals were so impressed by Mark Latham's recruitment of Peter Garrett they decided to get their own star candidate.

But they didn't know who.

So John Anderson ordered a crack dirty-tricks team to break into Latham's home, go through his CDs and report back on the Australian recordings he liked most.

Which is why Rodney Rude will head the Nats' Senate ticket at the next election.

And Imre Salusinszky:

Personally I'm supportive of a political career for Garrett, mainly because I see it as our best hope that he will never try to sing again.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 14, 2004 02:50 AM

No, I'm not surprised. Billy Graham has led hundred of thousands of people to Christ.
Sometimes I think of Mordecai Ham, who thought himself such a failure as an evangelist. But he gave an altar call in Charlotte that got a 16-year-old Billy Graham to come forward, so all in all, he did pretty darn good.

Posted by: Donnah at June 14, 2004 at 04:12 AM

Graham isn't really a political figure. He's a servant of God. His mission isn't limited to conservatives.

Posted by: Nathan at June 14, 2004 at 05:11 AM

I don't have much time for Billy Graham.

Lenin's term "useful idiot" comes strongly to mind.

Back in 1978, after a visit to Mao's China he told a Japanese newspaper "I think communism's appeal to youth is its structure and promise of a future utopia. Mao Tse-Tung's eight precepts are basically the same as the Ten Commandments, In fact, if we can't have the Ten Commandments read in the schools, I'll settle for Mao's Precepts"

After his North Korean visit he said that Kim Il Sung was a great leadier, praised Kim's calls for reconciliation and peace. He said the people of North Korea were relaxed and happy, and the Kim was like a grandfather to his people.

In 1982 he visited the Moscow Peace Conference and said: "I saw no evidence of religious persecution in Russia."

Posted by: peggy sue at June 14, 2004 at 11:20 AM

Imre Salusinszky illuminates a great point: celebs should steer clear of politics. I mean, Glenda Jackson might not have been the world's most beautiful woman, but she did have splendid breasts. Going from 'The Music Lovers' to 'Under Secretary for Transport' is clearly a loss. It is practically unheard of for an MP to get his/her tits out.

Posted by: David Gillies at June 14, 2004 at 12:04 PM

Well, David, I doubt that Ms Jackson's breasts are still in Music Lovers-era condition. That movie was released in 1971.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 14, 2004 at 12:28 PM

This is a job for Justin Timberlake.

Posted by: Sortelli at June 14, 2004 at 02:04 PM

...celebs should steer clear of politics.

David: what about this minor 60's celebrity?

Or this? (And although he didn't get in, he admittedly did much better than his namesake in the noughties...)

Posted by: TimT at June 14, 2004 at 05:54 PM

And Glenn A Baker is a devout Mormon. Surprising for such a secular field as rock music in so secular a country as Australia. Next we'll discover Molly Meldrum is a Jehovah's Witness (or, more likely, a New England Episcopalian...).

Never fear, I'm sure Phillip Adams will be quick to expose Garrett as a dangerous religious extremist who mixes theology with politics. I mean, it's not like Phillip is just using the "church and state" issue as a stick to beat conservatives with; he's genuinely and impartially dedicated to exposing religious fanatics on all sides of the political spectrum.


For our non-Australian readers: Okay, imagine that in 1984 Michael Stipe of REM ran for Congress as a Naderite or Green or Rainbow Coalition candidate, and lost, but now he's being backed to run unopposed as a Democrat without a primary ("parachuted in" using, say, the Torricelli Manoeuvre) with the Democratic Party establishment (Kerry, Daschle, Gephardt, McAuliffe, etc) all smoothing his way.

Posted by: Uncle Milk at June 14, 2004 at 09:18 PM

I'll believe Peter garret has converted when he repents for recording "Beds are Burning."

Posted by: Mike at June 14, 2004 at 09:20 PM

Rodney Rude? Patooey!

He's rude, crude, vulgar and singularly unfunny -- Chico Marx on speed.

Kevin Bloody Wilson for PM!!

Posted by: BruceT at June 15, 2004 at 12:46 PM

Best Billy Graham story I ever heard related to a crusade he ran in Melbourne years ago. An advertising billboard on the railway overpass on Glenferrie Road asked the (presumably rhetorical) question: what are you going to do when Jesus comes to Hawthorn?

Some wag added: move Peter Hudson to centre half forward.

Posted by: Hoges at June 15, 2004 at 02:19 PM