Next up on the playlist entitled “Songs From Darren” is “Redneck Wonderland”, by Midnight Oil. Now, the Oils have never featured terribly high on my list of must-listens. In fact, aside from having a soft spot for “Bus To Bondi”, the only track of theirs I ever have a hankering for is the atypical, and Peter Garrett-less, “Weddingcake Island”, from the “Bird Noises” EP.
So, I have nothing whatsoever to say about “Redneck Wonderland”. But I will say this. Peter Garrett has long been one of the most recognisable of Aussie Rock Stars. (It’s hard to overlook a six-foot-plus singer with bald head, Akubra hat, charisma to burn and a dance that he seems to have learnt from St Vitus.) He made the decision to move into politics. He must have known that joining a mainstream political party would cause his personal beliefs, many of which are well known (and admirable), to clash with the party line which he would be forced to toe. And so it has come to pass. Thus far, Garrett the politician hasn’t filled me with confidence. He is trying, but he is also struggling. I wish him well, because his heart is so clearly in the right place. But, in what is a complete inversion of the well-known wannabe-rock-star admonition, I kinda wish somebody had said to him, “Peter, don’t give up your night job”.