The Australian rock band Midnight Oil had always had a political bent so it really wasn’t that much of a surprise when its lead singer, the very tall and very bald Peter Garrett, decided to run for – and subsequently was elected to – the Australian House of Representatives.
Of course the down side of having a singer popular enough to get elected is that it tends to put a damper on a band’s career, and so Midnight Oil – whose biggest hits in the United States included “Beds Are Burning,” “Blue Sky Mine” and “Forgotten Years” – ended in 2002 when Garrett got serious about politics, and except for a handful of benefit shows in 2009, they were over.
Until a year ago, Garrett says by phone from home in Sydney, when he and the other Oils got together to see if they still wanted to play a few shows.
“Once we got in a room together and played, and it sounded exciting, we thought, ‘OK, maybe we’ll do a half dozen shows,’” Garrett says. “And it ended up a global tour.”
A tour that now brings the band back to Los Angeles and the Greek Theatre on Saturday, Aug. 19, after playing the Wiltern Theatre in May.
“They had always said, ‘Once Pete finishes politics maybe we’ll play again,’” says Garrett, who chose not to run for re-election in 2013 after serving in the federal…