Midnight Oil One Of Vernon Reid's Biggest Influences

Living Colour axeman loves Aussie music

Midnight Oil One Of Vernon Reid's Biggest Influences

By Ronny Lerner

Ahead of Living Colour’s highly-anticipated tour of Australia next month, the band’s guitarist Vernon Reid has told Triple M that Aussie music has played an influential role in his life.

In particular, Reid recalled the first Midnight Oil concert he ever attended as a “gobsmacking” experience which forever changed his life.

Living Colour toured Australia last year and next month marks their third Australian tour in the space of four years. Reid attributes the strong ties between Australia and his funk metal-pioneering band to his love of bands like Midnight Oil, INXS and AC/DC.

"Back in the 80s there was a club called The Ritz (in New York) and The Ritz was a big club and there was a band called Midnight Oil that played at The Ritz,” Reid told Triple M.

“And I saw them and ... I had never heard of the band before and I had never seen them before and I happened to be at The Ritz and they played a set that blew my mind clear out of my skull.

“It was unbelievable ... I was like, ‘What the hell? This is incredible’.

“Australian music had become a part of my life so the first time we got to play there it was very special to be there.

“I met Peter Garrett and he was super cool when I met him ... I was pre-disposed to dig it (Australian music).”

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Living Colour’s blistering debut album ‘Vivid’, and Reid revealed that the band would be playing songs off that album on their Australian tour that they don’t play very often, such as ‘Broken Hearts’ and ‘Which Way To America’. 

The best-known song from that album, and arguably their biggest ever hit, was ‘Cult Of Personality’ and given the leadership style of America’s current president Donald Trump, Reid said it was “eerie” to think that the band wrote the lyrics to that song 30 years ago.

“Now we have a situation that the ‘Cult Of Personality’ is made 100 percent manifest right now,” he said. 

“It’s eerie the way a lot of things we said are current right now ... we tried to warn you all, we tried to warn you. The prophets are never happy people,” he chuckled. 

Get your tickets to Living Colour’s Australian tour by clicking here.


Living Colour’s Australian Tour

December 15: Perth (Astor Theatre)

December 17: Adelaide (The Gov)

December 19: Melbourne (170 Russell)

December 20: Brisbane (Triffid)

December 21: Byron Bay (The Northern)

December 22: Sydney (Metro Theatre)