Peter Gifford

Peter Gifford (born 5 April 1955), sometimes known as “Giffo,” is an Australian musician. From 1980 until 1987 he played bass guitar for Australian rock band Midnight Oil.

Midnight Oil

Peter is credited with creating a significant part of the tight, driving sound that was the Oils’, described as being an aggressive bass guitarist. He played on many of the band’s most popular albums, including Place without a Postcard (1981), (1982), Red Sails In The Sunset (1984) and Diesel and Dust (1987), as well the band’s two studio EPs, Bird Noises (1980) and Species Deceases (1985).

He is credited with the bass lines of some of the band’s most popular songs, including “Only the Strong”, “US Forces”, “Power and the Passion”, “Best of Both Worlds”, “When the Generals Talk”, “Progress”, “The Dead Heart”, “Put Down That Weapon”, “Dreamworld” and “Beds Are Burning”.

Gifford joined the band in 1980 after hearing on the radio about the auditions for a replacement bass guitar player for Andrew ‘Bear’ James. He was actually driving over the Sydney Harbour Bridge to work as a roadie at the time. Andrew James was quite ill by this time and he had to withdraw from the band. The band was looking for a much more aggressive style of bass playing (an ‘animal’ as described by guitarist Jim Moginie) and Gifford fitted perfectly.

Gifford predominantly played a Fender Precision bass guitar and this can be seen in the ‘Oils On The Water’ Goat Island (Sydney, Australia) concert in 1985. His bass solo work in live performances of “Stand in Line” was his signature. Other songs featuring great bass line by Gifford include “No Time for Games”, “Don’t Wanna be the One”, “Written in the Heart”, “Lucky Country”, “Power and the Passion”, “‘Somebody’s Trying to Tell Me Something” as well as the songs from the Species Deceases EP. He also played the Chapman Stick on the tracks ‘Sleep’ and ‘Who Can Stand in the Way’ on the Red Sails in the Sunset album and in concert (most notably during the ‘Oils on the Water’ gig documented on the Best of Both Worlds DVD).

Gifford contributed significantly to backing vocals for the band, and is credited by longtime producer Nick Launay as being a significant contributor in the recording studio.

In Australia, the Oils were most popular and successful in the 1980s and the sound Gifford brought to the band was an important part of that.

Business interests

After leaving the band, he started Wicked Weasel, a direct marketing business specialising in micro bikinis. The company has built an international reputation for female swimwear and underwear.

On 25 February 2016 (settlement scheduled for 24 March 2016) he sold all interests in Wicked Weasel and related entities.

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