Entertainment People Midnight Oil loses bass player Bones Hillman to cancer
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Midnight Oil loses bass player Bones Hillman to cancer

Bones Hillman (left) gets a hug from frontman Peter Garrett as the Oils arrive at the 2006 ARIA awards. Photo: AAP/Rick Rycroft
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Midnight Oil bass player Bones Hillman has died after losing his battle with cancer.

The iconic band announced the loss on Twitter.

“He was the bassist with the beautiful voice, the band member with the wicked sense of humour, and our brilliant musical comrade,” the Tweet said.

The New Zealand-born Hillman, 62, passed away in his Milwaukee home in the US.

Hillman, who was born played with the group on every album since 1990’s Blue Sky Mining.

“He was the bassist with the beautiful voice, the band member with the wicked sense of humour, and our brilliant musical comrade,” the tweet continued.

Bones Hillman grinds out the rhythm with the Oils. Photo: Boneshillman.com

“Bones joined Midnight Oil way back in 1987 after stints in various Kiwi bands, most notably, The Swingers.

“He played and sang on every Midnight Oil recording since Blue Sky Mining and we did thousands of gigs together.”

Hillman, who was born Wayne Stevens, put his music first, rating himself as someone who just loved playing and life on tour.

“I’m a simple musician: all I want to do is play my bass, go on tour with new people, maybe get to sit up front with the driver now and again,” he told an interviewer.

But that ambition almost never happened when he thought the invitation to try out with Midnight Oil was a practical joke.

“In 1987, I was sharing a house in Melbourne with Neil and Sharon Finn. We had been friends for years through the New Zealand music scene,” he recalled.

“One night when I got home from work, Neil told me that Rob Hirst from Midnight Oil had called, and that they were looking for a new bass player.

“I thought he was pulling my leg.

“Luckily for me, a few nights later Rob [Hirst] rang back again wondering why I hadn’t returned his call. He was actually quite serious. He offered to send me the Oils new album Diesel and Dust, and asked if I could learn a few tracks and come up to Sydney for a bit of a play.”