An Excess of INXS - News

November 1997

November 30, 1997

Eight days after Michael's death, rumors continue to swirl as to what exactly happened. Rather than furthering the speculation, I thought I'd instead relate some just published news on the forthcoming Hutchence solo album. Apparently, shortly before his death Michael recorded several songs attacking nemesis Bob Geldof. On one of the songs, Put the Pieces Back Together, Hutchence accuses Geldof of trying to sabotage his relationship with Yates. Each verse ends with the singer chanting "sue me, sue me, sue me, sue me, sue me, sue me." Hutchence's close friend, Andy Gill, produced the album and says Yates is pushing for its release. "There are eight or nine finished tracks of the album and Paula certainly wants it released. She loved it," says Gill. "These songs were from Michael's heart and explain just how he was feeling, especially towards Geldof. Bob was the one person who consistently upset Michael." Police in Australia said yesterday that they will question Geldof in connection to the death. On another track, Don't Save Me From Myself, Hutchence sings of his desperation about the problems in his life. It goes, "I'm not keeping time, Get me out of here, Holding up my crime, Ready for what's sent me... Separate love from possession." Gill is quoted as saying: "The two songs have the same message. It is Michael explaining how frustrated he is, being unable to live his own life."

November 27, 1997

Michael was cremated today in a private service following the large funeral service held at St Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney. Over 2000 fans, friends, and family attended the poignant service service, which featured Nick Cave singing his ballad "Into Your Arms" for Michael. The ceremony began with "By My Side" playing, and ended with "Never Tear Us Apart." Richard Wilkins (journalist and friend) delivered the eulogy, with Andrew Farriss and Rhett Hutchence providing tributes. Michael's coffin was draped with 500 blue irises and a single yellow Tiger Lily to denote his daughter. The cask was taken out by the five remaining members of INXS and Michael's brother. Among the celebrities attending were Tom Jones, Diana Ross, Jimmy Barnes, Kylie Minogue, Helena Christensen, Midnight Oil, Richard Clapton, Jason Donovan, Kate Ceberano, and Ian "Molly" Meldrum. Among the floral tributes delivered to the cathedral was a white wreath from U2 lead singer Bono in the shape of a claddagh, an Irish symbol denoting love, friendship and loyalty.

November 26, 1997

Michael's funeral service will be tomorrow at 2:30pm in Sydney at St. Andrew's Cathedral. Though the identity of the "special" speakers has not been released yet, Tom Jones and Nick Cave are being talked about in the rumor mill. It is also rumored that Nick Cave, who is also Tiger's godfather, will sing at the nationally televised service.

In another tribute, Elton John (Mr. Tribute himself) spoke of Michael's death at his concert on Saturday night. He then proceeded to sing "Sand and Water" by Beth Neilson Chapman dedicated to all of his deceased friends from this year.

November 25, 1997

Details continue to come out slowly in the death of Michael Hutchence on Saturday in Sydney. Please read the news articles on the tribute page for complete information.

Upon word of the tragic death, tributes began playing around the world to honor the charismatic star. VH-1, MTV, MuchMusic, and other television programs broadcasted numerous INXS concerts, interviews, videos, and highlights. Kylie Minogue, shocked at the news, could say nothing other than "I can't believe it." Chris Murphy, former INXS manager: "Michael Hutchence and INXS made an immense impact on my and my family's life. A piece of our hearts was sliced away yesterday on the news of Michael's death." Australian prime minister John Howard said, "It takes from the Australian and world rock scene one of our most gifted and talented performers, and it's a very tragic event." Deputy PM Tim Fischer clearly devastated, kept repeating, "I just don't believe it!"

In a moving tribute, Bono, lead singer of U2, delivered an emotional speech at their concert Sunday night in San Antonio: "...Not only a great singer, but a great friend of ours." The band then launched into a very stripped down version of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." Two songs later, during "Staring At The Sun," they showed a picture of Michael on the huge video screen, and nothing else. At the conclusion of the set, the band performed "Wake Up Dead Man" (never performed live) and left the stage. Before the house lights came on, the PA system played "Never Tear Us Apart."

Duran Duran also paid tribute by dedicating their entire show Saturday night in Cleveland to Michael. At one point, lead singer Simon LeBon broke down on stage and started crying, mentioning that Michael was his "best friend" in the music industry. He talked about what a beautiful and caring person Michael was, and urged the crowd not to forget Paula and their baby Tiger. The band also performed a heartbreaking rendition of "Save a Prayer" for Michael. Interestingly enough, one of the tracks on Duran Duran's new album "Medazzaland" is entitled "Michael, You've Got A Lot To Answer For" and was written specifically for Hutchence as a symbol of their friendship.

Outside the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, fans congregated to share in each other's grief and sadness, leaving a shrine of flowers, letters and candles in Michael's memory.

The funeral will be held on Thursday, November 27 at 2:30pm (Wed 10:30pm EST) at St Andrew's Cathedral. The public is invited, but only family, friends, and some members of the fan club will be allowed inside the 800-person capacity cathedral. Paula Yates will wear her wedding dress dyed black to the ceremony. Also expected at the funeral are numerous rock luminaries and Hutchence's ex-girlfriends, Kylie Minogue and Helena Christensen. The funeral will be carried live by Australian television.

November 22, 1997

It is with a sad and heavy heart that I report that Michael Hutchence has been found dead in a hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton in Sydney. He committed suicide by hanging himself with a belt. I'm afraid I'm going to need some time to even conceive of such a tragedy -- so please excuse the lack of updates for the next few days.

November 21, 1997

INXS will hold a "secret gig" at the Randwick Youth Hostel this Sunday, November 23 in Sydney. The band will be performing 4 to 5 acoustic songs as a benefit for homeless children. (Whoops -- guess it's not a "secret" anymore.)

A slight increase this week in US sales of Elegantly Wasted: 466 units scanned, up 6.4% (28 units) from last week. Sales-to-date are 148,942. Chicago (59 units), New York (44 units) and Los Angeles (38 units) were the top three markets in sales this week.

An amusing article appeared in the Adelaide Advertiser two days ago: "Rock band INXS may need the extra room at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre for its December 1 concert -- to hold a few unanticipated guests. The band sent an invitation to see if any of the Adelaide crows premiership team wanted to attend the show - and the response had been "in excess" of expectations, with all 41 players with the club wanting to attend..."

November 17, 1997

San Francisco's KFOG radio will be releasing a CD of live music on Tuesday, November 18th called "LIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES, VOLUME 4" -- this will have one song recorded live by INXS back in July, while they were in town playing two nights at the Warfield. The song itself was either recorded at KFOG studios or at The Plant in Marin County. The CD will probably only be available in the SF Bay Area, and the previous 3 volumes have sold out quickly.

November 16, 1997

From allstarmag:

"...There were plenty of celebrity guests on hand Wed Nov 12 at the Viper Room in LA to see Bad Religion singer Greg Graffin get mellow with his new side project, American Lesion, and Nicklebag, fronted by Stones backup singer Bernard Fowler, who brought up a bevy of big- name special guests to the stage. An hour and a half after Graffin's performance -- and an hour into Nicklebag's set -- INXS's Michael Hutchence came up to sing David Bowie's "Suffragette City" with the group, which also includes Stevie Salas. Hutchence was followed by Counting Crows' Adam Duritz, who dedicated "I Don't Know What You've Got" to ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, who shortly thereafter got up and played guitar on the song. Duritz also sang the Beatles "I Am the Walrus," which is covered by Nicklebag on their new album, Mas Feedback on Iguana Records."

November 11, 1997

Michael Hutchence was spotted in NYC doing some work on his 1998 solo album. According to a source, he would like Tom Lord-Alge ("Elegantly Wasted") to mix some of the tracks.

November 7, 1997

Leonardo's Bride and Diane Ah Naid have been confirmed as the opening acts for INXS on December 13 in Brisbane.

With the Australian tour looming ever closer, I thought I'd offer one fan's impressions of a recent show in Toronto.

Michael Hutchence is rumored to be meeting with Michael Douglas today to discuss "film projects." Sounds intriguing!

November 6, 1997

A new Mark & Brian (LA radio show) CD will be released this Tuesday, November 11. Featured on the disc is INXS' performance of "Need You Tonight" from earlier this year.

November 5, 1997

From InMusic&Media:

Optus, sponsors of INXS' 20th anniversary tour, requested the band play a special show just for Optus' executives and their guests. The band turned it down but decided to extend it -- to an invitation only show on November 23 at the Bondi Pavilion, with all monies going for homeless youth. Meantime, Michael Hutchence is angrily denying reports he's to get married next month to Paula Yates in Capri (others had it in the French Polynesian island of Bora Bora). Newspaper reports this week suggest that Steve Vizard's TV production company has offered Hutchence and Yates a co-host job on a new music show, based on Yates' UK show 'Big Breakfast', and possibly for the Ten network. Vizard confirms he has had discussions with the two, and that they would relocate to Sydney if negotiations proved fruitful. Kirk Pengilly (who first heard about Hutch's supposed sashaying down the aisle when he read it in a newspaper) reveals that his marriage to freelance dj Louise Hegarty will take place next year. Both were last week spotted mingling in the crowd at the Ray Ban specs birthday show at the Opera House.

Another drop in US sales this week -- Elegantly Wasted scanned 480 units this week, down 16.5% (95 units) from previous week. Sales-to-date are 148,031. Chicago (48 units), New York (39 units) and Los Angeles (32 units) were the top three markets in sales this week.

November 1, 1997

INXS will launch its Australian "Lose Your Head" Tour this month on the 26th. Tickets are currently on sale for all 12 dates.

Don't forget -- VH-1 (US) will repeat INXS' performance on Hard Rock Live on Sunday, November 16.

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