An Excess of INXS - News

December 1997

December 31, 1997

Happy New Year! I don't think there's anyway it could be worse than this past one...

Michael Hutchence has left most of his $12.5 million (Australian) fortune to Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth according to Australian music industry columnist Christine Eliezer. The remainder of his estate has apparently been willed to daughter Heavenly Heraani Tiger Lily, with little, if any, provisions for Paula Yates. Eliezer cited an INXS spokesperson as saying that Hutchence had less than expected accumulated wealth because he had quietly given away much of it to various charities over the years. His favorite targets, said the spokesperson, were those pertaining to sick and underprivileged children.

The video for Elegantly Wasted made the Top 10 on MTV Latino's Top 100 of the year! A big thank you to everyone in Latin America for making the album such a huge success!

Greatest Hits is at #38 on this week's ARIA Album charts. It has just been certified double platinum in Australia.

December 25, 1997

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from An Excess of INXS!

In People's year-end ode to the fallen entertainers of this past year, they feature the following quote from U2 drummer Larry Mullen: "Sometimes lead singers relate only to other lead singers. It's kind of this ego thing. But Michael wasn't like that at all. He was a really sweet guy, a very nice guy to everyone he met. He was the consummate pop star. And he had so much fun with it all. I really miss that about him. I love having people like that around, and there really aren't many like him, people with his kind of spunk." You can visit their on-line page by clicking here.

Guitarist Steve Vai recently named Elegantly Wasted as one of his ten favorite records from 1997. You have good taste, Steve.

December 18, 1997

According to Cyber-Sleaze, Michael's solo album recorded with ex-Gang Of Four guitarist Andy Gill has a release date set for next Spring. Gill says nine songs were finished and mixed before the INXS singer's death last month. He expects a label deal to be negotiated in January and adds that INXS's label, Mercury, would be an obvious choice. He says, "It has been a terrible time and people have had other things to do rather than negotiate with record companies."

Gill also added in an interview with The Net that "It's very different from INXS: "There's a deeper, richer kind of feel, kind of cinematic...wide quality to it. It isn't kind of very up pop songs - it's more mid-tempo and there's a sort of darker feel to it. Lyrically it's fairly autobiographical but it isn't a bunch of pop songs. It is kind of a mature record".

Elegantly Wasted scanned 1,450 units in the US this past week, down 6.4% from last week (99 units). Sales to date are at 155,378. New York (126), LA (117) and Chicago (115) were the top 3 markets in sales this week. Full Moon, Dirty Hearts scanned 56 units, down 16.4% from last week (11 units). RTD sales are at 148,094. New York (14), Chicago (6) and Boston (3) were the top 3 markets in sales this week.

December 17, 1997

The toxicology reports on Michael's death have been delayed, and will not be released to the public until February 1998. The reports are expected to reveal that Michael consumed a mix of alcohol and prescription anti-depressants on the night he died.

INXS have released another statement to the media: "For those being propositioned for comment on INXS, all books currently being written are unauthorized and are without the bands permission or co-operation."

Greatest Hits moves down to #33 this week on the Australian ARIA record charts. It is currently certified platinum (70,000 units scanned) down under.

December 15, 1997

As an addendum to their just-released interview, INXS have released the following press release:

"The manager of INXS, Martha Troup, and the five band members, Tim Farriss, Andrew Farriss, Garry Gary Beers, Kirk Pengilly and Jon Farriss, wish it to be known that the band is not auditioning for replacement singers following the recent death of their close friend and professional colleague, Michael Hutchence, as reported in last weekend's Sydney Sun Herald. The article that ran in the the newspaper has released an unprecedented flood of media and public inquiries (some wanting to audition) which the band feels is necessary to stem. The band is still deep in a mourning phase of grief and request that media speculation about their future plans be put aside for the time being. They have currently made no other plans other than to take a big break."

December 14, 1997

INXS' interview with George Negus has been released to the media -- Click here to read the interview, courtesy of iZine.

December 11, 1997

INXS' interview with journalist George Negus will be released to the media on Monday the 15th, or possibly sooner based on how long it takes to prepare the outgoing cassettes.

Elegantly Wasted scanned 1,549 units this past week in the US, down 35.2%. Top three markets were New York (118), Chicago (113) and LA (89). Full Moon, Dirty Hearts scanned 67 units, down 43.7%. Top three markets were New York (19), Chicago (4) and Philly (3). In Australia, Greatest Hits moved up two more spots to #23 on the album charts.

Boy George, commenting on Michael's death: "If I had to pick one star who was destined for an early death, I would never have chosen Hutchence, despite his obvious love of the high life, the relentless drug rumours and the early morning police raid at Paula's pad. I have been trying to make sense of it ever since I heard the shocking news. I'm honestly very distressed. I had known Michael casually for several years. He was friendly and sociable and I liked him very much. He was one of those people you meet and feel that you've known for ever. The last time I saw him was at a Versace fashion dinner. He came and sat at our table and introduced himself to the guests. My young friend Benny, who lives and works in the real world, laughed and said: "I think we all know who you are!" Hutchence played the big pop star on stage and in the media but one-to-one he was a very sweet, normal man. With his band INXS, he also made some timeless music--like the brilliant and funky Need You Tonight with its haunting chant, "I'm lonely, cause I'm not sleeping." How sad that someone so young, handsome and talented has died in this way."

December 9, 1997

While the world waits for the INXS press conference to be aired, rumors are swirling that the band will indeed march on. InMusic&Media today reports, "At this stage, it looks most likely that the band will continue, at least to polish off about 80 tracks in existence with Hutchence's voice. Among those tipped to join have been Jimmy Barnes and former Southern Sons' singer Jack Jones -- both have denied they have even been approached. But Barnes says that if close friends INXS ask for help in the studio, he will most certainly give it. The possibility is that a singer from overseas could also be involved."

December 8, 1997

Australian actress Kym Wilson, believed to be the last person to see Michael Hutchence alive, has rejected reports of a sex and drug orgy in his Sydney hotel room on the night he died. In an exclusive interview with Woman's Day, Wilson said, "It was a night catching up with this very close friend trying to find out the result of a court case about his family." Wilson was paid $150,000 for the interview, which she is donating to a trust for Tiger, Michael and Paula's infant child.

INXS hold a press conference today with George Negus to discuss everything from their reactions to Michael's death to the future of the band. The interview will be released free-of-charge to national and international press "soon." The band's public relations representatives said band members have refused all offers of payment for an interview.

In London, Paula Yates is reported to have sold her exclusive story to the celebrity-heavy Hello magazine for a reported 500,000 pounds (about $1.1 million). According to reports, the 36-year-old needs the money to cover an expected legal wrangle over Hutchence's estate which is believed to be worth more than $20 million.

Also, the World Entertainment News Network reports that "Publishers are to press ahead with a no-holes barred biography of pop star KYLIE MINOGUE despite talk of a re-write following the death of rocker MICHAEL HUTCHENCE. KYLIE by DINO SCATENA presents lurid details of the couple's affair, and tells how the NEW SENSATION singer, found hanged in a Sydney hotel last month (NOV97), transformed the I SHOULD BE SO LUCKY singer from the girl next door to hard-living rock chick. Scatena writes, "Michael led Kylie to the dark heart of his rock'n'roll world. It took him time to persuade Kylie to start smoke dope and taking Ecstasy. She eventually relented. On some outings, Kylie looked much worse of wear, stumbling downstairs, crashing out on lounges." Publishers PENGUIN considered a re-write to include her grief at Hutchence's death, but decided this week to leave the text in tact for the April 1998 release in Britain."

December 5, 1997

ATN reports that "R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe threw a Thanksgiving soiree for his pals in U2 following the group's Nov. 26 show at the Georgia Dome. Stipe rented out the Mumbo Jumbo restaurant in Atlanta for the evening and was joined by bassist Mike Mills (guitarist Peter Buck was busy working on the new Tuatara album and recently departed drummer Bill Berry was a no-show), the Irish rockers, members of Pylon, Olivia Tremor Control and actor Lukas Haas (Witness). The party chowed-down on vegetarian sushi until 4 a.m. in what one attendee described as an "Irish wake" for the late INXS singer, Michael Hutchence, whose body was found hanging from a leather belt in a Sydney, Australia hotel room on Nov. 22 ... "

Ray Manzarek, keyboardist for the Doors, commented on Michael's death last week during an interview with the Toronto Sun. When asked which singers today come close to possessing the same wild, sexy stage presence of [late singer Jim] Morrison, Manzarek responded, "You know what? Michael Hutchence. Poor, late Michael Hutchence. I liked him very much. I thought he was very good and I certainly liked the music that band made; INXS was a very good band. What a tragedy. He was going to get married and he was going on a tour and everything. Did you hear anything about Prozac? Some people have said that Prozac is, for some people -- very few -- a suicide drug."

Cyber-Sleaze reports that "A grieving PAULA YATES checked into a clinic in southern England last night to be treated for her grief over the death of her rock star lover MICHAEL HUTCHENCE. The British TV host has sought professional help to come to terms with the death of the INXS singer in Sydney, on November 22nd. The 37 year-old hopes the therapy sessions will give her the strength to return to the London home she shared with Hutchence, their 16 month-old daughter and her three other daughters by ex-husband BOB GELDOF. Yates has also issued a statement saying she is "deeply wounded" by suggestions that Hutchence had sex with soap actress KYM WILSON, 24, before he was found hanged in his hotel room."

Australian rocker and INXS collaborator Jimmy Barnes has written a poem about Michael. Click here to read it!

December 3, 1997

Elegantly Wasted sold 2,390 units this week - up 132%. Release-to-date sales are at 152,370. LA (177 units), Chicago (175 units) and NY (172 units) were the top 3 markets. FMDH scanned 119 units - up 164%. RTD sales are at 147,968. NY (26 units), Chicago (13 units) and LA (10 units) were the top 3. In Australia, Greatest Hits has returned to the Top 50 albums chart at a respectable #25.

A report published today at Addicted to Noise reveals the band has upwards of 80 unreleased songs in their vault, many of which I'm sure will eventually be released. Also, "While the future of INXS still hangs in the balance, [INXS' Australian Publicist] Deacon strongly denied a report in the tabloid newspaper the Daily Telegraph that quoted guitarist/saxophone player Kirk Pengilly as saying the band would continue on without Hutchence. The publicist did say that she didn't expect that the band would be touring any time soon, and that if they eventually decide to go on the road again, it would probably be under a different name." In addition, "They will hold a press conference of their own that is tentatively scheduled for Monday. The appearance, during which they will be interviewed by an as-yet-unnamed and "well-known, award-winning Australian journalist" will be videotaped and made available to media and wire services. "They'll talk about themselves, the future, Michael and other things," Deacon said of the planned 10- to 15-minute appearance. "They want to talk to their fans, but they're still destroyed at this moment, just so upset and fragile."

December 2, 1997

Kirk Pengilly has told the Sunday Telegraph that the band is still thinking about the future following the tragic death of Michael Hutchence on November 22. He said that the band was considering recording a special musical tribute to Michael, due to the fact that there is enough unreleased material "lying around" to make a new album possible. "We're just getting over the funeral and we have a lot of things that we need to talk about."

Many grieving fans have been emailing me asking for verifications on the latest rumors being churned out by the British tabloids. Just to demonstrate what lengths the so-called media will go to for the sake of a few more sold newspapers, check out this story from E! Online: "A source, identified as a 'member of the Michael's entourage,' told the News Of The Week that Michael was driven to suicide because he feared he had a malignant brain tumor. The reputed insider says Hutchence spoke of how he'd do 'a Kurt' before he allowed cancer to sap him of his ability to write and perform music -- 'a Kurt,' in this case, being an apparent reference to Kurt Cobain, the troubled Nirvana frontman who killed himself in 1994." They're pretty sick bastards, aren't they?

For the week ending Wednesday, November 26, Elegantly Wasted scanned 1,030 units - up 121%. Sales-to-date are at 149,978. Full Moon Dirty Hearts increased 350% from 10 units to a whopping 45. RTD sales on FMDH is 147,847. The lastest sales figures will be released tomorrow.

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