An Excess of INXS - News

February 1998

February 26, 1998

Sales of Elegantly Wasted continue falling in the US. For the week ending 2/22/98, the album scanned 269 units vs. 410 the previous week (down 34%). RTD sales are at 162,976. The top three markets were Chicago (22 units), New York (19 units) and Philadelphia (14 units). In even worse news, Full Moon, Dirty Hearts scanned a measley 20 units vs. 24 units the previous week (down 17%). RTD sales are at 148,494. The top market was New York (4 units) - and then thirteen other cities came in with one unit each.

In Australia, INXS' 1994 release, Greatest Hits, appears to be ending its Top 50 run on the ARIA Album charts. It drops three places this week to #48. The double platinum album re-entered the charts following Michael's death.

February 25, 1998

U2 will perform with most of the surviving members of INXS in attendance in Sydney this Friday as a special tribute to Michael. The band members have been invited to sit in a special VIP area with their families to watch Bono and company honor Michael's memory. It is also widely rumored that Jon, Garry, Kirk, and Andrew will join U2 on stage at some point during the show. Tim is reportedly on a deep sea diving course and will not make it back in time.

February 22, 1998

At last night's U2 show in Melbourne, Bono paid tribute to Michael by saying he would like to "kick his ass" for what he did. "One" was performed in Hutchence's honor followed by "Wake Up Dead Man" almost as an eulogy. During "Dead Man" the image of Hutchence from the large screen haunted the crowd. The Hutchence figure stayed on screen as Nick Cave's "Into My Arms" flowed through the P.A.

February 21, 1998

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting today that Michael Hutchence, supposedly worth $40 million AUS at his death, may have been technically bankrupt. In an intricate system, he apparently relinquished ownership of his properties in order to minimize his tax payments. Click here to read this breaking front page news story.

February 20, 1998

The following is an excerpt from The Australian's review of U2's 1st Australian show in Perth:

U2 completed their concert with a tribute from Bono to Michael Hutchence and the song Wake Up Dead Man from Pop. Rarely have rock concerts ended on such a sombre note. Pop art images of Hutchence stayed on the screen after the band had departed, as INXS's Never Tear Us Apart played on the speakers.

Another article, from the West Australian, had the following words:

U2 saved their most poignant message for last. "This is for Michael Hutchence," Bono said as Edge fingered the exquisite intro to One. The gesture was loudly appreciated and the crowd sang with emotion as Warholesque images of different dead rockers flashed on the screen. They gave way to a giant red heart beating beneath the McDonald's arch, and then a multiple image of Hutchence as the band segued into the slow, brooding Wake Up Dead Man. As tears fell around the venue, U2 made a quiet, final exit to INXS's ballad, Never Tear Us Apart. As Bono hoped, the PopMart had turned into a cathedral. Asked about the surprisingly downbeat finale later, he was uncharacteristically reticent about speaking of his late friend. "This is his country. This is his house and we can't help thinking about him when we're here," he said.

Apparently, Bono also sang a bit of Never Tear Us Apart in a medley with the 1984 hit Bad midway through the concert, though I haven't yet been able to confirm that.

February 18, 1998

The big news in Australia right now is U2's Popmart Tour, which kicked off last night in Perth. The band has publicly dedicated the entire Australian tour to Michael, and in addition, Bono and The Edge are rumored to be performing Never Tear Us Apart as a special tribute during the tour. Bono appeared in a taped interview on Australia's Current Affairs program yesterday and discussed his feelings regarding Michael's death.

Greatest Hits slips to #45 on this week's Australian ARIA Charts.

February 14, 1998

More on the continuing sad saga that has become the Hutchence family in the wake of Michael's death... Following Tina Hutchence's remarks in the New Weekly magazine claiming Paula Yates was to blame for Michael's death, brother Rhett Hutchence has publicly announced, "I am deeply saddened and embarrassed by what my step-sister Tina has said publically about Paula and Michael's relationship." Read the latest on the warring family members in an article in today's The Daily Telegraph.

The following was written in a recent issue of Cosmopolitan. It is one of the best Michael remembrances I've read and beautifully captures his essence:

"Since his death, alot of things have been written about Michael Hutchence by many people who knew him much better than me. I didn't know him at all. And to be honest, I never understood how this guy managed to attract some of the most beautiful women in the world. Until I met him. It was early 1992 and Michael was in town with Helena Christensen. My boyfriend at the time had known Michael for years from the Sydney club scene and when we spotted them at the bar one night, he suggested we say hello. Having never been a huge Michael fan, I was more excited about the prospect of meeting a real life supermodel. I tried to play cool as introductions were made - I didn't want to seem like a groupie - but Michael was friendly, insisted we join them and went off to fetch drinks. I remember Helena telling me it was Michael's birthday on the weekend and that they were having a party - Would I like to come? "Michael really wants to have this party" She told me worriedly, "but its such late notice, no one will come!" After establishing that yes, she was serious, I gently explained to her that in Australia, invitations to a party with a supermodel and a rock god don't come up very often and that i was sure most invitees would manage to clear their schedules. The party was the most exciting and glamorous thing that had ever happened to me, filled with every Australian model, actor, starlet, musician and groovy person you could name, all eating, drinking and dancing. Michael was dressed in Morrissey Edminston and while every other women was wearing something short, tight and black, Helena stood out like a goddess in a long, pale yellow dress (Romeo Gigli - I asked). Knowing barely anyone, I was hanging out near the food when I noticed Michael across the room. He was waving and mouthing hi to someone standing behind me. As he moved closer, I looked over my shoulder to see who he was talking to; all I saw was seafood. "Hi Mia! How are you doing? Good to see you again." At that point I think I might of choked, but it didn't matter. As we chatted, I understood the whole Michael Hutchence Thing. In a room full of gorgeous women, he managed to make a nervous 19 year old feel like a princess. It wasn't sleazy, just a unique combination of charm, sincerity and an appreciation for what a woman had to say, as well as the way she looked. Since then, I've heard the same sentiments again and again. Five years later, as the world comes to terms with the death of this talented man, I will always remember my brush with the raw charisma that was Michael Hutchence."

February 11, 1998

Kirk Pengilly is putting the death of frontman Michael Hutchence behind him as he prepares for his next project - his second wedding. Kirk, who was briefly married to singer Deni Hines, is engaged to Sydney journalist Louise Hegarty and the couple are set to wed in June. But Hegarty says the couple won't be having children and instead will take up residence on a farm. She reveals, "We'll be breeding cows and planting trees and that will be all." Um, sure. Congratulations to the happy couple!

In an interview published in Australia's New Weekly, Michael's half-sister Tina claims that he had no plans to marry his lover Paula Yates - in fact he was on the verge of dumping her. According to her, the prime cause of his suicide was actually his relationship with Yates, the mother of his daughter HEAVENLY HIRAANI TIGER LILY. Tina says, "He felt trapped and boxed in. Paula could change from timid to intimidating. Michael told me he wished he could have the same Paula back that he had fallen in love with."

Greatest Hits is #41 on this week's Australian ARIA Charts.

February 5, 1998

The coroner's office in Sydney has presented its final verdict: Michael Hutchence committed suicide because of severe depression due to an on-going custody battle with Sir Bob Geldof and after taking Prozac, cocaine and alcohol. Complete details can be found at the Rest In Peace Tribute Page on this website.

Millions of dollars left by the late INXS frontman MICHAEL HUTCHENCE will be used to fund campaigns for cleaner oceans. The rocker left the bulk of his $8 million estate to green groups GREENPEACE and FRIENDS OF THE EARTH, with the remainder going to his daughter HEAVENLY HERAANI TIGER LILY. Greenpeace spokeswoman MATILDA BRADSHAW says the singer's donation will be used to back several massive campaigns being mounted this year, including one to limit the use of PVC. Bradshaw says, "Michael's donation will go into a general pot that will help us support a series of campaigns. We are primarily working on the Atlantic Frontier Campaign and also trying to persuade the oil industry to switch to alternative energy sources."

Greatest Hits checks in at #37 this week on Australia's ARIA Record Charts.

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