An Excess of INXS - News

November 1998

Last November the music world lost in Michael Hutchence one of the greatest international pop artists Australia has ever produced. As a tribute to Michael's life and the millions of fans he inspired as the lead singer of INXS, a special memorial service will be conducted on the anniversary of his death, at 5:00 pm (t.b.c.) on Sunday November 22nd, 1998, in the Northern Chapel of Sydney's Northern Suburbs Crematorium. A commemorative section in the grounds, which will include a memorial stone, will be completed to coincide with the tribute service. Family, friends and INXS supporters from around the world will attend the public service. It is anticipated that those attending will subsequently gather informally at a yet to be announced venue. The Hutchence family are thankful for this opportunity to join with Michael's faithful supporters to pay homage to a greatly loved Australian son.

  • Sunday, November 22, 1998, 02.20 CET
    INXS Loreley show from June 21, 1997 on WDR3 Germany
  • Sunday, November 22, 1998, 08.00 - 09.00 Australian Time
    "Michael Hutchence Anniversary Special" on Triple M (Sydney)
  • Sunday, November 22, 1998, 11.00 EST
    INXS on Saturday Night Live (1991) on Comedy Central
  • Sunday, November 22, 1998, 13.00 Australian Time
    Michael Hutchence Special, INXS Rocks The Rockies, Rockumentary, and more on VH-1/MTV? Australia
  • Sunday, November 22, 1998, 16.00 and 23.00 CET
    INXS Rocks The Rockies (Live in Aspen) on VH1 Germany
  • Thursday, November 26, 1998, 22.00 - 01.00 Australian Time
    "The J Files: INXS" on Triple J Australia
  • Friday, November 27, 1998, 20.30 - 21.00 CET
    Michael Hutchence Special on MTV Germany
  • Saturday, November 28, 1998, 01.00 - 01.30 CET
    Michael Hutchence Special on MTV Germany

November 27, 1998:

"Jimmy Barnes has told INXS they should continue without Michael Hutchence," reads a headline in today's Melbourne Herald Sun. "I was a bit wary about asking them to do it," Barnes said yesterday. "But I wanted them to get up on stage as therapy. They're great mates and I love Michael... It was a real honor, they're a unique band. I said to them 'I know Michael is a hard man to replace, but don't replace him. Find something new. I think it'd be great if they kept going." (thanks to natalie s)

It turns out that there was also a private memorial service held on the morning of November 22nd at the crematorium. The service was for family, very close friends and the band only. Jon, Andrew and Tim attended. Garry, who did not attend the morning service, showed up later that evening along with Andrew at the Cold Chisel show in Sydney. He was apparently in great spirits at the after-party, and talked about how he can't wait to start playing again. (thanks to irene and teresa)

November 25, 1998:

The Australian band Cold Chisel performed on November 22nd at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. Lead singer Jimmy Barnes dedicated the show to his close friend Michael, and paid tribute to the late singer by performing Forever Young during the encore. (thanks to nick shaw)

Kell Hutchence and Dennis Patterson have sent An Excess of INXS and Mario Ferrari's Welcome to Wherever You Are site a series of exclusive photographs from Sunday's memorial service. Mario has just created a beautiful gallery of the photographs on his site. Rather than duplicate his fine efforts, I encourage all of you to visit his site to see the exclusive shots! (The pictures have been transfered to Michael's memorial website)

November 22, 1998:

Approximately 300 fans and family gathered today to pay tribute to Michael at Sydney's Northern Suburbs Crematorium. The 40 minute memorial opened with a solo saxophone performance by David Addis, and featured Rhett Hutchence paying a moving homage to his brother. Following the ceremony, Kell unveiled a beautiful sandstone memorial on the grounds of the Crematorium, located about 100 meters from the main chapel where Michael was cremated. The memorial features Michael's hand-written lyrics to Shine Like It Does. A bench has also been erected opposite the memorial for visitors wishing to sit and reflect. Pastor Dennis Patterson said, "Michael would have hated such a public gift but it's not for him. It's for a little girl, a little girl who will one day grow into a young woman, and who will come her and reflect upon her father". Several news articles on the memorial have been added to the Articles page on this site. In addition, Donna, one of the fans who attended the memorial, has put up a beautiful page of photographs documenting the event.

One of the messages read aloud was a greeting from the remaining members of INXS. The following is a full transcript of their message:

"On behalf of the members of INXS and their families, we wish to extend our love and condolences to Michael's family at their memorial service. We wish to voice our appreciation and acknowledge the fans' dedication and efforts they have made to show their respect and affection for Michael. We too miss him dearly and share your feelings of great loss. We hope everyone respects our need to mourn privately and in our own way. With love and our best wishes to all of you.
Andrew, Jon, Garry, Tim and Kirk."

According to today's Sun-Herald, the remaining INXS members have been working on a tribute, completing preliminary work on an album of unreleased material. The band members will take a break over Christmas and might return to the studio early next year. Close friends of the band and a select group of Mercury Records executives who have heard the tracks at Sydney's 301 Studios have said they are "fantastic" and a fitting legacy from Hutchence and the band. Most of the songs are tracks that did not make it on to INXS's last two albums, Elegantly Wasted and Full Moon, Dirty Hearts. "The sessions were very casual; the guys are doing everything at their own pace.", a spokesman said. Whether the album is ever released is still to be decided by the band members. "Of course, there's still alot of emotion involved, and they're split as to whether the album will do Michael justice," a friend of the band said.

It has also been announced that the recent Mushroom Records' "Concert of the Century" will be released as a video and 3-CD set next month in Australia. INXS performed The Loved One and Good Times with Jimmy Barnes for the show's encore. "My impression was that they felt enormous satisfaction getting back on stage", rock guru Glenn A. Baker said in today's Sun-Herald. "I looked at Tim's face, and with every strike of the strings his smile got broader."

November 21, 1998:

The memorial for Michael Hutchence will take place tomorrow at Sydney's Northern Suburbs Crematorium at 5pm. For those who can't make the trip to Sydney, please visit the chat room and share your memories and remembrances with your on-line INXS family.

Kell appeared on Australia's Saturday National Today TV progam this morning with Richard Wilkins, who you may remember gave a eulogy at Michael's funeral last year. Mr. Hutchence read out a letter from Karen which originally appeared on this sites's message board on November 12th under the heading "Dear Michael." Here is a reprint of the truly beautiful and heartfelt letter:

Nearly 12 months have passed and still, I can't help but feel it's all been some horrible mistake. Surely they got it wrong? Can't be you, not you.. I don't think it was meant to be that way, and I don't think you did either -- not in a rational moment, never in your wildest dreams. A crazy set of disjointed, seemingly minor circumstances that collided together when there was no one to help you see a way out. It seems impossible to let go of the "whys" and "what ifs." In my worse moments, I feel you must be crying a bucket of tears a day to see what's going on down here.. Your family in disarray, Paula crazy with grief, losing "all your beautiful girls," getting caught up with some loser in an effort to drive away the numbness she must feel, and Tiger, growing away from the last day she ever saw you, every day.. Isn't it obvious that they're all trying to deal with the unimaginable? A task too great for most of us? And the ever ready microphones and cameras, waiting to catch the odd tactless word or gesture, and send it like an arrow in tomorrow's headlines right into the hearts of your other loved ones, dividing them when really all that will get them (and us) through is to hold on together. My littlest boy was born on your birthday. He's just six months younger than Tiger, and so often I look at him and think, how could you bear to miss out on this, you'll never know that about Tiger, how much they change from week to week.. And the weeks keep adding up, all that time without your voice, your hug, your kiss. I guess in a too-short 16 months you did an awful lot of loving, maybe enough to last her a lifetime. She's only got to look at those photos of the two of you together, when you were laughing just like any love-struck-silly dad, to know how much you cared about her. I hope you can see Tiger, watch over her. She's just a kid now, but I hope she finds the answers easy when she's old enough to start wondering. I guess it's up up to your family, and friends, and maybe even us in a small way. We've GOT to get over what's happened, and start celebrating what you've left to us. Your music. Wow, what a legacy. Your image. Sexy, soulful, intelligent. Not my type at all if you look at my real-life choices, but I could never resist my guilty obsession! And your friends, family, the ones you've touched, they're the lucky ones, even though their pain must be unbearable. They'll spend their lives remembering moments with you, that probably seemed so inconsequential at the time, now cause for a smile or tear or tingle. It's no doubt all sentimental mush -- but it IS time to dust off those records I've been too heartsore to play. I want to see your name again in bookstores and music shops when the news is good. I don't want everything you've achieved, felt important, expressed so well, to be buried too. I'm just a fan, but you spent a lot of your adult life proving we meant something to you. We will always, always miss you, but if we hold you close in our hearts and minds, and learn to laugh and sing as well as cry over you, then you won't ever truly leave us. As they say, Michael, love and peace.

Garry Gary underwent finger reconstruction this week at Australia's Royal North Shore Private Hospital for a fracture he suffered under circumstances unknown.

Philadelphia's Y100 will be releasing a disc of on-radio live appearances this Tuesday, November 24. INXS' Never Tear Us Apart has been selected to appear on the CD. You may recall that Michael, Andrew, and Kirk performed a four song acoustic set in the Y100 Sonic Studio's last September as part of the promotional effort for Elegantly Wasted. Check out the full track listing here.

November 15, 1998:

Paula Yates continued her on-going shenanigans by ripping into next weekend's memorial service for Michael in Sydney. According to today's Sun-Herald, she said there was "absolutely no way" she would consider going to the memorial service being organised in Australia by Hutchence's father Kell and indicated she would never forgive him for launching legal action to snatch custody of Tiger Lily in August. "I won't ever put myself or Tiger Lily in any position which would enable us to be hurt any more by Michael's family," Yates said. Following a suicide attempt this summer, Paula checked into a private clinic for treatment. After a much criticized affair with Kingsley Okeke, a fellow patient and heroin addict, she dumped Okeke and is apparently now trying to concentrate on Tiger Lily and a new television career. (thanks to karen for transcribing this article)

November 14, 1998:

The remaining five members of INXS performed together for the first time since Michael's death one year ago last night before 75,000 people at Mushroom Records' 25th Anniversary show in Melbourne. They concluded the all-star concert by performing The Loved One with Jimmy Barnes and then an extended version of Good Times with Jimmy Barnes and Johnny Diesel. Other performers like Tim Friedman (The Whitlams), Kylie & Danni Minogue, and Mark Seymour joined them on stage for the extended version of The Lost Boys hit song. Jimmy Barnes told the crowd that he was honored to "play with these guys" and that he wished Michael was there. Mushroom Records has graciously allowed the performance to be available on-line for the next month at Addicted to Noise (Australia) via Real Video.

In other news, SonicNet reports that INXS' manager Martha Troup has done an abrupt about-face and squashed talk of any tribute concerts for Michael in January. "We're not going to do either tribute," said Troup, referring to plans she'd previously revealed to honor the singer with simultaneous shows in Sydney and New York. "It's not the appropriate time, and I just don't think we're all ready for it right now." Instead, Troup said she had some "other ideas" about honoring Hutchence. "We have some other things we might release," Troup said, declining to go into specifics about recordings, "and at another point, we might do a show in New York at a later date." Kell Hutchence's memorial in Sydney on November 22nd will still be taking place, though band members will not be attending. "This will be the one and only [memorial event]," Kelland Hutchence said. "We won't do this every year. It's the first memorial service as a tribute to my darling son and his great achievement in the music industry. That's what it's all about."

November 6, 1998:

Details on INXS' appearance a few days ago -- Kirk, Jon, and Andrew were on hand at Sydney's Children's Hospital to help open a new room sponsored by the Starlight Foundation. The trio performed Never Tear Us Apart with two Starlight personnel. Kirk was on vocals and guitar, Andrew on guitar, and Jon played tambourine.

SonicNet reports today that a tribute concert has been confirmed to take place in Australia on January 22, 1999. "Troup [INXS' manager] said the surviving members of the veteran band -- Garry Gary Beers (bass), Kirk Pengilly (guitar/saxophone) and brothers Andrew Farriss (guitar/keyboards), Jon Farriss (drums) and Tim Farriss (guitar) -- will be involved in the tribute concert, although she would not yet reveal the names of the other artists expected to participate." In addition, the article quotes Troup with respect to the November 22nd memorial service in Sydney: "The band will not be playing," Troup said, quashing published rumors that INXS would be debuting unreleased compositions during the service.

November 4, 1998:

INXS have apparently performed live today for the first time since Michael's death. Though I have no confirmed details at this time, the performance featured Kirk on vocals and was for the benefit of either the Starlight Foundation or the Sydney Children's Hospital. More details as soon as they become available!

Following a storm of protests, JamTV have amended their October 30th news story that implied INXS would be attending and performing at a Hard Rock Cafe on November 22 (Michael's death anniversary) and then again on what would have been Michael's 39th birthday in January. At this time, the remaining five members of INXS are not expected at the November 22nd memorial service, or at any of the Hard Rock Cafe fan-sponsored get-togethers.

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