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Michael Hutchence 11/1997

Michael Hutchence-INXSNovember 22, 1997 – Michael Hutchence was born on January 22nd 1960 in Sydney Australia, but spent much of his early childhood in Hong Kong where at the age of eight he made his professional debut singing in a commercial for a toy company.

Back in Australia as a young teenager in high school he befriended Andrew Farriss who was a talented lyricist, with whom he co-wrote almost all of INXS’ (inExcess) songs, and who in tun has attributed his own success as a songwriter to Hutchence’s ‘genius.’

Hutchence and Farriss would spend a lot of time jamming in the garage with Andrew’s brothers. Farriss then convinced Hutchence to join his band, Doctor Dolphin, alongside two classmates, Kent Kerny and Neil Sanders. From a nearby High School, bass guitarist Garry Beers and Geoff Kennelly on drums filled out the line-up and they became serious about the idea of starting a proper band. However his parents’ breakup saw him spending time in California and it was not until 1977 that the band formally took shape as the Vegetables, followed by the Farriss Bros band and finally in 1979 as INXS. Their first album INXS put them on the map with several no 1 hits and Hutchence became the epitomy of the typical rock and roll frontman.

Hutchence became the main spokesperson for the band and, according to rock music historian, Ian McFarlane, “He was the archetypal rock showman. He exuded an overtly sexual, macho cool with his flowing locks, and lithe and exuberant stage movements”. Close friends and family, however, maintain he was more introverted than his on-stage persona, even though his moves into the arena of movie acting in the 1980s would dispute that statement.

He died a victim of love on Nov 22, 1997 at the age of 37 (Asphyxiation)

The Coroner’s Conclusion:

On consideration of the entirety of the evidence I am satisfied Michael Hutchence was in a severe depressed state on the morning of November 22, 1997. Hutchence’s blood showed traces of alcohol, cocaine, Prozac and prescription drugs.
This was due to a number of factors, including the relationship with Paula Yates and the pressure of the ongoing dispute with Sir Robert Geldof, combined with the effects of the substances that he had ingested at that time.
I am satisfied the cause of death was “hanging”.
I am also satisfied there was no other person involved in causing the death.
Nothing will be gained by holding a formal inquest.

Hutchence co-founded the rock band INXS, which sold over 75 million records worldwide.

 Hutchence attended Davidson High School, where he met and befriended Andrew Farriss. Around this time, Hutchence and Farriss spent a lot of time jamming in the garage with Andrew’s brothers. Farriss then convinced Hutchence to join his band, Doctor Dolphin.

Hutchence, the Farriss brothers, Kerny, Sanders, Beers and Kennelly briefly performed as The Vegetables, singing “We Are the Vegetables”. Ten months later, they returned to Sydney and recorded a set of demos. The Farriss Brothers regularly supported hard rockers Midnight Oil on the pub rock circuit, and were renamed as INXS in 1979.

In May 1980, the group released their first single, “Simple Simon”/”We Are the Vegetables” which was followed by the debut album INXS in October. The early records demonstrated their new wave/ska/pop style, and were followed by near constant touring with almost 300 shows during 1981 as the band developed their status as a live act. 

In October 1981, their second album Underneath the Colours was released and became a hit in Australia peaking at No. 15. 

 In October 1982, Shabooh Shoobah was released internationally on Atlantic/Atco Records, peaking at No. 52 on the US Billboard 200 and No. 46 on the Hot Pop Albums chart. In Australia it peaked at No. 5 and remained in the albums charts for 94 weeks. The single “The One Thing” brought them their first Top 30 hit in United States peaking at No 30. 

INXS undertook their first US performance in San Diego in March 1983, to a crowd of 24 patrons. Their first tour was as support for Adam and the Ants, then support for Stray Cats, The Kinks, Hall & Oates followed by The Go-Go’s. 

The album The Swing, released in April 1984, received significant attention from around the world, as “Original Sin” became the band’s first No. 1 single in Australia and was popular worldwide. During 1984, INXS toured non-stop, performing across Europe, the UK, the US and Australia. By December 1984, The Swing had gone double platinum, making it one of the five biggest domestic albums in the history of Australian music at the time.

In March 1985, the band re-entered Sydney’s Rhinoceros Studios to record their next album, together with producer Chris Thomas (Sex Pistols, Pink Floyd, The Pretenders, Elton John). As the band was finishing the recording sessions, Thomas stated that the album was not good enough and still had no “killer” track. Andrew produced a demo tape of a funk song he had been working on called “Funk Song No. 13” and evolved it into “What You Need”.

Listen Like Thieves was released in October 1985 to critical approval, reaching No. 3 on the Australian charts and No. 11 on the US charts. With the release of Listen Like Thieves, the band developed a rock sound influenced by Led Zeppelin and XTC while remaining true to the band’s original roots in Aussie pubs. It was also the first album to feature songs written by a combination of band members, with Andrew Farris and Hutchence becoming the primary songwriters.

Kick was released in October 1987 and provided the band with worldwide popularity. The album peaked at No. 1 in Australia, No. 3 on the US Billboard 200. It was an upbeat, confident album that yielded four Top 10 US singles: No. 1 single “Need You Tonight”, “Devil Inside”, “New Sensation”, and “Never Tear Us Apart”.

In October 1990, INXS released X, and scored hits with “Suicide Blonde” and “Disappear”. INXS performed at Wembley Stadium on 13 July 1991, during their “Summer XS” tour stop in London to a sold-out audience of 74,000 fans.This performance was recorded and filmed to become Live Baby Live, a live album that was released in November 1991.

From that point on, they released albums with decline in popularity but still was a major live act draw.

 On 22 November 1997, Michael Hutchence was found dead in his Sydney Ritz-Carlton hotel room.

 Hutchence and English television presenter Paula Yates had a daughter, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily.