Friday, April 10, 2015

I is for INXS


The Australian group, INXS, got their start in 1977 as The Farriss Brothers. They played small venues and pubs - much like many musical acts. Probably every bar on every corner had a long list of bands that came and went. I sometimes wonder why one group falters while another finds fame and fortune. Long ago, I decided it wasn't just musical talent. Sincerely, there's a lot a musical talent out there - names you'll never know. 

Then I remember that INXS had one thing that the others didn't: Michael Hutchence. 

Hutchence was a talented lyricist, fabulous vocalist and a stage presence that commanded your attention. The way he moved...the way he looked...the way he sang... He was the whole package, the rocking-real deal. 

Michael Hutchence...stop staring at me, Michael...never mind, it's okay.

The fact of the matter is, he wasn't the only member. I had to remind myself of that. The band that would become INXS had three Farriss brothers: Andrew, John and Tim. Gary Beers and Kirk Pengilly finished the line up.

Fame "down under" started with their first album; soon, international recognition followed with hits like  "Need You Tonight", "Suicide Blonde", "New Sensation", and "Devil Inside."

The press was quick to follow the romantic escapades of Michael Hutchence (Kylie Minoque and Bob Geldof's wife, Paula Yates, were gossip magnets). 

The group continued to perform until 2012 - but Michael Hutchence would not go the distance with them. In 1997, while on a visit with family in Australia, he was found dead in his hotel. Speculation was that he committed suicide. Others said he died accidentally. Does it matter once someone is gone?

One of my favorite INXS memories occurred a concert I attended with my pal, Jack. Just to let you know, if I'm talking about live performances, Jack's name will frequently come up. We were best pals who spent way too much money on concert tickets. 

This concert was absolutely one of the best ones I'd seen; we sang along with the hits, yelled and clapped. When the encore occurred, there was Michael Hutchence and the band in all their glory singing an all time favorite: "Never Tear Us Apart." When the wail of the saxophone started, Jack and I were by an aisle and we got up and slow danced, singing at the top of our lungs. Then we realized that people everywhere got up and started dancing, too. Pure magic. (My non-concert loving Hubzam would probably say "better him than me, honey." You can see why I needed a Jack.)

And there you have it. In the end, there is still the power of good music. And they can never tear us apart...






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49 comments:

  1. Oh I was all hubba hubba over this guy and he reminded me a little of Jim Morrison-they same raw sex appeal. I had their tape(yup tape) and played it until it was unplayable. Now I have the CD. I had heard he died from some sexual arousal thing one gets by asphyxiation -you are right though, in the end-he died and his family, friends and fans miss him

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    1. I always thought he was a little Morrison-esque, too. But oh so handsome...

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  2. Was wondering what you would do for I.
    I know the band and music but I never really followed them.
    I love the memory of you and Jack at the concert.
    Paula Yates was never good for anyone let alone herself.
    It is all very sad.

    cheers, parsnip


    cheers, parsnip

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  3. Interesting group, and I know it would amaze you if I said they were not on my radar, in the time frame they were popular, (smile). Oh well - I really enjoyed that first song, Cherdo.

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    1. Thanks, Dixie! I love that song, too. The original black and white video is awesome, too - but this Wembly performance reminded me more of seeing them in person. You can feel the energy in the arena.

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  4. The Devil Inside has a great guitar riff.

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  5. I remember I Need You Tonight. I was blown away by that song or video. I liked their other songs, too.

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    1. That was a fantastic song and the beat of that one gets stuck in my head every time I hear it.

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  6. Good morning, dear Cherdo!

    INXS was another band that I came to know through working at a television station patterned after MTV in the 1980s and 90s. We played their videos heavily, especially "New Sensation," "Need You Tonight, "Devil Inside" and "Mediate." The latter was particularly memorable for me because the song and the video technique paid homage to Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues." Michael Hutchence had an earthy, Jaggerish animal magnetism that translated well both in live performances and on film/video. Incidentally, Kylie Minogue made a live appearance in our studios and was interviewed by one of our veejays around the time she started dating Hutchence.

    Thank you very much, dear friend Cherdo!

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    1. Brother, you are one early riser. I'm pooped at 8 this morning; the whole family has some kind of allergy/sinus/cold thing going on and I think the medicine is making me bleary and unbalanced. I could go back to bed for a day - but no! I am a loyal blogger! Just not an early one.

      Once again, I love the personal stories! Kylie Minogue was a big deal back then - that's pretty cool that you had her in the studio.

      INXS and lead singer Hutchence fall into that category of "how could you not like them?" That is the sign of a true fan...the inability to fathom the fact that a group might not be some people's cup of tea.

      It's rainy today in my neck of the woods...a little weather consistency would be nice, Mother Nature. I'll bet you've got more of that pesky sunshine. Hope you're enjoying the new digs.

      Take care, Shadzilla!

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    2. Yessum, it's another perfect day in paradise here in Igloo, Iceland.

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  7. Great Cherdo, yes his legacy lives on in his contributions to the music industry - thanx for posting

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    1. ;-) Thanks for stopping by, Allie Millie!

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  8. I enjoyed INXS, but I have to admit, I was only a fan when they were really famous, and then, of course, the newspapers were full of the awful news in 1997. Great music, I hope the band and Michael are remembered for that rather than his untimely death.
    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles
    FB3X
    Wittegen Press

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    1. They made some great music and in the end, I think that is what prevails. Thanks for stopping by, Sophie!

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  9. Remember the initial uproar over Suicide Blonde? I could just picture you and Jack dancing in the aisle... sweet memory.

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    1. I never understood the big uproar over that one. :-/

      Have a great day, J!

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  10. They were one group I never bothered which much

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  11. As long as he wasn't murdered, it really doesn't matter how he died. Although people are infinitely curious, aren't they? When you read that one of your high school classmates died on Facebook, what's the first thing you check to find out? HOW! I think we want reassurance that we aren't going to die at the same age because no matter how old you are, someone your age dying is just "too young to die."

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    1. It's interesting how newspapers handle the obits. In the north, you almost always see mention of how they died. In the south - hardly ever.

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  12. Sounds like great music, although I don't remember it as well as you. Look at those "bedroom eyes" on Michael, Cherdo. Great pick for the letter "I". Have a fabulous weekend.

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    1. All you have to do, Linda, is play music continuously for about 50 years...

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  13. He sure does have a dreamy, hypnotic stare, doesn't he? ;)

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  14. You can never spend too much money on concert tickets.
    Shame how Hutchence died.

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  15. That picture of Hutchence looks a little like Jim Morrison.

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    1. Yes, it does - I wonder if Hutchence was still alive when they made that Morrison movie with Val Kilmer...Hutchence should have played that role.

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  16. CHERDO ~
    The only two "I's" that came to my mind beforehand were Janis Ian (which I didn't think you'd be using here today) and Eric Idle, whom I thought COULD be your "I" due to his work with THE RUTLES.

    Now "J" has a lot of possibilities... too many to even speculate about.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. I love the Rutles and Eric Idle...love, love, love them.

      Nailed down "J" easily. I'm wondering if you can guess "O".

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  17. You sure know your music. I'm a dunce in this field.

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  18. For me it was What You Need. When the words flashed up white on black screen in the video I thought that was cool as hell.

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    1. I forgot about that one - that was cool.

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  19. I don't know the Inxs, but I can tell from the little clip I watched that the lead singer is very professional and has a great set of lungs. Rock stars are truly amazingly talented (and singing can be exhausting) - they're a law unto themselves. Have a great weekend! :)

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  20. Last year my football team (the Port Adelaide Power) introduced Never Tear Us Apart as a countdown to the opening bounce. I believe they copied the idea from the Liverpool Football Club, but the fans certainly haven't let that dampen it. The atmosphere is electric.

    Although if you want to see how electric a Port Adelaide game game get, check this one out instead ;)

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    1. WOW!!!
      1) That second link is great - what a stadium! I love the lightning, etc.
      2) Now I want to get my hands on a NEVER TEAR US APART banner! That is too cool. I had no idea that song was tied to a sports team. Incredible.

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    2. Last night I was at a Port match and they brought the Farriss brothers in to sing it with us. The came right up to our bay and held their scarves up with us, I stood three rows away from them :)

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  21. Another 80s band. INXS... one of my all-time favorites. I still think KICK might be one of the best albums ever recorded. Every song on that album kicks. It's a thing of beauty start to finish. I wrote a post on INXS several years ago when I was doing a feature on 80s music. I'm so glad you got to see them in concert!

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  22. I am so lucky I was able to attend one of their concerts in the late 80's. They were amazing and I hate that Michael died. Then there was the tv show about 10 years ago to find a new singer. I bought one song from iTunes and then the band split. I listen to their greatest hits cd a lot on road trips.

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    1. Michael Hutchence had it all - the look, the voice. We were lucky to see them live, Holli! Once again, this is why I love YouTube...lots of live concert footage.

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Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo