INXS: Michael Hutchence In Excess

By Marianne McKim
November 29, 2001

photo courtesy of Renee Tomcanin

A band that had it all and was ready to conquer the world was unfortunately cut short a few years ago. INXS was a band that was around for twenty years and had numerous albums and countless hits. INXS is still around today, but they are definitely not the same without their fearless lead singer, Michael Hutchence, with his sexy, tantalizing voice and sultry ways.

They come from the land down under. Farriss and his brothers Jon Farriss and Tim Farriss were always involved with music and were playing instruments since they were young boys. Finally, they decided they should form a band. This band, originally known as The Farriss Brothers, consisted of Andrew Farriss, Jon Farriss, Tim Farriss, Garry Beers, Kirk Pengilly and Michael Hutchence. They started out as being a pub band in Australia. After a name change, they became one of the biggest bands of their time.

Many people agree Michael Kelland Hutchence had the stage presence that made people notice him. He is often compared to legends Jim Morrison and Mick Jagger. Born on January 22, 1960 in Sydney, Hutchence was the lead vocalist in the band.

In 1978 The Farriss Brothers spent ten months writing, rehearsing and playing at local pubs in the western part of Australia. In 1979 they returned to Sydney and started playing at least six or seven nights a week in local bars. They also grabbed the attention of Gary Morris who was the manager of Midnight Oil, a popular group during this time. The Farriss Brothers toured with Midnight Oil for a short time, they then dropped Morris as their manager and were signed by Chris Murphy to a top label. During this time the band decided to change their name from The Farriss Brothers to INXS meaning “In excess.” The newly named band made their live debut in September of that year in New South Wales. This first concert started off a long succession of the band and numerous hits.

This band sold over 20 million records, played thousands of shows, had numerous hits, MTV Video Awards, British Awards, and Grammy nominations in 17 years, but all this happened with the same six men that started this band in 1977.

Even though lead singer, Michael Hutchence had his depressive moments, no signs were showing in November of 1997. The band was in Australia celebrating their 20th anniversary and just about ready to head off their “Lose Your Head Tour” on November 25.

On November 22, 1997 Hutchence was found hanging in his hotel room. He was only 37 years old. It is suggested that this was a suicide but many do not believe that he was capable of taking his own life. His girlfriend, and mother of his baby, did not accept the fact that he took his own life and believed there was foul play involved. However, a blood analysis revealed that he had cocaine, alcohol and Prozac in his system. Family, friends, band members and fans were in complete shock regarding this news. Hutchence is missed by many and even though INXS still plays shows, they will never be the same. He was a beautiful individual inside and out and could magically transform words into magnificent lyrics. It wasn’t just his captivating looks, his stunning curly hair, his gorgeous smile and mesmerizing eyes, it was who he was and what he wanted to conquer in life. Even though he is no longer with us, he is still on the top of my list, right under Eddie Vedder.

In Michael’s own words, “Hate baby hate, when there’s nothing left for you. You’re only human. What can you do? It’ll soon be over. Don’t let your pain take over you. Love baby love, it’s written all over your face. There’s nothing better we can do than live forever.well that’s all we’ve got to do.”

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Marianne McKim

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