The stories all start in one of two ways yet the ending is always the same.

Michael Hutchence entertained millions of people but his true legacy is told by the thousands and thousands of individuals he met.

So on that first meeting – whether you approached him or he approached you – he would look you straight in the eye, repeat your name on introduction and the room suddenly seemed empty of everyone but you.

As long as you were polite, of course. Michael was a man of manners.

Thanks to the online community of fans who have shared their memories of a close encounter with Hutch, we know that the first impression was universally generous. Unless you were a paparazzi photographer.

At a backstage meet and greet, a doorstop at the hotel or gig or a random crossing of paths, the lead singer of INXS appeared to welcome any opportunity to engage with humankind.

And engage he did. Those who shared an intimate relationship with the enigmatic entertainer evidence the fierce loyalty Michael inspired among friends and fans by having kept their memories sacred since his death.

Yet even those whose acquaintance with Michael was brief remember its every detail.

Those occasions were never as brief as the cursory and rushed handshake, photo or scrawled signature which suffices as communication with the fans these days.

The most time-monitored introductions to Michael invariably involved a few minutes conversation and ended with a hug. That's the same ending.

Perhaps that is the reason so many who loved Michael and his INXS brothers have made comment of their egalitarian regard whether you be famous or fan. Bono or Bill, Kylie or Karen, these men wore their down-to-earth Australianness on their sleeve.

Consider in Michael's case that this was the behaviour of a bona fide rock star, a man who fronted a band to command the world's greatest stages.

A performer whose liquid leonine stalk punctuated the ebb and flow of the concert; whose tousled curls shrouded one eye while exposing a daring glare from the other; and whose easy grin of amusement could captivate thousands in a capacity crowd.

On stage, Michael was the pure embodiment of the rock'n'roll frontman. He weaved the same spell as Jagger, Morrison, Daltrey and company, the masters of the alchemy of sex, charisma, poetry, bravado and danger.

So many amazing gigs from the unforgettable Wembley Stadium stand at the height of INXS's success to the sexually-charged sweatfests of their endless Australian pub tours, Hutch's power to connect with an entire room was undisputed.

Off stage, he was rarely the centre of attention, retiring to a corner of the party with preferably one, maybe two people, listening intently.

When Michael responded, the well-travelled, much-read, inquisitive and intelligent man was revealed.

Whether a discussion about the arts of the family, his open-ness about his own opinions and feelings and curiosity about yours was remarkable for someone for whom success afforded entrée to the elite, the realms of the rich and famous from the South Of France to New York, from Sydney to South Africa.

He was also king of the after party, a gregarious and generous host who probably hosted more than his fair share of early morning soirees in his hotel room.

Michael was a gypsy, partly by design, partly because of the vagaries and demands of the rock'n'roll life.

Having been brought up in Australia, Hong Kong and the US, eventually also living in London and France, he was rarely settled, seemingly preferring to define his environment by people rather than place.

Like any human whose life story is cut short, Michael Hutchence is remembered by those who didn't know him by his myriad parts.

For those who knew him, the sum was so much larger.

13 Responses to “About”

  1. Man, INXS was great. I just watched Adventureland for the 3rd and 4th time tonight and of course during the credits is the brilliant INXS song "Don't Change." Really makes me miss Michael. Huge influence on me in my childhood and teenage years (I'm 34 as I write this).
    Thanks, and RIP, Michael…

  2. Thank you for your blog.Really thank you! Much obliged.

  3. Luc says:

    I think the saddest thing was Michael leaving US the way he did… But I must say that when you look at his 1997 footage, you can see that, without being absolutely sure, something was terribly wrong with him… What makes me sad is that there's no one to replace him. Bono is pretty good, Dave Gahan is a showman… but they're not Michael…

  4. Barb says:

    I agree you could see something wasn't right with him, Luc. I saw some Inxs footage from 1997 on Youtube a couple of weeks ago that I really wish I hadn't. Anyway, I agree that Michael was irreplaceable.

  5. Sean says:

    I remember warmly smiling and genuine Michael the way he was when I met the band at the hotel lobby the morning after a show in Ottawa Canada in 1986. With a concert program and a drumstick from the previous evening in hand, I was invited to join them for a quick breakfast of juice & croissant,s and then aboard the bus for awhile to talk and get some autographs, the entire band were nothing but warm welcoming and humble for where they were at that point in their career.

  6. gaby says:

    MICHAEL LORD. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! YOU ALSO KNOW THAT TODAY IS HAPPY AS WE ARE ALL WITH THIS DATE SO SPECIAL. I LOVE YOU! CONGRATULATIONS!

  7. Salomé says:

    I wish Michael was still here. People like him are precious.

  8. Tim says:

    I also want to share here the loss that I feel with Michael's death.  He died at a time when my life was about partying non-stop, and I don't think it ever really hit me, that he had died, until much later when my own life had settled down.  Famous people die all the time, without having much of an effect on you.  Though with Michael, I truly feel we lost someone very very special that day.  To me, it seems like a death that just shouldn't have happened.  It leaves me bewildered to this very day.  Thankfully it is in his music that we feel he does live on.  You will always be remembered Michael – in our hearts.

  9. Sorrow says:

    I grew up with INXS music but I never had opportunity to see them live while Michael was alive. So my dreams to see them live sank when I heard the sad news.
    But GODS NEVER DIE, LIVE BABY LIVE, and he does live for me with his music.

  10. Donna Woodford says:

    I saw INXS four times in concert, and I am so glad I did while Michael was still alive.  I fully believe that the surviving group members have every right to do what they feel is best, and Michael would probably say the same.  I am aware that things will never be the same since his death.  But, to me, INXS was a stronger band with Michael than they are without him.  There is so much about Michael that I admire: his talent as a singer and a writer, that incredible voice, the fact that he gave his performances everything he had, his humanity, that great sense of humor, his willingness to share the gifts God gave him with the world, that genuine love for what he did, the fact that he was a real person, and, yes, I admit it, those beautiful brown eyes, that wonderful long curly hair, and that lovely smile.  My goodness, I miss him, even though I never did get to meet Michael in person.  Thank you, again, Michael, for your being here and sharing your gifts.  Donna

  11. Bazza says:

    Sadly missed but never forgotten! This website is a very good tribute to MH. Thanks for taking the time to put this together for all MH fans to visit and remember him.

  12. Stuart Marsh says:

    One of the greatest front men ever in one of the greatest bands ever, still saddens me to this day when i think of him, INXS and Michael are and still are one of the best .. RIP Michael.

  13. Wish I'd seen you guys 'LIVE', big regret. RIP Michael, you'll never be forgotten.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.