Two weeks before the 1984 Cannes Film Festival, I get a phone call from a strange character by the name of Gary Grant from a rock & roll management and publishing company called MMA Management. An Australian band called “INXS” had seen and loved one of my music videos for another band called Hunters & Collectors and were wondering if I would do one for them.
I begin to say that I’d never heard any of their records, hadn’t liked what I’d seen and since I was leaving for Cannes in four days time, we wouldn’t have the time for pre-production more or less shooting and editing time. He butts in with, “But, we’re ready now! Just grab your camera and catch the next plane for Queensland and you can finish the rest in London after Cannes.” It is this sort of naivety that you just can’t contend with. And so three pale skinny little figures in black from the drizzle and rain of Melbourne, Lynn-Maree, Troy and myself, end up coming face to face, under the Queensland sun, with six bronzed males and girlfriends round the pool wearing Raybans, Hawaiian shirts and board shorts… The most effusive of these males stood up and loped over, shaking our hands with an eager puppy-dog gleam in his eye and a smile to die for… He said his name was Michael…
22 November, 1997 12:33 PM
Emma rings up and says “have I heard the news about Michael?”… I say, “no, what..?” She says, “Bella rang me to say she’d heard on the radio that he’d committed suicide in his hotel room.. But she can’t confirm it..” I ring Lynn-Maree and tell her. I turn on the TV and wait for the news flashes. I take the phone off the hook, while I watch and think. I don’t really feel anything. I’m just numb.
22 November, 1997 6:28:22 PM
I somehow feel that a part of me has slipped away… Michael was the part of me that I didn’t follow.. the kid that played air guitar in front of the mirror… the sex machine rock star all the girls loved… a guy that encompassed the feminine and the masculine sides of sexuality in one cat-like package.. he was the yin to my yan.. Castor to my Pollux.. the wild to my calm… the rich to my poor… he loved my girl friends and I loved his… he of course, ended up having a lot more than me… something I’ll never forgive him for… I first met Michael reclining on a banana lounge in a cheap motel in MacKay, Queensland… the three of us Troy, Lynn and myself, had been persuaded to leave our black-clad, rain-soaked Melbourne to make a video in the absurdly sunny and tropical clime of North Queensland… when they finally dragged us out of the dark confines of our motel room, we walked our black clad gothic bodies over to the pool to see five bronzed males wearing Raybans, Hawaiian shirts and board shorts… One of these (the most effusive) was Michael with his eager puppy-dog gleam and a smile to die for… this was to be my role model.. I managed to imitate it quite well for the next ten years…
A few days later, I go to the funeral home with Ali and Lian. I get a little sprig of those little white flowers (baby blossom?) and tie it together with a ribbon. I touch his forehead. He seems so cold and stiff. I write him a note and tuck it under his suit coat. I write, “Mikeee…!! Love Rickybaby” . When he’d call or meet up, he’s opening line would always be, “Rickybaby!!!” and I’d always respond “Mikeeee..!”