The 22nd November means many different things to many people. It was the day in 1963 that John F Kennedy was assassinated. It is Thanksgiving Day in the US (whenever it falls on Thursday). In the Christian Roman Church calendar it is still celebrated as Saint Cecilia Day, who is the Patron Saint of poetry and music.
For many adoring INXS fans it is the tragic day seven years ago that Michael Hutchence lost his life. Bono and U2 where preparing to perform in San Antonio, Texas, that day when word came through about Michael’s death. Gutted by the news, Bono struggled through the concert making several references to his dear friend. “Hutch, where are you?” he cried. Over the past seven years Bono has frequently mentioned Michael at U2 concerts. He has dedicated many songs to Michael and has regularly finished the evening with a track of Michael and INXS playing over the PA system. Bono even completed the recording of the song, “Slide Away” on Michael’s solo album, as well as dedicating the Grammy award winning “Stuck in a Moment” to his friend’s memory. We too have some special material to dedicate to Michael this month.
Recently we stumbled onto an old demo track of “Deliver Me”. Michael and Andrew had recorded it in Crescent Moon Studios in Miami in 1994. We have called this track “The Miami Session”. I have researched extensively what now forms the second article in our series on “How Hutch Composed a Song”, and all that is included is to my knowledge accurate. I have tried to recapture that moment in time. We approached INXS Management some months ago with a view to having Andrew take part in this years Special Feature. Andrew was enthusiastic to help and we are delighted to have included his exclusive interview with Nathan Hull and Dan Jones on Michael’s Memorial Site this November 22nd.
We are also privileged to have V2 Records’ support to bring you six great tracks from Michael’s solo work. “Possibilities” was Kell’s favourite. Relax, close your eyes, and listen to a great song. We wish to thank Daniel from www.dgpics.com for permission to use the bright smiling picture of Michael on the “News” page. He reports it was taken in an interview in 1987. When Kell first saw this picture, I remember he sighed. It was his favorite picture. Thanks to Susie Hutchence, Mario and Jacqui Ferrari who complete the team at www.michaelhutchence.org. Mario and Jacqui have worked hard on producing this month’s very special features, including the Flash introduction of Michael, with pictures taken at Open Air Festival, St Gall, in Switzerland in 1997. We also thank Dan Jones for his informative article on Max Q. We have been able to officially stream audio tracks from the album. Finally a big thanks to the INXS team whose continued support is invaluable.
This year the third Saturday in November became even more serene as I received the sad news that my dear sister, Jeanette, had passed away. I am about to board a flight from London to Sydney to attend her funeral so I will miss the 22nd November. It will just disappear… just like all our problems disappear when we focus on the precious memories of loved ones that are no longer with us.
Two days after the Miami Session, Michael was reflecting in his room at the Caracas Hilton, in Venezuela. That day he wrote down his thoughts, some of which I will share with you now.
“I have had a thousand rooms but I am homeless”. And of those who had stayed in that room before him he said, “We shared the same space in our loneliness”. Being a creative person on the road has it’s down times, particularly following a period of intensive, creative, outpouring. After Michael left us Bono wisely admonished us all to think more often about our friends. “Make that phone call, send that email”, he said. So, who can you message today to say, “Hi, I am just thinking about you”?
Seven years are considered in the Judeo-Christian Old Testament to be a time of perfecting under trial. The rest from the struggle becomes the sabbatical year. Perhaps this year will be a sabbatical year of peace and rest from struggles for Michael’s family. We hope you enjoy the new materials in memory of the incredibly talented Michael Hutchence. We dedicate them also to his adorable daughter, Tiger Lily.
For Susie, Mario and Jacqui