If we wind the clock back 13 years before that fateful Saturday morning on 22nd November, 1997, Michael Hutchence was 24 years of age and fronting one of the most exciting new rock groups in the world. It was the first year that Michael and INXS would achieve their first number one single for “Original Sin”. They were exploding onto the international arena as well as wooing them back home in Australia. January 1984 was the final year of the historic Narara Music Festival in which INXS headlined with UK friends, Talking Heads. As Michael celebrated his 24th birthday, they were riding a crest of a new wave as the number one band in the country and millions were singing along… “Wake up to a brand new day”.
I was living and studying music in the US at the time and remember INXS had just started to make a mark there alongside other Australian bands such as Air Supply and Men At Work. Over the next 13 years Michael and the band would become arguably the greatest live rock band of the era, taking their music to audiences of millions, scooping MTV and other major music awards including being nominated for two Grammy Awards.
Those definitive 13 years have now been added to by a further 13 years since Michael departed this world. The impact he made in those previous 13 years of his life has not waned in the 13 years that have followed since. Michael is still highly esteemed by fellow musicians and the listening public alike. The current release of “tribute covers” of his songs with high-profile guest artists and INXS is testimony of his endearing influence and stature. There doesn’t seem to have been too many other great frontmen who have arrived on the scene since then. Many die-hard fans find it almost impossible to conceive an INXS without him. It is the great legacy that Michael left behind in those first 13 years that has enabled his legend to endure in the 13 years since.
These past 13 years have also been very challenging years for the rest of Michael’s family. During these years we have bid farewell to Michael’s precious partner, Paula Yates, his loving father, Kelland, his supportive aunty Croy and recently his doting mother, Patricia. But it is also the 13 year period that an adorable little girl has been growing and blossoming. In many ways too young to have felt the reality of her loss, Tiger has grown with a typical fun-loving optimism as most young girls experience reaching their early teens. The next 13 years will be her time to shine and reflect on the amazing heritage her Dad has left in this world.
What kind of world will we be living in, in the next 13 years? Make no mistake; the next 13 years will pass just as rapidly as the past 13 years have. Tiger will be a 27 year old woman, the same age as her Dad was when he was riding high on the award winning “Kick” album. And it will be 46 years since Michael first climbed the stage with Tim, Andrew, Jon, Garry and Kirk.
For we all who have survived this life to see this day, 22nd November, 2010, the message might be to thank God for His grace over our life and to “carpe diem”… that is, “seize the day”! You have this precious time right here, right now to get out there and live and to make every moment count. Wake up to a brand new day, but don’t let your dreams get washed away!
God rest and keep dear Michael Kelland Hutchence who sadly departed this life on this day, 13 short years ago.
for all the team at Michael Hutchence’s Official Memorial
Susie Hutchence, Mario and Jacqui Ferrari