Stone # 22: Happy Birthday Michael Hutchence.

Michael as I first saw him.


Wanton Balladeer 

  (C) Jo Bryant – January 2012

the youth of my exhuberance

was measured in smoky bars,

on needle free beaches,

stepping over cockroaches in darkened streets,

cotton candy ringing ears

deaf to all but the remembered

slide of a slender Adonis

amidst fireworks of stinging guitars

thunderclaps of incandescent luster

with seraphic timbres

holding me

rocking me

knowing me

from all others in the crowd


INXS were part of my youth. They penned songs that said what I had no words for, and Michael was the beautiful rock star every young woman wanted to take home. And I will be the first to admit my daydreams were not for public consumption.

“There’s something intrinsically Australian about a bunch of brothers and school friends getting together as a band at a very young age and all pulling together as a band at a very young age and all pulling together as mates to make something happen.” – Michael Hutchence

“Just Keep Walking”

Green Fields – Grass and earth
Broken bottles – bricks and dirt
Sunshine soothing – clouds are hazy
Dark street corners – feeling lazyFast car driving
Sleek and modern
Public Transit
Photos Waiting
Blood and glass
Three points of rain
Carpet Lining
Seats reclining
Clever words on smooth tongue talking
Shove it brother – Just Keep WalkingCity Penthouse – the kitchen living
A country home – it’s a kitch living
Money can buy almost anything
But anything’s nothing – when you’re dead

Like most good (well I tried to be most of the time) young aussie sheilas I watched Australian Countdown every week. And in 1984 when I was halfway across the world INXS swept the floor with the other artists taking seven awards.

Today would have been Michael’s 52 birthday, and as his music still often reverberates through my house it seems appropriate to tell you about what he, and INXS. were to me.

Handy Tip: Michael and INXS must reverberate and shake the walls of your house to be truly appreciated!!

I can best show you – enough other people have recounted his history, and if you want to know more about Michael his parents have put together a wonderful site: Me – well – I’d prefer you to listen to the songs that sparked something within my inner core. I think they will tell you a lot about me if you listen to the poetry that is Michael.


“Women are incredible in groups together. Terrifying. Men have nothing on them.” – Michael Hutchence.


“You know sometimes I just want to curl up on stage and lie there for a while – it’s weird.” – Michael Hutchence.


“Actually, I find it embarrassing being a pop star. I prefer it when people just treat me like anybody else, although occasionally there is a side of me, which is indulgent and I expect certain things because of my position. It’s one of the perks.” – Michael Hutchence.


“We played every bar, party, pub, hotel lounge, church hall, mining town – places that made Mad Max territory look like a Japanese garden.” – Michael Hutchence.


“INXS never had that groupie thing. No, no we really never did. Not in a sexual way – well, alright, then, maybe years ago. I’ve done a few stupid things in my time, but you’ve got to have respect for yourself, otherwise you end up getting used” – Michael Hutchence.


“It’s just as difficult to live in a self-made hell of privacy as it is to live in a self-made hell of publicity.” – Michael Hutchence.


“Fame makes me feel wanted and loved, anybody wants that.” – Michael Hutchence


“The English press, are so nosy, and the English seem to love that eavesdropping.” – Michael Hutchence


Michael was the lead actor in a 1986 Australian film set  in Melbourne in 1978. It was directed by Richard Lowenstein and Michael played the character of Sam, a drugged out frontman for the band Dogs in Space.

Be warned there is little plot, but this arty film has some very special moments, and I love it !! Dogs in Space is a very underrated movie – and if you can find a copy worth watching.

This 1988  interview with Michael is one of my favourites – it gives some insight into his character.

I’m taking part in the January 2012 River of Stones.

For more Stones see My Small Stones


  1. I loved your article and all of the beautiful pictures of Michael. Unfortunately, i never got to see INXS live when Michael was a love. I always wondered what he would be like to meet in person. All of the stories I’ve ever read about him said he enjoyed meeting his fans and liked talking to them. I will always cherish the CDs and DVDs i have of him with INXS. Michael you rock on. You may not be here on earth, but you will never be forgotten, and will always be in our hearts.


    1. Thanks Wendy – he was something else to see – I saw INXS play at a local pub on Coogee beach in Sydney and that was it for me. I’d never seen anyone who was like him on stage…


    1. Glad you enjoyed this – as to Michael’s death…well there is still controversy over that. He was found hanging in his hotel room in Sydney. Some say accident, others suicide, others believe that it was more likely murder. No-one will ever know for sure, we just have to enjoy the legacy that was left behind.


  2. We are totally from the same era, Jo! INXS is one of my favorite bands and my favorite song is Worlds Colliding. So beautiful and lyrical, like an Irish Ballad you can almost march to it. They made some great early videos. It’s terrible what M.H.’s ex-wife did to him, taking his son away like that. The story is tragic. Such is the stuff that legends are made. I worship Michael Hutchence too.


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