December 10 [10:00 EDT] -- INXS is expected to announce their future plans this week, and according to Australian music industry columnist Christie Eliezer, the band will be continuing at least long enough to finish roughly 80 tracks that currently exist with the voice of the late singer Michael Hutchence.
Speculation has been high in Australia that Hutchence would be replaced by either Australian star Jimmy Barnes, originally with Cold Chisel, or Jack Jones from the defunct Southern Sons. But both, according to Eliezer, say they have not been approached. Earlier comments by bandmembers had indicated they would not continue as INXS with another singer, but that doesn't preclude assistance in the studio on the existing tracks or continuing with another vocalist under another name.
The surviving members haven't been too concerned with making a quick decision. Last week, Tim Farriss and Kirk Pengilly, on top of their grief and trauma over Hutchence, also had to cope with
bushfires threatening their country homes in New South Wales.
In related news, actress Kym Wilson, apparently the last person to see Hutchence alive before he was found hanged just before noon in his hotel suite November 22 has spoken out about the tragedy. The tabloids have been fraught with tales ranging from sex parties to Wilson being arrested to reports that the actress herself had committed suicide.
Wilson told "Woman's Day" that she and her boyfriend had been drinking with Hutchence in his hotel room until 4.30 AM and dismissed any notions that drugs or sex were involved. She stated that Hutchence was in good spirits. Unofficial reports indicate Hutchence was heavily intoxicated on pills and alcohol. It has yet to be determined if his death was accidental or intentional.
Elieser reports that Wilson asked for a fee of around $150,000 and donated the money to a trust fund for Hutchence's 16-month old baby.
The last interview recorded by Michael Hutchence
concentrated mostly on sex, drugs, rock n' roll, and Paula Yates, according to reports from Australian and English press services and excerpts from the Austrian magazine, News.
Thomas Zeidler, writing for News, was the last reporter to talk to the singer at length just days before his death. Over the course of the interview, Hutchence boasted that he was living the sex, drugs and rock n' roll lifestyle. "They are the only things worth living for," he told Zeidler. "Believe me I know what I'm talking about. Keith Richard may claim The Stones invented them. But I am living them."
He also told the mag that the birth of his and Yates' daughter Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily had helped him grow up. "A new, more positive chapter in my life has begun," he said, adding that "In the future I will be more considerate towards Paula and my child - and myself." He also said he was happy with his career. "The job is just becoming fun again."