The world likely has not heard the last of the late Michael Hutchence and his
Although surviving band members are said to still be "incredibly disoriented"
more than a week after their leader, Hutchence, was found dead, hanging
from his own leather belt in a Sydney, Australia, hotel room on Nov. 22, a
source close to the group confirmed that there are stacks of unreleased material
that could eventually be released.
"It's just shitloads," said Shawn Deacon, the band's Australian publicist, of the
unreleased output. "Through the years they put so much stuff down that didn't
make it onto records.
"I was talking to their production manager and he said there were four really,
really great songs that didn't make it on to [the band's most recent album]
Elegantly Wasted that were stronger than several of the ones that did
make it on that record." Deacon estimated that there were upward of 80 tunes in
the band's vaults that never have been released.
Hutchence had told an Australian reporter for The Herald Sun during
one of his last interviews that a lot of the band's "weirder" material, which he
wrote for the last album, was never used. "I'm the one who wants to do a fresh
take on things," he told The Herald Sun, adding that like the solo material he also
had been working on, some of it might surface in the future.
And while that may still be the case, it will not happen during his lifetime.
Hutchence was found dead in his suite at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in what
Australian authorities are tentatively calling a suicide, pending the results of
toxicology tests, which are set to be released by the end of the month. In the
wake of the 37-year-old singer's death, tabloid reports and rumors surrounding
the mysterious scene have been rampant.
Recently, it was reported in British and Australian newspapers that Sydney
barrister Andrew Rayment, and his girlfriend, actress Kym Wilson, had been
drinking with Hutchence in his hotel room just hours before his death. While it
had been widely reported that Wilson was with the singer the night before he
died, until Rayment came forward to be interviewed by police earlier this week,
his identity remained a mystery.
Rose Bay Police, who have conducted a number of interviews in their
investigation of the death, would not comment on any recent developments in
the case, citing an ongoing coroner's inquest.
But Cherie Byrne, a constable in the Rose Bay Police's media unit said Tuesday
that the coroner handling the investigation, Derrick Hand, would hold a press
conference on Dec. 15 at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Sydney. She
would not elaborate on what the coroner might reveal during the press
Meanwhile, local Australian newspapers report that Rayment and Wilson, who
were cleared of any deeper connection with Hutchence's death, told police they
accompanied the singer back to his room after a few drinks at the hotel bar.
Once in his room, they reportedly drank daiquiris from the mini-bar and partied
for approximately six hours. They left the room at 4:45 a.m. and only learned of
the death from radio news reports later that day.
Hutchence was reported to be extremely emotional about the postponement of
the London child-custody hearing between his partner, Paula Yates, and her
former husband, Sir Bob Geldof, the former Boomtown Rats leader, but neither
of them noticed any signs of depression.
Yates had been planning to temporarily relocate to Australia with her four
children while Hutchence performed with INXS as part of the group's sold-out "Lose
Your Head" national tour that was to have begun last Tues. (Nov. 25). These plans were thwarted with the postponement of
the custody hearing over the three children she had with Geldof, coupled with
Geldof's alleged refusal to allow Yates to take their children out of the country in
Yates told a reporter she phoned Hutchence with this news early the morning of his
death, and the singer then called Geldof to try and persuade him to change his
mind. Britain's Sun newspaper alleges that Hutchence shouted at
Geldof: "She's not your wife anymore." New South
Wales police confirmed that a request has been made to Scotland Yard to
interview Geldof in an effort to shed light on the singer's death.
Meanwhile, the British tabloid News of the World reported that
Hutchence had been so paranoid that he had a brain tumor that he vowed to
"do a Kurt," referring to Nirvana leader, Kurt Cobain, who committed suicide by
shooting himself. The tabloid went on to report that Hutchence was
experiencing recurring headaches and feared that they would progress to the
point where he couldn't work.
That same story also alleges that Hutchence mailed two mystery letters to Yates
and an unidentified friend in the Far East just prior to his death.
In response to these reports, Deacon would only say that Hutchence "left a lot of
answering machine messages sounding pretty sad," during the last hours of his
life. Those messages were directed to "friends and family," she said, adding that
although she said she's heard a few of them, she declined to elaborate on how
Hutchence sounded or what he said.
While the future of INXS still hangs in the balance, Deacon strongly denied a
report in the tabloid newspaper the Daily Telegraph that quoted
guitarist/saxophone player Kirk Pengilly as saying the band would continue on
without Hutchence. The publicist did say that she didn't expect that the band
would be touring any time soon, and that if they eventually decide to go on the
road again, it would probably be under a different name.
Although she said the band is planning to take the holidays to decide what their
next move will be, they will hold a press conference of their own that is
tentatively scheduled for Monday. The appearance, during which they will be
interviewed by an as-yet-unnamed and "well-known, award-winning Australian
journalist" will be videotaped and made available to media and wire services.
"They'll talk about themselves, the future, Michael and other things," Deacon
said of the planned 10- to 15-minute appearance. "They want to talk to their fans,
but they're still destroyed at this moment, just so upset and fragile."
Color="#720418">[Wed., Dec. 3, 1997, 9 a.m. PDT]
Color="#720418">[Wed., Dec. 3, 1997, 9 a.m. PDT]