Thursday, November 22, 2007
Ten years on...
... the magic hasn't faded.
22 Jan 1960 - 22 Nov 1997
10 years ago, a rockstar on the wane hung himself from the door of his hotel room, and became immortal. He was on tour in Sydney, promoting his album, uncannily titled, Elegantly Wasted. It was an ignominous end to a life which seemed so full of talent and promise, but in the annals of rock and roll, it was a scripted finale almost.
I admit I'm an unabashed INXS fan, and own all of their music, except for a couple of early albums. It's not the typical music I listen to, and friends are rather amused by my incongruous passion for INXS. But to me it's music that connects me to a time of growing up, and MTV, of 'seeing' music and not just listening to it on the radio. And then of course, there's Michael's voice - deep, seductive, glorious. Marry that with an in-your-face sensual stage persona and you have a perfect recipe for a schoolgirl crush.
I've lost count or probably never kept track of the number of times I've listened to the ballad, 'Never Tear Us Apart' from the 1987 Kick album. It continues to be one of my favourite songs of all time. Kick was the album that catapulted INXS onto the world stage, and won them the Grammys. But personally, I prefer an album which came later, and which received a lukewarm response - Full Moon, Dirty Hearts. It's unusually mellow in parts but runs deep, with songs like 'Please' (with Ray Charles), 'Full Moon Dirty Hearts', 'Freedom Deep' and 'Kill the Pain'.
By the mid-90s however Michael's much-publicised private life was catching up with him. His penchant for high profile girlfriends such as Kylie Minogue, Helena Christensen and Paula Yates meant that he was in the news, and not always for the right reasons. When the spiral of drugs and depression got too much, it seemed he decided to sing his swansong, leaving behind a rich legacy of music and several generations of fans who refuse to let go.
I was standing
You were there
Two worlds collided
And they could never tear us apart.
- from 'Never Tear Us Apart'