recent premiere on Netflix Mystify, a documentary aimed at transforming it into a stamp, confirms this, and serves to review the adventures and misadventures of his professional career and private life, which, like those of the vast majority of the stars of the entertainment industry, are also He became increasingly public at the rate of his popularity and bank account growth. “data-reactid =” 19 “> Michael Hutchence had a life as a movie. The recent Netflix premiere of Mystify, a documentary aimed at transforming him into This stamp confirms this, and serves to review the adventures and misadventures of his professional career and private life, which, like those of the vast majority of the stars of the entertainment industry, also became increasingly public to the rhythm of the growth in popularity and bank account.

Defined in the film as a “dreamer”, Hutchence was the visible face and powerful magnet of a musical project that had its golden age at a time when commercial music was not notable for its inventiveness. Billboard’s hot singles in 1988 were tracks by George Michael (a great performer with a mostly conventional repertoire), Rick Astley, Whitney Houston, and Tiffany. That was the year of the explosion of “Need You Tonight”, a song from the album Kick, the best of all that INXS recorded in his twenty-year career with Hutchence as vocalist and the one that contained practically everything the group had for Give: “Never Tear Us Apart”, “New Sensation”, “Mystify” and even “Devil Inside”, summary proof that the idea of ​​mimicking with U2 was once very present among the plans of the Australians.

Even though some of his stage strategies and certain poetic ambitions may refer to Jim Morrison’s dense legacy, Hutchence always had a less cynical and untimely profile than that of the leader of The Doors. His style – beyond the admitted influence of Mick Jagger in terms of interpretation – was rather that of the sensitive dandy, with the passage of time becoming darker, tortured and determined to experiment in all channels of pleasure, as enumerated in detail in the documentary Kylie Minogue, the pop star with whom she put together a romantic story that built a new symbolic bridge between Sydney and Melbourne: “Sex, love, food, drugs, music, travel, books. .. I wanted to try everything “, says in the film the woman who inspired” Suicide Blond “, the first cut of the album X (1990), song of the premature swan of a band that soon exhausted its formula of new wave + pub rock and then he lost his way.

The Copenhagen accident, a banal event turned into tragedy, was contemporary to the decline of INXS, as a result of an inopportune rudder that the band gave first with Welcome to Wherever You Are (1992), an album that some critics compared with the acclaimed U2’s Achtung Baby, but who is actually as pompous (there are two songs in which an orchestra of sixty musicians plays) as erratic, and later with Full Moon, Dirty Hearts (1993), a failed approach to grunge in which he also The guest star inflator (Ray Charles, Chrissie Hynde) was called in to give air to a project that was badly needed.

Read more

On November 18, 1997, just fifteen days after the release of Full Moon, Dirty Hearts, Michael Hutchence registered with a false name (Murray River) at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Sydney. It was eleven o’clock at night and his room was 524. He had come from Los Angeles, where he met Quentin Tarantino and Michael Douglas to talk about a film project that never came to fruition. At the time he was in a relationship with the famous British television presenter Paula Yates, ex-wife of Bob Geldof and mother of the only daughter of Hutchence, benefited with a name at least singular: Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily. And the most immediate plan was to rehearse for a while with INXS to prepare a tour with which the group was going to celebrate its twenty-year career. Once that tour was over, he intended to organize with Paula Yates an ideal wedding for the magazines of the heart on the island of Bora-Bora.

But the stay in the hotel was going to have a fatal outcome. On November 21, after dining at an Indian restaurant with his father, Kell, then one of Australia’s wealthiest men, Hutchence had a good time drinking vodka at the Ritz bar counter and later found himself right there with actress Kym Wilson and her boyfriend, Andrew Rayment. Wilson, who had had a love affair with Hutchence, went with his companion to the musician’s room to continue the round of drinks: more vodka, champagne, beer and daiquiris. Thereafter, a fade to black that even the court file could not prevent: ten minutes before noon on November 22, a hotel employee tried to enter the room to clean it and found a corpse.

For a long time, the tabloid press in Australia and England insisted on the hypothesis of hypoxyphilia, an erotic ritual related to self-suffocation, but Justice determined that the label was suicide by strangulation, after ordering an autopsy that also detected consumption of cocaine. It later emerged that Hutchence had been trying to communicate with Michelle Bennet, his girlfriend between 1982 and 1987, and with his personal manager, on whose New York answering machine the message was recorded: “I’m screwed forever.” Today it is assumed that what unleashed that state of stress was a call from Paula Yates to tell her that Bob Geldof had forbidden her to take the three daughters they had in common out of the United Kingdom, complicating her trip to Australia with Tiger Lily, from just a year. There is also speculation about a phone fight between Hutchence and Geldof, promoter of the famous Live Aid that had once derogatively defined him as “a pretty womanizer boy, son of a millionaire.”

Three years after that intense day, Paula Yates would be another victim of heroin abuse and Tiger Lily would be in the custody of Geldof. A story worthy of a television melodrama that could end with “Into My Arms”, the Bad Seeds song that Nick Cave himself sang on November 27, 97 at the Hutchence funeral, a ceremony held in the imposing cathedral of Saint Andrew of Sydney that was televised live for all Australia.

“What You Need” (1985): INXS begins to inject stone energy into the sweetened, synthesizer-dominated pop that had characterized his first five years of career. Hutchence sings with more conviction than ever before and the band manages to sneak into the North American charts for the first time.

“Never Tear Us Apart” (1987): The sum of details that builds a solid and elegant whole: synthesizers very well used for an orchestra-like start, clever dramatic pauses, a monolithic base and a sax solo by Kirk Pengilly that lasts as long as possible. just so as not to overturn.

“Need You Tonight” (1987): An important part of the punch -and the success- of this song has to do with that simple and adherent riff that seems like Prince but was created by Andrew Farris, keyboardist, violator and musical heart of INXS. The clip, directed by Richard Lowenstein (the same from the documentary Mystify), heated the MTV screen for a long time.

“New Sensation” (1987): Another winning funky guitar boot invented by Andrew Farris for a danceable, hedonistic song in which Hutchence unleashes her feline sensuality. Kick’s third single, it became an emblem of the band to which Rolling Stone magazine had already affixed the label “the next big thing.”

“Mystify” (1987): The song with the most classic INXS flavor. The emo sensibility of Hutchence, a specialist in bedroom dramas and broken heart stories, combines perfectly with this groove-laden blue-eyed soul benefited by an ideal cadence for what was coming: the stadium band.