Kylie Minogue and Michael Hutchence started a whirlwind romance in 1989
Michael Hutchence was the rock star who had everything. Talent, intelligence, charm, charisma, eloquence, heady looks and lots of sex appeal. Not to mention a series of famous friends, including singers Kylie Minogue and Belinda Carlisle, Danish super model Helena Christensen and, most notoriously, TV presenter Paula Yates.
The front man of the Australian band INXS, electrifying on stage, even had things that men usually don't have, such as courtesy, courtesy and surprising humility.
One of his non-famous girlfriends noted that, no matter how sexy he was, there was no aphrodisiac as if he were being genuinely listened to. That is what women from Hutchence have received.
And not just women. Martha Troup, the band's manager, says in a new film documentary that when he looked you in the eye, whoever you were, he made you feel like you were the only person in the room who was important to him.
Christensen, his partner for more than four years, remembers him as "joyful, sweet, deep, emotional, friendly, profound and funny." Wherever he was, he seemed to emit a light that attracted everyone. The couple enjoyed, "she says," total mental and physical chemistry. And although he loved women, "he was very dedicated when he was with someone."
Michael Hutchence and Danish supermodel Helena Christiansen at the 1992 Music Awards in Cannes
Her predecessor in his life, Minogue, had felt the same. They met after an INXS performance in Sydney and he asked if he could take her to dinner in Hong Kong, where she felt a strong mutual attraction, but it was in Kyoto, Japan, that their relationship was completed.
He was, Kylie now says, the ultimate sensual being, with an "insatiable curiosity" for "all good things in life, and some of the bad things." Sex, love, food, drugs, music, travel, books, you name it, he wanted to experience it, so as a partner I got a lot to do with it. I felt very safe with him, I felt protected. & # 39;
Yet she adds: "The storybook of this was, he is just like this dark, naughty boy and I was the pure, good girl. And that was just about the truth. He has certainly aroused my desire for other things. He was delighted to see me experience a new wine, or to teach me about some pleasure. In 1989 he took her to the Orient Express to Venice, and to see the statue of David by Michelangelo in Florence, the beauty of which made her cry. "I was like that" this did not happen during my school excursion, why does it happen to you? "
When they broke up, as they often were, they faxed each other love letters. Her pseudonym was Gabby Jones (the name of her family dog plus the maiden name of her mother); he was swordfish.
Young lovers can now bridge continents via SMS. In those days they were forced to use fax machines, which, as Kylie recalls in the film, often meant that hotel receptionists read the faxes before putting them in envelopes and bringing them to the room.
Today's standards made it a cumbersome way to stay entangled, but at the time it seemed magical. Whether Hutchence terminated their relationship by fax does not reveal them. But when he did, he was worried that their busy travel schedule caused a wedge between them, & he broke my heart & # 39 ;.
Yet his own heart turned out to be more vulnerable than anyone.
One night in November 1997 the man with so many virtues, so much fortune, all that sensuality and curiosity, and hyperbolically portrayed by some of his friends as positively Christlike, hung himself with a belt in his room at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Sydney .
There were rumors that he was the victim of a sex game that had tragically gone wrong. But it wasn't. Apparently his suicide had much more to do with a messy relationship with Yates, mother of his only child Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, who tried to free herself from her marriage to another rock star, Bob Geldof.
But it wasn't quite that either. If someone other than Hutchence himself was responsible for his horrible, lonely death, it was probably a taxi driver in Copenhagen.
In the documentary – Mystify: Michael Hutchence – Christensen explains how. One night in 1992, not long after his break with Kylie, we drove home on our bikes and stopped to get pizza. He was … in the middle of a small, narrow road and ate his pizza. This insane taxi driver yelled at Michael to move. He got out of his car and hit him. Michael fell back and hit (his head on) the curb. He was unconscious and blood came from his mouth and ear. I thought he was dead. & # 39;
Fortunately he wasn't. Yet there was some sort of death that night. Hutchence came to the hospital and immediately, aggressively, urged him to leave. The doctors thought he was drunk and let him go. He had even suffered considerable brain damage.
The old Michael Hutchence was effectively replaced by a man who looked and sometimes did the same as before, who resumed his rock career, but became fleeting, moody, violent and depressed. He began to yearn for danger, part of his anger against the world.
The first few weeks after the incident, he was in bed in Christensen's apartment, vomiting, refusing to eat, and resolutely refusing to go back to the hospital. He finally agreed to a neurosurgeon in Paris. Scans did not reveal the extensive brain damage that a post-mortem would cause later, but they did show a crack in his skull and broken olfactory nerves, meaning he would never regain his sense of taste and smell.
It was a miserable prospect for such a bon viveur, but what really upset him was the realization that if he ever became a father, he would never be able to smell his baby. That made him cry uncontrollably.
Hutchence forced Christensen to remain silent about this.
To his millions of fans, even to many who knew him, he still seemed absurdly blessed. Indeed, a gilded existence seemed to await him from the moment he was born, to wealthy, attractive parents, in January 1960.
The charmed life began in Sydney, the city where he would end it 37 years later. But from the start the truth was much more complicated.
Michael Hutchence and TV presenter Paula Yates at The Big Breakfast show on Channel 4
His mother, Patricia, was a successful model who became one of Australia's leading makeup artists. His father, Kell, imported Moet & Chandon champagne. They organized glamorous parties, with one or the other always, sooner or later, setting up Je T’Aime, the breathtaking, erotic duet of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. That was a sign for Michael and his younger brother Rhett to be sent to bed. "It impressed me that a piece of music could have such an impact on a room," Hutchence later recalled.
He decided to make his own music. At school in Sydney he formed a bond with some friends, including some brothers, Tim and Andrew Farriss. They called themselves the Farriss Brothers before they briefly and unknowingly became the Vegetables. In 1979 they eventually renamed themselves INXS.
As the handsome, energetic young frontman for an upcoming band, Hutchence not only radiated sex appeal, but also managed to use it, especially learned from his father, who always worried about women, charmed them, made them feel special.
Despite that, or perhaps because of it, cracks in the marriage of Kell and Patricia turned into gaps. It didn't help that the family first moved to Hong Kong, then to Brisbane and then back to Sydney. When her sons were 14 and 12, Patricia left Kell and moved to America for a year, taking only Michael.
Rhett was understandably left behind with the terrible feeling that his mother favored him less. But Michael suffered a different kind of psychological damage, a sense of guilt that never completely faded and gave him the lifelong belief that he didn't deserve the fame, fortune, and admiration that he had accumulated.
According to his friend Bono, he has never appreciated his own extravagant talent as a singer. There was & # 39; fragility just below the bravado & # 39 ;, says the U2 frontman.
Hutchence, one of the most dazzling show men of his generation, thought that other rock stars were simply better, and that was why they had the honor of being great artists. As he saw it, he only received recognition for & # 39; looking like a sex god & # 39 ;.
On the surface, it didn't seem to hurt him at all. It certainly caught the attention of Paula Yates, who kept a photo of him on her fridge long before she and Geldof finally broke up. When Geldof made it unreadable one day, she simply put another one in place.
Yates had first met Hutchence in 1985 and interviewed him for the Channel 4 show The Tube. & # 39; He was so breathtakingly beautiful that I felt very weak & # 39 ;, she admitted later.
They kept in touch occasionally and when she interviewed him again in October 1994 for another Channel 4 show, The Big Breakfast, flirting was even more outrageous.
They lay on the famous kitschbed of the show and a good friend of hers remembers in the film that & # 39; short of being naked & # 39; their & # 39; huge sexual chemistry & # 39; could not have been clearer.
They soon became an item. Hutchence loved her & # 39; earthly maternal & # 39; manners with her three daughters of Geldof, but at the same time felt deep shame that he was responsible, as a divorced child, for the breakup of a family.
Moreover, as their friend Kathy Lette says in the film, Geldof was practically sanctified by the media and the public after Live Aid, so Yates was the one who went to & # 39; social Siberia & # 39; was sent. Hutchence also felt responsible for this.
Nor did it help his fragile artistic self-confidence when he presented a prize for the best video of the year to Oasis at the Brit Awards in February 1996, only for Noel Gallagher to declare that & # 39; had-beens should not present *** ** ** awards to going to & # 39 ;.
It was true that the success and popularity of INXS were declining by that time, but Hutchence was crushed by such a small-scale public attack. Nevertheless, his passion for Yates and family life, which only increased when she gave birth to his beloved daughter, Tiger Lily, in July of that year, recovered much of the emotional balance that had gone wrong after the Copenhagen episode.
He still had terrible mood swings, sometimes even threatening his band members with knives, but it seemed to his friends that Yates might be good for him.
In fact, the reverse was true. As her custody battle with Geldof became more and more bitter, she and Hutchence became a terrible influence on each other, encouraging a mutual dependence on Prozac, Valium, opium and heroin. When a stock of drugs was found in her London home, it seemed likely that Yates would lose custody, not only of her children with Geldof, but perhaps also of Tiger Lily.
That horrible thought, plus his increasing certainty that his tense relationship with Yates would not survive such a striking media spot, finally pushed Hutchence over.
Yates also did not survive and died of a heroin overdose less than three years after the rock star who had decided that he no longer had the will to live.
- Mystify: Michael Hutchence was released on October 18.
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