Volume 91, Issue 52

Friday, November 28, 1997

location, location


Hutchence's final performance

Re: The death of Michael Hutchence

To the Editor:
This past weekend was tragic and sad for the music industry. One of rock's legends was lost forever. Michael Hutchence, lead singer for the band INXS, committed suicide in his hotel room in Australia. INXS was one of the most innovative groups in the music industry. Despite declining record sales in recent years, INXS remained loyal to the sounds that made them popular.

Elegantly Wasted, the band's last album, is a great album that was under-appreciated by the critics. We still do not know exactly how Hutchence died over the weekend. It is apparent that it was suicide. We often consider celebrities to be perfect and fail to recognize that these people are human and imperfect. Hutchence was going to be married in the new year and was the father of a baby girl. He was thought to be very happy and content with his life. Hutchence was a talented musician who took his own life far too soon. Speculation is that he died of a drug overdose or that he hung himself with a belt.

Band members are stunned and have been thrown into a state of shock by the death of their lead singer and it is doubtful there will be another INXS album. No one can replace Hutchence and the success INXS achieved in the late '80s with Kick. Elegantly Wasted was supposed to be a comeback album and an extensive trek across Australia was planned which has been cancelled with the untimely death/suicide of Hutchence.

I never knew Hutchence personally but I admired and respected the talent and creativity he brought to the band. He may have seemed content, however, no one knew the true emotional state of Hutchence at the time of his death. He may have been dissatisfied with low record sales for Elegantly Wasted and his suicide was an attempt to boost sales. I don't believe that. A person commits suicide when there is nothing left to live for and when an individual is depressed. Hutchence created INXS with its own unique sound and formula that made the band successful. Singles like "New Sensation," "The Devil Inside," "Never Tear Us Apart" and "Need You Tonight" from Kick established INXS as a hit-maker and after the album Kick, the band attempted to duplicate its success with Welcome to Where-ever You Are, X, Greatest Hits and Elegantly Wasted. A legendary rock band with a talented lead singer, helped the band become one of the biggest selling bands in the '80s. Kick sold an estimated eight million copies.

Hutchence, 1960-1997, will forever be missed. It is my hope INXS will be able to continue without Hutchence, however, his talent and charisma can never be replaced. INXS is a rock legend for its innovative and unique sound worthy of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. INXS was Hutchence's creation and it is sad and depressing to think there will never be another album or tour displaying the energy and charisma he offered to the fans. I was stunned and shocked to learn of Hutchence's death, however, he must have believed there was nothing left to live for and he killed himself. I can't believe he would not have wanted to live for his daughter and his future. He lost all hope and committed suicide to end his depression. Perhaps, looking at Suicide Blonde from the 1990 album, X, an individual would believe Hutchence was fascinated with death and foreshadowed his own death. Hutchence is a voice in the music industry that has been silenced forever and far too soon. He will forever be missed.

Jason Hutton
Political Science II

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Copyright The Gazette 1997