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Originally posted by Half-Full:
[qb]Ive thought about that too. And what his last moments must have been like. What he must have been thinking. It's a distrubing place to go in your mind. Frowner [/qb]
Yeah, it is...

The thing I always think about whenever I hear that someone has died is-did they know, like, a week ago, a month ago, a year ago, etc., that this would be their last week on Earth? I know that's really, really morbid and upsetting as hell, as are the thoughts about his last moments, but that's what always starts coming into my mind.

And then Finn Light's post..."surreal" is the right word to describe this, definitely. Just that last statement in your just doesn't sound right.

Originally posted by Half-Full:
[qb]What his loved ones must be going through. I can only imagine.... Frowner [/qb]
Oh, god, no kidding...*Shakes head*. Those poor people...

Hello to Everyone, my name is Emanuel and I'm from Argentina, way down south america.

I've read the notice today at my job and I felt so sad, so sad that it hurts, and when someone asked me "what's with your face?" I didn't say anything, Almost no one knows C.H in my country, so if I'd said "Paul Hester died" he'd probably looked at me weird, I felt so alone.

Right now there's nowhere I'd rather be than that square, to put flowers and a candle at the exact point where the tragedy happened, and to start praying and crying.

My sincere condolences to Hester's Family and Friends, I know words are meaningless at this times, but they're all I've got to give beside my love to all of them, and the biggest hug to Paul, thanks for everything friend, your music lighted my life through my darkest moments, and make it brighter through the happy ones. I'll take your smile with me forever.

I'd love to be in Brisbane that sunday bot a couple of thousands of miles make it impossible, but I'll be there in spirit.

This is a big catarsis for me, thanks to all of you and sorry for my rusty english.

A big hug from Argentina

At first I wasn�t going to write anything here because I feel unworthy of being called a fan. I only have Recurring Dream and though I love it and the band, and have watched all episodes of Hessie�s Shed but one, I still don�t know half as much Crowded House or Finns as all of you Frenz here. I don�t own any other album of theirs and I�ve never seen any member play live, or met them. I never even knew quite how special and amazing Paul was � even more than I ever surmised � until I read quotes from his close friends in news reports. But after reading some of your posts, I�ve realised that as someone who has also been touched by their music and by Paul�s overall goodness, it�s the best thing I can contribute to this lovely man�s memory, at a time when we all feel so lost without him, and I feel so helpless.

I heard of his passing in the wee hours of the 28th, when I�d woken up to news of the earthquake. I read it in the running news tab actually. Upon seeing the start of the sentence �Drummer Paul�� I thought, if it�s Paul Hester, please, please don�t let it be bad news�

My first reaction was disbelief. I still can�t believe it. It�s impossible. He was such a wonderful, bright spark of a man. I�d heard that he suffered some kind of depression when he left CH, but seeing him on TV or hearing him on the radio, I thought he was okay. But he must have been hiding his pain all the time. Another person remarked in their post how ironic it was that he gave us so much joy while he was suffering so much pain inside.

Then I wondered: WHY?

I can�t help thinking that someone could have done something to help. We could have helped. I could have helped. (Strange how we feel so close to him! I never even saw him in public, let alone met him!) But he never gave us any warning. Or maybe we weren�t listening closely enough.

I don�t think he knew how much we loved, and still love him. I know when I get depressed, which is often, I feel completely alone, like no one in this world loves, appreciates or understands me. But even that seems impossible. Surely he must have known � there�s so many of us! But then why, why did he leave us this way?

Just weeks ago I was thinking of getting all obsessed over CH and getting everything they�ve ever released. I�d got into the band (just scratching the surface really) when I was twelve. I�d somehow got Weather With You and Better Be Home Soon in my head and was singing them. I got Recurring Dream and started to find out general information on the band. Hess was appearing on Martin/Molloy a bit then, and then Hessie�s Shed was on, so I glimpsed a bit of his magic, and became enamoured by him. I made a Valentine�s Day card for him and asked Peter Green where to send it in an email (�bet it�s for Neil�), but I never sent it because�well, I was just a bit shy. Now I wish I had. If I could find it now, I�d be happy just to put it on his grave�oh God.

I still haven�t managed to cry yet, but Paul, please don�t think I don�t love you. I want you back more than anything. I just can�t yet believe you�re really gone.

My tears, when they come, and my heart that bleeds continually, goes out to the girls, their mother, Paul�s immediate and extended family, and everyone who has ever been touched by him and mourn his loss.

Who knows � maybe I never will be able to believe you�re gone. Maybe that�s how you will live on in my memory.

Big hugs, old man. I love you.


PS. Hey, I love his brushes too! Smiler
PPS. I was already thinking of using Paul as my future son�s middle name, in tribute of Paul Hester, Paul Dempsey and Paul Kelly. I guess now it�s set in stone.
I am a long time lurker here, but I had to post. My heart truly fell apart upon hearing this sad news.

Paul was funny and kind and had that amazing gift of making a person feel good, at ease and at home. His smile stripped a young shy fan of her nerves.

I can't fathom the depths of pain those closest to him are feeling right now, the complete and utter loss.

Bless you Paul - Always you will be loved and remembered.
I had never met Paul, and i never had the pleasure of seeing Crowded House live.....Finn Brothers and solo stuff sure......but no CH.

Despite all this, I feel the same as I'm sure many of you feel right now. Paul and CH were there for so much of my life, unknowingly helping me in both bad spells and sharing in the good. I feel like i've lost a close friend. A silly feeling perhaps.....

Through live performances I have DVDs of, or Videos through the years......Paul always had some way of getting a smile out of me, through the passion and energy he put into the well as a comedic and easy going soul he seemed to possess.......

My heart goes out to his friends and family....and all those the world over that admired him.
To all Paul's family and friends, I can't possibly begin to know what you're going through. All I can say is that truly my heart goes to you at this time.

To Paul, I hope you've found your peace. You were the greatest drummer Australia has known. We never met and yet for over twenty years you inspired me to take up music and I've always loved your work. At only twenty-seven it really has been a life long journey and I will miss you greatly.
I'm another lurker, first (and a good few years ago) on the Tongue in the Mail list, and now here. Have been reading all these messages for the past couple of days but now I feel compelled to emerge from lurkdom to add my two cents. Wow. Paul Hester. I'm 31 now; I guess I was in my first flush of Crowdie mania at about age 18 - totally obsessed. Though my passion has definitely waned a bit, especially since the band broke up, that band is still my favorite and I think it probably always will be. I don't know - I guess I just wish Paul had known how much we all still hold him and the others in such high regard. Maybe things would have turned out different.

I saw the band play three or four times, and they were the best live music experiences I've ever had. I left feeling properly entertained, in quite an old-fashioned, all-around sense. So much onstage lunacy and chat. Paul was at the center of this, the funny guy to Neil's straight man. The chemistry they all had together was amazing - musically and personally - it just made you feel good. I do remember grinning through each performance. Thanks for the music and the laughs, Paul. I really hope, when I finally pluck up the courage to put a Crowded House CD on the stereo, that I can still get that sense of fun from listening.
Deepest sympathy to all family and friends, my heart goes out to you.

No mere human can give meaning to or carry someone else's life when life itself has failed to do so. Hopefully in time you can believe there was not one particular thing anyone could have done and know you have helped him hold on as long as he could.

Hopefully you can also believe an absence of warning signs does not indicate a failure to see any, but rather the serious contemplation of the most private decision anyone can make; a decision many choose not to burden others with, especially those held most dear.

At this moment, mourning the pain in his life and mourning the loss in yours and ours, we have no choice but to accept, if not respect, his decision and hope it has brought him to the better place he must have been longing for so desperately.

Wishing you strength and flexibility and hoping you can come together, as the fans have done on the net, and find comfort in everyone who loved him and find a way to recover.
I was listening to some Crowded House music this weekend, remembering their appearance on an MTV Spring Break concert, must have been 1986. They were so full of life, so full of the enjoyment of performing. I was thinking how Paul Hester had boundless fun and spirit and wit.

And then I logged onto the Forum last night to read the news of his passing. It's ironic that the one who seemed the clown had perhaps the worst demons of all.

Such a sad end to a life not fully lived.

Prayers go to the family and friends he left behind as they struggle to deal with the grief and the reality.

Prayers to those out there who feel suicide is any kind of a solution to your problems. May Paul's legacy be shining a little light on the silent and sometimes deadly disease of mental depression so that others don't share his fate.
It's really nice to see everyone sharing together on here, no one is alone on here - no matter where you are - and that is quite something to achieve. Tears are never far away - but neither are the smiles.

I was lucky enough to see CH live a few times, Paul stole the stage anytime he wanted to, made everyone laugh - and heckled the hecklers much to the joy of a cheering crowd who'd had enough drunk ramblings from a particular person.

One of my favourite memory though is listening to several radio interviews - and every interviewer commented that they were amazed that Paul didn't have drums with him when they were going to perform. He always used boxes or rubbish bins or whatever was around. And he still made it sound fantastic.

I will remember Paul fondly as a fan, he seemed an ordinary guy - but he was an extraordinary drummer and he was an exceptional person - you just have to read this thread to realise that if you ever had any doubts.

RIP Paulo and my thoughts are with his family and friends and all of the frenz family,

Hi, Paul! I just got the shocking news and I'm... I'm afraid I've got no words... but
does anyone have any, anyway? Some time ago
I thought I could never understand such an
extreme gesture, me an ever-optimistic and
positively-geared guy... bollocks! The fall
is always behind the corner and there you
are, unable to face things, stranded and
broken and chewed...
Goodness me, Paul, what a pain, I mean your
pain... God bless you. See ya. Bye
For anyone who doesn't live in Melbourne and may want to travel here for it, there is expected to be a tribute to Paul on Wednesday night the 6th of April at the Prince of Wales Hotel in St. Kilda - smack bang in the middle of his old stomping ground.

According to today's edition of a local Melbourne newspaper: "Musicians Kevin Garant and John Clifforth are planning a memorial event at the Prince Of Wales Hotel, St Kilda, on April 6.

Dror Erez, of the Prince, said the event would be open to the public.

Garant and Clifforth are working on a concept that may include music performances and anecdotes about the fun-loving Hester."

Although there are no details posted thus far, keep an eye on over the next few days.

Also, Paul's appearance on RocKwiz will be broadcast on Saturday night, SBS 9.15pm.
Still in shock at the news. Although I never got to see CH live I always felt that I knew Paul. Whenever you pick up a live recording of the band you will always hear Paul, especially his antics that made a CH show a memorable and unique experience.

Outside the music from interviews and his other projects he just seemed like a nice bloke who would light up any room he walked into with his genuine warmth, sense of humour and passion for life.

My heart goes out to his family, friends and the rest of the Enz as we come to terms with such a tragic loss.

Rest in peace Paul

This is the first time I've posted to this board, even though I've been a fan of CH & the Finns since Woodface in 1991. I have felt inspired to do so by the messages people have left. Paul's death is tragic news, my thoughts are with his family & I hope that he has found the peace he was looking for.
The humour in CH was one of the things I really loved about the band & Paul contibuted significantly to this. I was lucky enough to see CH play at Portsmouth Guildhall on the Together Alone tour in 1993. CH were on top form & there was a really great vibe between the band & the crowd - a good singalong to weather with you et al. My particular memory was the banter between Paul & the others, especially when he messed up while playing Sister Madly. That track was included on the Recurring dream live album - something which I have always appreciated, but will do so even more now. RIP Paul.
I have been reading everyone's messages since Sunday morning, and I just want to say thank you. Thanks to all of you for building a community of such wonderful like minded people. I take solace here.

And, thanks to everyone who doesn't scoff at depression, but realizes it's something to be taken quite seriously.

I second Tracy's comments above...everyone's posts are quite the healing salve for my heart.

I am especially warmed by the outpouring of new Frenz posters - both those who have lurked for ages and those who are visiting for the first time.

No one around me really understands my grief expect for you co-worked actually remarked (respectively and almost hushed, I must stress): "Wow, I had no idea you liked this band so much."

Thanks for being here and sharing your stories....keep them coming!
Ten hours I've been on the net. First just scavenging for news reports online, then reading all the posts in this thread.

I managed to cry by the end of page 12. It was brief, but a real, sharp burst of pain. I still find it hard to believe, but I think it's starting to sink in. When it has, I think then I'll be able to really cry it out.

I failed to mention also that I had a friend, whom I prefer to call a brother, with bipolar syndrome who committed suicide. I knew him on the net only and had never met him. This was the last time I felt such a loss on this magnitude.

I myself have been experiencing what I suspected to be clinical depression, first in my early teens and again now, and reading a couple of people's thorough descriptions of the symptoms, I can totally relate. That feeling like you're burdening people. That frame of mind. That mask you think you put on for other people.

I don't mean to make guesses at the reasons we may never know, but aside from feeling like he was burdening other people and didn't deserve the sacrifices they made for him, perhaps Paul was trying to make himself, in his own mind, worth something, by trying to make us all happy.

I wonder if there's any kind of investigation going on, searching for a suicide letter or something. I just want to know what could have pushed him to do it.
Incredible. Am in New Zealand on holiday and the radio stations are all playing a lot of Crowded House which is good but also saddens me at the moment. The realisation that there will now never ever be another CH concert ever without Paulo. The manic little (I can say that, I'm 6'1'') drummer with the fantastic stage persona. Was lucky to have met him several times when they toured in the Netherlands and be called his big sis (my name is Caroline as well). And he introduced me to one of my now favourite writers, Amy Tan, when he told me about reading the Kitchen God's Wife. I was there at the Farewell To the World Concert and so sad then. Now, beyond description.

I feel so very very sad. Am tempted to fly to Melbourne to be there for that gig if there are still tickets for the flights. Be good to be with others to who share my grief.
I'm another longtime lurker who decided to register so I could join you all in paying my respects to Paul.

Like so many of you, I never met him and I never saw him play live; I'm just another fan of the music. And yet the news affected me more deeply than I would have guessed. I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach.

But it makes sense. Paul's talent, wit and exuberance are a part of my life -- all our lives. Audio is intimate and emotional, and so he has a place in my heart.

Cheers to Paul, cheers to life, cheers to all of you.
"Escape is on your mind again . . . "

It had been a great weekend here in Austin, TX. A great several weekends. I never thought I'd get to see the Ocean Blue again, and after 8 years there they were, right in front of me at SXSW. It got me greedy. Maybe . . . maybe someday I'll get to see Neil and Paul and Nick and Mark (why, I wonder, is no one mentioning Mark?) again. Then a truly stupefying weekend of college basketball, in which my beloved Michigan State Spartans shocked everyone right here in the town I now live in. (Paul Hester loved the round ball too. When I saw them in Detroit in 91, it was Hester who was just ga over the Detroit Pistons.)

But here comes Monday. Festivals end, games end, and tragically lives end . . . I guess now I know why they create forums. Because the thoughts that go swirling silently through your head, the tears that go skirting down your cheeks, in a world where culture moves swiftly and forgets quickly, as you walk down streets in your hometown, have to come out somewhere. Particularly here in the US, where it always seems CH were treated so shabbily by the press and their label, it is so good to know that Paul wasn't forgotten.

The whys and if-onlys will go on. It's almost 9 years since Material Issue's Jim Ellison did this and I'm still scratching my head from time to time.

This much I know:

Crowded House were a band and Paul Hester was their drummer.

Perhaps in a world where so many good things almost but never quite happen, just having that can be consolation enough. Paul was here. Paul mattered. They all mattered.

And for those of us who, through accident of geography or timing, love that music, truly took it into our hearts and share it with girlfriends that came and went, wives that came and stayed and children soon to be born, and maybe friends that never quite got it (!?), keep the thoughts and pictures and sounds coming. It all helps.

To those gathering in Melbourne later this week, so many of us will be sending as many good thoughts as we can. To the kids and his parents in particular.

And for Paul . . . let's hope he has found the shelter to sleep in. . . .

Miss you miss you miss you
I still can't stop thinking about Paul.

Like everyone here I feel so helpless and just reading through all your wonderful messages is helping me to come to terms with what's happened.

I read through the rage guestbook yesterday and they said they'll be doing something as a tribute to Paul. Hopefully it will be this weekend. People have also been leaving messages for Paul in their guestbook

Music Max also did a lovely tribute on Monday.

Love to you all at this terrible time.
Hi all,

I am very new member to this site, and really only became a member so I could make this posting. When I heard the news of Paul�s death, I was just so totally numb and went in search on the net to find out what had happened. My search led me to this site and I have spent the last few days checking in regularly to read what everyone has been saying, and I have been so emotionally moved. The amazing sense of community within the site is overwhelming, and the grief shared by everyone shows how Paul�s existence touched so many of us. To see all corners of the globe being represented here, talking about one special human being makes you wonder how such a thing could have happened � how could someone so loved, feel so alone and in anguish?

He was a magic man, wasn�t he? Crowded House was one of the first albums I ever bought, and I just thought Paul was the ants pants. I�d sit there trying to look past Neil and Nick, just to see what funny things Paul was up to. My affection for Paul was maintained past my teenage years, and whenever I would see the band on the tele I couldn�t just walk past � I�d have to sit and be entertained by the master�s antics!

For me, the news of Paul�s passing was almost unbelievable. For all of you guys who have continually followed the Split Enz/Crowded House etc band members or even knew them, it must be even so much harder. My thoughts and blessings are with you all.

RIP Paul

Any sentiment that I would have liked to express has been so already, but I too am still stunned by what has happened. I don't think a day has gone by in the last 20 years when one or more Crowded House songs hasn't been playing in the back of my mind. And do you ever get tired of hearing them??

The image that I return to is the last shot in the Something So Strong video where Paul rushes up, wide mouth grinning, to give Nick a big kiss and then firmly places his hand between their lips. When that band got rolling, they appeared to be having so much fun, and no one moreso than Paul.

I send my sympathies to Paul's family and friends, especially his daughters. I hope they know how he will be missed by everyone.
I haven't posted here in well over a year, but I felt the need to pay my respects to Paul. The last few days have been so sad. It just seems so wrong that this has happened. Paul, Neil and Nick have been a part of my life since I was 11 years old - in fact I can't imagine my life without their music. Paul was incredibly talented and had a joyous spirit. It may seem simplistic to say 'he will never be forgotten', but it's the truth, without question. I hope that now he has been released from whatever pain haunted him.

Love and prayers to his family, and Neil and Nick.

i am shocked and devastated, i just don't know what to think. I was first introduced to the music of CH when i was a child but it was my exboyfriend who really got me into their music along with Split Enz. He came into my life when i was in a very bad place and had turned to alcoholism and was very much concidering ending it all if it hadn't been for him i don't know where i would be today.

i now own every single one of their albums and whenever i listen to them i consider myself very lucky that i had someone to help me out of where i was. i love their music and bless every day. my condolences go out to pauls family, neil, nick, mark, friends and especially his two little girls who will grow up without a father. thankyou for the music

its a pleasure we have gained, a treasure we have lost�

enz friend
I keep reading posts and think I'd like to respond specifically to that person for their wonderful words, but then I read another, and another, and before you know it I'm so many pages along I couldn't possibly mention them all. Thank you everyone. Many of you have expressed exactly what I feel so eloquently. Like someone said (pages back!), I will stop coming here eventually, but I can't just now.

I was doing reading at my son's school this am and being so busy it wasn't til I stepped outside and the summer breeze picked up and blew in my face, that I remembered he was gone. I thought wow that must have been a whole hour that I had not thought about it at all. But man when that pain came back in nearly knocked me over.

I have read about a tribute to Paul at the Prince of Wales in St Kilda on Apr 6. I would pack up and take the kids to Melb for any other memorial service, but I can't see them being let in there! Though I also can't see how there would be enough room so maybe we should go and be on the footpath anyway. I'm sure many of you will make it and I wish dearly that I could share.

As it is, I again thank each and every one of you for sharing at this forum, and especially thank the regular posters here for welcoming every new visitor and acknowledging everyone's need to visit here.
The Show Goes On In Memory of Hester
by James Button
Melbourne Age March 30

It was no wake. Neil and Tim Finn lumbered onto the stage of the Royal Albert Hall dressed in a donkey suit. They collapsed in a heap, disentangled themselves, laced up their shoes and picked up their guitars.

"Nick Seymour," announced Neil Finn. To the surprise and delight of the audience the former Crowded House bass player walked on stage. The three began to play Don't Dream It's Over, the song that made the band famous.

Because former Crowded House drummer Paul Hester took his life in Melbourne on Saturday, many assumed that the Finn Brothers' three London concerts this week would not go ahead.

Instead, on Monday Seymour flew in from Ireland, where he now lives, to join the band for the first four songs of a concert that became a tribute to Hester and a celebration of the music they had played in different combinations, first in Split Enz and then in Crowded House.

There were no speeches, just some memories of Hester - "the best drummer I ever played with," Neil Finn said. At the front of the stage they had placed a snare drum with a hat on top.

Advertisement"We're just feeling a lot of stuff tonight," Tim Finn told the crowd, which sang the Split Enz and Crowded House song book in full voice. "We're glad we're with you people tonight because we know you're feeling it too."

"Paul Hester is gone," said Neil Finn. "We loved him. The best we can do is to play music and remember him."

He thanked the audience "for making us feel there's some good in the world".

In the finale, Seymour returned to help play Throw Your Arms Around Me, written by his brother Mark Seymour for Hunters and Collectors.

Leaving the Royal Albert Hall, South-African born musician Keith Farquharson remembered playing in a support act to Crowded House in Johannesburg in 1993. "They were brilliant. I was completely overwhelmed by their music," he said. "Tonight was a terribly emotional night."

Nearby, five young women in their 20s - four of them New Zealanders - discussed the concert. "Crowded House were always a family but tonight they were extra cuddly," Kyra Sycamore said. Penny Dawson had just learnt of Hester's death before going into the Albert Hall. "It made me cry," she said.

� There will be a private funeral and burial for Hester later this week, and a public wake/concert featuring many of his friends at St Kilda's Prince of Wales next Wednesday night. Neil Finn and Nick Seymour are expected to perform.
To my surprise, despite reading all these threads and articles and concert reports, I find I've slipped back into some strange place of denial. I just watched the "Sister Madly" and "It's Only Natural" videos, and while they brought me to tears, I kept thinking, "He can't be gone." Watching him grin and leap and lecture on the necessity of moisturizer, the idea that he is dead at his own hand just wouldn't register.


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