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I watch video after video and often I just catch my breath - oh wow he is so beautiful. That smile just breaks my heart now (though I think it always did!). I love that really, really young stuff like Something So Strong, he looks so *young* and innocent. Uggh that cartwheel gets me everytime Frowner

I heard from The Mayor of Bayside yesterday that he and the Mayor of Pt Philip are meeting to decide where to place a memorial and what form it will take. Smiler
Just thought I would tell everyone in the great land of oz - Hessie's Shed on tuesday night is indeed a repeat of the episode we all want at this time - Neil Finn and Nick Seymour with Paul Kelly - starts at 11.10pm. Anyone heard about Rockwiz on SBS at all??

By the way - today was the first time since Paul left us that I put on Crowded House. It actually felt good - not the overwhelming sadness that has been there.....hope a few more people are switching their stereo back on.....
I thank an old boyfriend for introducing me to CH. Neil Finn's voice singing those lovely lyrics and Paul Hester's drumming keeping the beat. The boyfriend is long gone, but the music is still with me.

It amazes me that I have been so touched by his death. I was driving in the car with my 2.5 year old son when the DJ broke the news. "Oh my God!" I said. My son first corrected me "Oh my Goodness, Mummy" then said "What, what happened Mummy?" I didn't know what to mind reeling with shock. It wasn't just a couple on months ago I was re-introduced to Paul when I was watching a episode of the Wiggles with my son....Chef Paul...Fruit Salad, yummy, yummy. Made me pull out my CH CD's. I spent most of yesterday listening to them, but with a different purpose.

Rest in Peace, Paul Hester.
I usually hate posting to bulletion boards etc, but I can't seem to stay away from here. I've been coming back here everyday hungry for other people's thoughts.

The tribute by Martin and Molloy today brought back many great memories. Apparently Paul is going to be on RocKwiz tomorrow night on SBS. I think it's going to be painful to watch, knowing that it was just recorded a few weeks ago.

I only got to know Crowded House music around 95 or 96. I liked the music a lot but I never really noticed the drums or anything, I just liked the songs. But at the farewell concert I was about 16 at the time, and I saw Paul on the drums from a distance and I was completely mesmerised. I didn't know much about music then but seeing that performance on the drums touched me in some immense way that I can't describe and I started screaming "Paul! Paul! Paul!" From then on Crowded House became even more important to me.
RIP Paul...
I feel compelled to return and share with you all just how much it has meant to me to be able to log on each day and read all the wonderful stories,tributes, personal messages and so forth from everybody.
I work in a busy surgical hospital and deal with peronal tragedies daily but the news of Paul's passing hit me in a way that I can't explain, there have been so many people that I have been close to and lost and barely shed a tear for but last weekend I think I doubled the Kleenex Co. profits for the quarter! Even today, listening to Mick and Tony's MMM tribute I was half laughing, half weeping with tears streaming down my face. What a great hour, by the way,would've loved to have heard more...wasn't he one in a million.
I am a single mum now-as my ex also was a victim of depression, he was homicidal as well as suicidal, my father also attempted suicide twice by carbon monoxide poisoning but was fortunately found unconscious but alive each time.Such an insidious, horrible condition,so many affected, what a tragedy. May some good come out of this sad,sad end.
I am in my forties and have passed on my passion for CH and the enz to my 2 teenage boys, so glad that I am old enough to remember so much!
The world will never be the same.
Here's to you Hessie!! x
david19, I was kinda hoping that too. A small part of me was secretly hoping that all this was some kind of big April Fool's stunt, that Paul would just spring out from somewhere and say, "GOT YA!!!" It would have been a cruel joke, but at least he'd still be here. Sigh.

But I think I've gotten to the acceptance stage now. Though he is still on my mind all the time, and all I want is to get everything he has ever recorded, I feel less...frantic. Like maybe he's at peace now, and I feel that.

Yeah, all the songs now have different meanings. There's always some lyric that you can relate to this situation (not just Finns/Hester lyrics, but every song), and every time you hear it, you hurt.

I said his name out loud to other people twice today for the first time since I heard the news and for some reason it hurt so much more than saying it in type.

Thank you for the info on the radio tributes and TV shows. I'm getting my best friend to tape 'em for me.
Hi. I just saw this obituary in the UK's Guardian newspaper - don't think it's been posted yet... apologies if it has already.


Paul Hester

Pop-rock drummer known for his humour and stage antics

Dave Laing
Tuesday March 29, 2005
The Guardian

During the 1980s and 1990s, Crowded House was among Australasia's most renowned pop-rock bands, with 13 top-10 hits in Britain alone. Although the group's figurehead was singer, guitarist and songwriter Neil Finn, drummer Paul Hester, who has been found hanged in a Melbourne park, aged 46, made a vital contribution to their recordings and stage shows. Emergency services took his death to be a suicide.

He was born in Melbourne to a bushman father and jazz drummer mother, from whom he learnt percussion techniques. His extrovert personality did not impress his teachers, and he left school early, taking several unskilled jobs before forming his first group, Cheks, in 1980.

At the end of 1983, he auditioned for the vacant drum chair in the established band Split Enz, run by the New Zealand-born Neil and Tim Finn. Hester took part in three rehearsals before he was given the job, bringing a cassette recorder to the final session in order to tape each band member's verdict on his playing. It was later said that his ability to make Tim Finn laugh won Hester the job.

Within a year, Split Enz had disbanded and Neil Finn and Hester formed a new group with guitarist Nick Seymour. They were signed by the US label Capitol and moved to Los Angeles. At first, they called themselves the Mullanes (after Finn's middle name), but after record company pressure the name Crowded House was adopted, inspired by the cramped living conditions in their Hollywood bungalow.

The group's eponymous first album (1986) was compared to the work of such groups as the Beatles, Kinks and Squeeze. It included the US top-10 hit Don't Dream It Over, which launched Crowded House as a major attraction on the international touring circuit.

Hester occasionally co-wrote songs and provided vocal harmonies, but, above all, he injected a zany, wisecracking humour into the stage show, which contrasted with Neil Finn's more diffident persona. "Hester the jester" would stand up to play drums on certain numbers, and occasionally stopped the show to order a hamburger and fries, which he would consume before the music resumed.

In 1990, Tim Finn joined the group to contribute the songs for the album Woodface, Crowded House's greatest artistic and commercial triumph. Among its tracks were the major British hits Fall At Your Feet and Weather With You, and the band was named best international group at the 1992 Brits awards.

On their next recording, Together Alone (1993), the group was joined by Polynesian drummers and a Maori choir. A year later, Hester unexpectedly left the group during an American tour, returning immediately to Melbourne where his partner, Mardi Sommerfield, was expecting their first child.

He now began a new career in broadcasting, while continuing to record and perform with local musicians. As well as hosting music programmes for the ABC network and the Music Max music video channel, he appeared as Chef Paul in a local children's television show, The Wiggles. He opened a cafe and his own recording studio in Melbourne's Elwood Beach district, and formed the occasional group Largest Living Things. In recent years, he also worked on radio and music projects with members of the Aboriginal community.

Hester was occasionally reunited with his former colleagues, notably in 1996 when Crowded House played their final show to a crowd of 120,000 on the steps of the Sydney opera house. One reviewer wrote of "Paul Hester's sadness, Nick Seymour's anger and Neil Finn's emotion at the enormity of it all". His last appearance with the Finn brothers was in a television special last November.

Hester is survived by his partner and their two daughters.

� Paul Newell Hester, musician, born January 8 1959; died March 26 2005
Another nice article from the Melbourne Age...

Remembering Hessie

Brian Nankervis recalls his charismatic, exuberant mate Paul Hester, who ended his life last week.

I first met Paul Hester in an old church hall on the Acland Street hill in 1986. I was in a play at Theatreworks called Cake, and Paul, the boyfriend of a company member's daughter, had been asked to write a song that could close the show.

It was a catchy song about the joys of eating cakes in Acland Street, the romantic cosiness of his favourite cafes (The Galleon, The Danube, Scheherazade) and the horror of trendy cafes run by yuppies with bad haircuts who served weak coffee and tea-bag tea and played bland music for people with no right to be there.

Paul was in a band, but they didn't play much around Melbourne. Someone reckoned they were big in America.

We loved Paul's song, but choreographing a dance strong enough to finish the show was difficult. The verses seemed to be different lengths, there
wasn't a proper chorus and it had two false endings before staggering to a climax in a clatter of percussion, bells and maniacal laughter.

Word came through that Paul was back from the US and wanted to watch a rehearsal to see how we were using his song. He and his girlfriend, Mardi, sauntered in and then Paul was raring to go, captivated by our world. He roared with laughter at Val Lehman's pontifications, Caz Howard's pratfalls and Chris Barry's ridiculous wig and moleskins. By the time we lurched to the dance routine, we were so buoyed by Paul's laughter and energy that we somehow made it work. EEven the awkward and chaotic bits looked crazy and inviting, like Paul himself and his cafes or his kitchen, his TV room or his shed. His charismatic, unpredictable and exhilarating

My partner, Sue, and I moved to Elwood in 1992 and we spent a lot of time with Paul and Mardi: lazy afternoons in their sun-drenched kitchen, drinking tea and eating sourdough toast, carefully grilled, buttered and presented by Paul. He scurried about the kitchen with glee, tea towel over his shoulder, wiping up crumbs, sponging spreads off the laminex table, waxing eloquent on politics, sport, music and art.

He always had a story: the state of the nation, his five-year recreation plan for the Elwood Canal and what he'd tell those clowns from 60 Minutes if they'd have him on. Room service in San Franciscan hotels. Close encounters with Sting, Rick Danko and Roger McGuinn. Sharing a private room with Yoko Ono and Andy Warhol. Copping a face full of Diana Ross' hair in a revolving door in LA. Popping out with the dogs for papers and milk and coming home with a 10-kilogram snapper that Roy and H.G. had given to Andrew Gaze at the Prince of Wales Hotel.

So many stories, and just when you realised you hadn't said anything for ages and you wondered if Paul knew you were there, he'd ask the right questions, listen to you, massage your shoulders or lend you that CD you were talking about last week.

I remember Crowded House onstage that year at WOMAdelaide. Paul interrupted Neil (Finn) with a hilarious tribute to the taxi driver who had taken us from the hotel to the festival site, managing to be political, insulting and sexy all at once.

I remember the audience loving the band and loving Paul for making them laugh and dance, which was exactly what we hoped they'd do.

In 1993 I interviewed Paul for a book called Boys and Balls, conversations with men about balls, games and competition. In the introduction to Paul's chapter, I wrote: "Paul Hester used to be a rover with a bush footy club. He had a tonne of pace, a big mouth and he quit when he realised he would soon get hurt. He used to be the drummer with the band Crowded House. They had a string of international hits, travelled the world and he quit one day in Atlanta, Georgia, when he realised he was letting the side down. 'I'd been taking it one gig at a time but I just wasn't putting in for four quarters.' "

In 1994, Paul and I became fathers of beautiful baby girls. Paul took to nappy routines with methodical precision, bordering on obsession. The cchange area was elaborately laid out with tubes and powders, creams and cloths. "I've spent years watching roadies run a tight ship and that's what I'm after. Dugald dropped in the other day and was impressed. Too many ointments for his liking, but there you go." Tea and toast service ran all night, the perfect excuse for dressing gowns and slippers collected from all over the world. Paul lay on the floor for hours with his babies. He was so proud of his two girls, in love with their baby smells, amazed by their development, in awe of their purity.

In 1997, I happily played second banana to Paul and his band The Largest Living Things for a run of shows at the Esplanade Hotel, called Hessie's Shed. Trevor Hoare created a bizarre set that was part shed, part retro lounge room and I warmed up the crowd, read poetry, ran a quiz and made toast.

A 10-part ABC series followed and was a complete joy. Paul played guitar, sermonised from stage and invited all his favourite musicians, painters, comedians and poets. He played with them or watched, lolling on a comfy couch with band mates George, Barry and Big Kev.

Paul had impeccable taste, and guests included the Topp Twins, John Clarke, Archie and Ruby, Blackfire, Ross Hannaford, Rich Hall, Lynda Gibson, Noel Crombie, John Clifforth, Deb Conway, Peter Rowsthorn, Nick Barker, Bob Franklin, Magda Szubanski, Renee Geyer, Martin and Molloy, Stephen Cummings, Paul Kelly, Reg and Pete and a Crowded House reunion. It was fantastic fun, a chaotic circus, a team event steered lovingly by a larrikin with bold vision and relaxed, lightning-quick wit.

Four weeks ago I was at the Espy once more, watching Paul bring down the house with a wild version of Wipeout. The crowd erupted when he was revealed and they watched, open mouthed and laughing, as he attacked the drums with ferocious abandon and exaggerated, comical delicacy. For the next half hour he was the life of the party - funny, rude and a little vulnerable. He lit up that room and then he was gone, text messaging us at 2am that he'd had a great time.

Paul could be frustrating, unreliable, moody and maddening, as well as relaxed, professional, caring and supportive. The mood swings were radical and the black moments were hard work, but he was trying to break their grip, trying to stay in the light. So why did this happen?

His friend Kutcha Edwards reckons it's none of our business and Paul was the only one who could tell us, so let's just get on with loving him and loving life. I reckon it's important to find some answers or understand his pain, but right now we need to celebrate a wonderful life.

The Paul Hester I'll remember made me laugh and cared deeply about the world and his girls, and there are people all over the planet a whole lot richer in spirit for having him here.

Brian Nankervis is a Melbourne performer and writer. Paul Hester will appear on the SBS music show RockWiz tonight, in a pre-recorded program.
First time poster here and gutted with the circumstances that compelled me write in.

I cannot add anything extra to the eloquent messages already posted here - it is comforting to me knowing that so many others are affected by this tragic loss, and we can share our feelings.

I was at the RAH gig on Monday and didn't even know what had happened at the time, I actually heard the news on the radio driving home afterwards - although Neil's comments during the show made me realise something was seriously amiss.

This week at work has been a blur to me, as I am sure it has for everyone. I'm glad it's the weekend so I can gather my thoughts and try to remember all the happiness he brought into my life.

Rest in peace Paul, our love will reach you, wherever you are.

The strange thing is - the bands / artists who I have connected with more than any others were Crowded House and Elliott Smith. Elliott killed himself late 2003 and now Paul....

And I got one more thing to say, which I won't dwell on as I am f****** furious about this at the moment - those w****** who are selling Paul Hester items on E Bay at the moment should hang their pitiful heads in shame. I have seen a few items up this week seliing Paul Hester stuff, not Crowded House, not Split Enz, but Paul Hester.

Do you honestly think they would be sold as Paul Hester items if this terrible tragedy hadn't happened last weekend. I did contact one seller expressing my outrage - and was told "if you don't like it, don't buy it". Disgusting.
I've never felt compelled to write before hearing about Paul last week- I've used this source to hear what was happening and loved reading posts, but liked to live vicariously via you fine people. Today, after a lot of deliberate thinking over the past week (driving 12 hours from New Jersey to Michigan with two kids will do that to you), I thought I needed to write. It's too much to think about privately.

I read a post earlier in the week where someone said that the music made by Split Enz/CH/Neil & Tim was the soundtrack to his or her life. I loved that- maybe that is part of the reason that we are all so upset. To know that this group of people, via their art (and it IS art), have brought so much joy (and for me, reflection and growth in my own life) and that now one is gone so tragically makes this especially hard.

You never want the ones you love to hurt- and in my own quirky way, I suppose I do love these people for all of the great emotions they bring to my surface each time I listen to their music.

I've been a loyal fan for a long while- Nick jokingly blessed my tummy while I was pregnant with my first child at a CH show in Detroit during the Woodface tour. Their music has seen me through breakups, the pregnancy and birth of my children, career changes, loss of friends, a divorce, a new marriage (to a Kiwi- got to spend time at Kare Kare), and so many other milestone moments in my life.

I'd strayed from the music for a while now and today I listened to everything, including my Detroit Rock City CD from the show where my daughter Marley was "blessed." What a gift I've been given by having this music, and however remotely, people like Paul in my life.

Be safe and take care of yourselves.
I have heard those same words before from my own father, that suicide is such a selfish act. Personally I am sceptical about that judgement, as there can be many reasons that we will never know as to why any one person commits suicide. I personally would not have the guts to take my own life, so I say it is a brave act. But one reason for suicidal behaviour can be due to SSRI's (anti depressants) as a side effect of such medications is that it can induce suicidal tendancies, and anyone likely to go through with suicide cannot be in their usual or normal state of mind, so I personally do not judge. Reading about the sort of person Paul was, it seems totally out of character for him to have gone through with this too, no matter how bad he may have been feeling at the time. He had so much to live for and was loved by so many, even those who never met him (such as myself).
Therefore, maybe in Pauls case it was a spontaneous act that he had not planned at all and maybe just maybe it was due to e.g. a side effect of his anti depressant medication (if he was taking those of course).. But there can be many reasons, which we will never know as we are not that person and cannot feel what they feel.
I think, sadly, given the method that Paul used to kill himself, it must have been premeditated Frowner

But it's not a time to grieve, we've got to be happy, and celebrate Paul! What a ripper guy he was, so full of spunk Wink If you can watch him in the "Mean to Me" video, and say that he's truly 'gone', you're mad! Smiler

Long Live Sir. Paul! Big Grin
When I picked up The Age today I just sighed out loud at Hessie's big beautiful picture on the front page. But I too smiled all the way through that piece - it was lovely.

I love the words "there are people all over the planet a whole lot richer in spirit for having him here."

That's us! Smiler
Thank you Hessie, for enriching my spirit and encouraging me to be better person.
Reading these posts there is alot of mention of how Crowded House songs make you feel, a certain time in your life, the emotions they stir up. I was making a copy of fav CH songs last night i was reading the inside cover of The Very Best of Crowded House Recurring Dream,and it hit the nail right on the head. If you have the cd read it, it rings so true.
This is very sad news. Just last night I watched Dreaming the Videos. I'm glad I didn't know at that point. Paul seems so happy and zany and his charm just really infuses the visual images that accompany the great great music.

It's nice to hear he was so gracious to those who had the fortune to meet him.
Just to add my two pence worth...I have been a crowded house fan since about '91, but have only just come to the frenz forum. I have been craving contact with frenz after what happened and so have been reading the forum this week for a bit of comfort.

Crowdies were the first (and only) band I ever really got into big time- and one big reason for that was Paul. Every time you came away from a gig you had a big smile on your face, because of the humour, and the happy and friendly atmosphere you experienced. Paul was a huge part of that for me.

Still feels quite unreal what happened last week. And I am so sad to think how lonely it must have been for him-I've had people close to me who have been down similar paths and it is so upsetting to think paul suffered in a similar way.

My most heartfelt condolences to Pauls family, friends & loved ones, especially his two girls. We are all thinking of you.

And Paulo, thank you so much for making me (and many others)smile & laugh - it's a great gift you have.

May you be free at last x
Appologies in advance if this has already been posted.

The following tribute was posted to the news section of

Former Crowded House / Split Enz drummer, and long time friend of Midnight Oil, Paul Hester took his own life in Melbourne at the weekend.

"Paul was a brilliant musician and a comic genius and we are going to miss him terribly."

Paul played as drummer for Midnight Oil one night in Adelaide filling in for a sick Rob - he has been friends with all the band members for a long time. They are deeply saddened and shocked by the news, as are his many friends, and music fans around the world.
The drums are louder now in every Crowded House song I play, as well as that voice in the background.

I'm finding that too. I thought it was just me listening out for it more now, but it's almost like Paul is making it louder and saying, "see, I'm still here".

I'm almost scared of what to do by this time next week. People will have started to move on and the memorials will all be over and there will become fewer and fewer posts on this forum and I don't feel like I'm ready for that. Does anyone else feel that way?
Previously posted by Carl:
"The drums are louder now in every Crowded House song I play, as well as that voice in the background."

I'm finding that too. I thought it was just me listening out for it more now, but it's almost like Paul is making it louder and saying, "see, I'm still here".

I'm almost scared of what to do by this time next week. People will have started to move on and the memorials will all be over and there will become fewer and fewer posts on this forum and I don't feel like I'm ready for that. Does anyone else feel that way?

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