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a new obituary from the smh today...

Cheeky larrikin stole the show

By John Clifforth

"Show me the love" was one of Paul's favourite sayings. He would use it when you were going for a difficult putt or laying down a vocal in his recording studio. He lived by this motto, too, and since his tragic and lonely death in Elsternwick Park, much of the love he inspired has been evident.

Paul was the cheeky rover who gets in and fairly steals the play from the big boys. Our loveable larrikin, poking fun at the pompous and mediocre, focusing our attention on what we need to do to lift our game.

Paul was born on the same date as Elvis Presley and David Bowie. He grew up with his parents, Mike and Ann, and his younger sister Caroline in Glen Waverley in Melbourne. Ann, a jazz drummer, taught him to play drums. In his diary, from when he was 11 and which was read on Hessie's Shed on ABC television, he said he wanted to be a famous drummer and not get into trouble with the police. And that his favourite Beatle was Paul.

I met Paul Hester for the first time in 1978 at the Exford Hotel in Russell Street in Melbourne. He was with the International Exiles then and his playing reminded me of Keith Moon of the Who.

The timing and energy he put into his drums was there in his humour and we instantly became lifelong best friends. A year later, when I'd finished my medical studies, we were sharing a big house in Burnett Street, St Kilda, and playing the traps in a group called the Cheks. Paul loved to be mum. He loved a good cup of tea - from a pot with a tea cosy. He'd fetch the tray with a tea towel over his shoulder, slippers on, and make sure everyone was comfortable on the couch before switching on the telly.

Late one night we were putting posters up for our band on the railway bridge in Chapel Street, Prahan, and the police rolled up. I froze and Paul shout-whispered at me, "Keep going, you idiot! If you stop they'll know you think you're doing something wrong!"

We moved to Sydney in 1981 and formed a new group, Deckchairs Overboard. Paul was openly ambitious and with Neil Finn he found the perfect Beatles-influenced partner to realise his dreams.

Paul was the best man at my wedding in 1986 and shortly afterwards I moved to New York. We stayed in close contact and I loved to see the effect those early Crowded House shows had on American audiences.

It was great to see him poke fun at a wider world with the simple prop of a snare drum, a cymbal and a pair of brushes. And to see him get on the show of his hero, David Letterman.

Paul loved Australian football, barracked for the Demons and won best and fairest while playing in the South Belgrave under 17s. Later he loved to play basketball and was a fanatical fan of the Melbourne Tigers. Golf, too, became a passion and towards the end he was a member of Yarra Yarra and Lakeside.

He lived modestly, drove a beaten-up Commodore station wagon and was always loyal to the women in his life. He was a strong community campaigner in Elwood and St Kilda, supported numerous charities, including the Mirabel Foundation, and was a patron of the Your Voice political party started by Richard Frankland after the demise of ATSIC.

He was a natural coach, a mentor with a gentle understanding of how courage needs support. Paul embraced Aborigines through the Songlines program and was always up for a gig or recording session. As Kutcha Edwards put it, "Paul doesn't speak of reconciliation, he just does it."

Sometimes Paul found it hard to trust and remember that love and forgiveness were available to him from a wide group of friends. Dark moods would temporarily swamp him and shame him into isolation. There are many men, young and old, who find it hard to reach out when times are tough. Maybe Paul's death will help draw attention to these sorts of issues.

Paul was my dearest and funniest friend. He inspired many others to be honest, to love, to bring out the best in each other and have a laugh at our failings. Now it's our turn.
Thanks Silent Stream so much for the Clifforth article. Priceless. It made me cry a little again. Also made me think about people in my life who suffer the same "dark moods that swamp" them.
It's not the way anyone should have to live and yet I hate the alternative even more...

I am very grateful to all of you plugged in Aussies and the news you send out. Detroit has White Stripes, Eminem & Kid Rock fans galore, but sadly few of my Crowdie comrades remain to talk about this with Frowner
Good evening fellow Crowdies

It's been a week now since I heard the news and it still doesnt lie with me at all and probably wont ever. I've read this thread through and it does Paul proud.

I dont claim to know Paul, that is just a lovely life held by the few but I did meet him in England once, although you'll have to excuse me but the dates and times evade me if I am asked to be exact. It was approx 1995 and I remember it was cold, but then for England thats pretty standard all year round.

Only a couple of years after the said meeting my boyfriend at the time committed suicide and I therefore am therefore hopeful that if this does bring attention to the masses of unexpected young men who follow this path - Paul will be the one to assist over in the hotter climits of the world.

Since the age of 15 I can not think of one thing other than Crowded House that has remained a total constant love of my life and I will always watch DVD's & video's, listen to CD's etc with the fondest of memories and with a great relation to my own life that no other band could ever match.

Paul throughout all media that I have seen was always boyant and beautiful and I hope that he is never forgotton by his fans.

Don't Dream It's Over

Mog xXxXxXx

Ps - excuse all spelling errors - this site needs to invest in spell check ;-)
Sorry me again .... I know most of you do regularly, but listening to Paul at his most finest hours, live, recorded, in interview etc - takes on a whole amazing new standing.

I feel so eternally greatful for being privaliged enough to have had the full live experience - I was blessed and will always remember.

Thank you for allowing me the air time.

I'll leave you in peace with your own personal grief.

Mog xXxXxXxXx
I was very sad to hear the news about Paul's death. The CH music is such a gift to the world that it makes me sad to think he died in turmoil.
You never really know what's really going in deep inside someone's heart and mind. I hope he found peace at the end. The music will always give us and his friends and family--joy!
I am using this tragedy as an opporotunity to learn more about Paul and all his musical adventures. Love from Canada! Smiler
Morning all - today I dug out a new top I had put away for our son, and even though it is 2 sizes too big I thought it of it as my own little tribute. It has drum kit on the front - with a big star on the bass drum. I'm sure that Paul is now a shining star; I hope he is laughing (probably at the enormous long sleeve T our boy is lumering around in), and enjoying his new view.

I lay some flowers at the Park yesterday and let him know that he will always be loved and remembered for all the right reasons - whatever they are to each of us.

What a great forum. I feel I have no right to trespass on others personal grief - however Paul's passing has given me, and I am sure a lot of us, an opportunity to reach out and see that there is goodness and kindness in the world - strangers brought together by a truly unique fellow.

All I ask is to live each moment, Free from the last
I just wanted to say that reading all your thoughts has helped me so much. I really don't think other people understand how I'm feeling,I feel they just think I'm crazy. Aussie/NZ music was a big part of my life growing up especially Crowded House, Hunters & Collecters, Noiseworks & Jimmy Barnes, you just end up feeling like you knew them & they were your best friends.

Just wanted to tell you also that I went to a special Triple M concert last week with Mark Seymour & James Reyne. Mark dedicated "Throw your arms around me" to Paul saying he was a great man who had made the biggest decision of his life. Hearing that & knowing the words "we may never meet again" made it harder to sing.

This is the first site I have registered with as I am new to the world of home computers (a bit behind the times, I know)and I felt I had to do this just to THANK YOU ALL.
I can't get Paul out of my head. From being at the Albert Hall gig on Monday and watching their touching tribute to reading the news about Paul's state of mind, I am filled with sadness and horror that maybe he did not mean to actually die.
Anyone who has felt suicidal will know that if you really mean to kill yourself, you would make sure you took your life in private, otherwise it is probably a cry for help and you want to be saved. I think Paul must have been crying for help - going to a public park with his two dogs who would draw attention to him to any passers-by. It is heartbreakingly sad to think of him.
I hope his sadness is now gone. RIP Paul.
Morning fellow frenz...well he is finally at rest, the funeral was yesterday, the Brisbane memorial was yesterday and this morning, for the first time in years, I slept in until 9.45am. I NEVER do that, I've got two kids!! I think this whole week finally caught up with me. I, like many others, have been up till all hours reading this forum and finding comfort in it. Thank you everyone...for everything.

Paul Newell Hester -- January 1959 - March 2005
Like many others I have been lurking here for days, gaining comfort from the words I've read. I'm still absolutely gutted that Paul is no longer here, Enz & CH have been one of the few constant things in my life for the past 20+ years. I can certainly relate to those of you who think of them as 'family'.

It helps me to know that this past week so many of us have been listening to their music over and over (as if you'd ever tire of it!!) and visualising Paul with his gorgeous ear to to ear grin.

Reading the words here has helped me gain greater insight into my own depression. Last night I worked up the courage to tell a friend I'd suffered clinical depression for years and he was so shocked I hadn't told him earlier. The stigma is slowly breaking down.

It breaks my heart to think of the pain his family and friends must be going through.

RIP Paul.
I am yet another newbie and have been reading everyone's heartfelt messages during the week which has been great. This is my first post on anything so hopefully I'm doing it right!
I told a friend of Paulo's death and that I was a big CH fan and had met him a couple of times. The comment I got was along the lines of you liked Crowded House?? - like that was a bad thing!
I totally agree with many of you - CH was the music I grew up with, the soundtrack to my life. Music you can listen to over and over again and never get sick of it. I still pause when I hear CH/ENZ on the radio.
On the weekend I dug out my old CH t-shirt that I got from the fan club (purple crown), dug out an old "video newsletter" and sat in front of the tv. I haven't been able to watch my farewell to the world video yet but the time is soon approaching - especially after playing a few CDs at high volume and having a good old sing along which brought back a lot of good memories and a few tears as well.

RIP Paulo
I finally cried on the weekend, reading the Brian Nankervis piece in the Age, unfortunately in the carpark at Chadstone - not really the most appropriate place! But something in that article just got me, the godawful sense of thinking of just how sad and alone he must have been in those last hours...and the tears just came...

Later that arvo I lay in the park near my house and watched a gnarly old pine wave in the wind, and the clouds scuttle across the sky, and listened to the JJJ tribute. Lost it completely over Paul's comment about reducing his handicap by the time he was 50, and knowing he didn't make it...but it felt right to be out there in the beautiful world, wishing him goodbye.

Thanks for all the memories, Paul, from 1986 through to now, from Belvoir Amphitheatre to the Conti in Melbourne, from walking in Munich listening to Private Universe for the first time to Love This Life when I opened my high-school leaving results, from your crazy Sister Madly antics to the cowboy hat on Rockwiz last Saturday...I hope you have peace now, and the demons are put to rest.

Enormous sympathy and love to everyone that knew him, and that includes everyone on this site who misses him even if they can't explain why properly.

Originally posted by Red:
[qb]Last night I worked up the courage to tell a friend I'd suffered clinical depression for years and he was so shocked I hadn't told him earlier. The stigma is slowly breaking down.[/qb]
*Hugs* That is awesome news. Anything good that can come out of this tragedy is definitely worth noting.

And just so you know, you've got a whole community full of people here who either understand exactly what you're going through and can help you out, or people who, even if they haven't experienced depression themselves, will still be willing to listen to you if you ever need to talk or something, too, okay? Please do keep that in mind Smiler .

And still more beautiful words from people trying to "explain why properly." Smiler

Many have expressed their anguish at imagining what that dark place must be like, and many have described a similar place they have been in themselves. In this way we have tried to grasp the reality and have reached out to one another in the process. Smiler

Every single one of you has been a help to me in what I am feeling and I am so glad you are all here. *hugs*

I'd just like to mention that as much as we all struggle to understand the whys and what ifs about Paul's last moments, these are perhaps for his family and friends to contemplate at a later date, not for us to speculate on in a public forum. Smiler
Well said AnnieMay...Paul was in a place that noone could reach..sad but true...the outcome speaks for itself.
My husband is a sufferer of the dreaded thing called depression...fortunatly his attempts to end his life...there have been 3... ended on a good note...he didnt succeed...but he did say this when I asked him how he could think of leaving his children...
He said although its an aweful thing...his kids didnt even enter his thoughts at the time...he said nothing was going to stop him...this is a man who adores his kids...a man who today battles demons I know nothing about...something I cant help him with...I am just there to love him and support him...there is not alot more I can do,its a helpless feeling at times but its the way it is.
I only wish that people will be more open to this dreadful illness that is depression...its not a joke...its not something that people pretend to have...its very very real and very very scarey..well it is for me..I cant even begin to think how a sufferer feels.
I posted here last week and still can't seem to deal with this enormous shock. No one around me understands why I am feeling this way, they seem to think I am being stupid. Thank goodness I have everyone here who listens.

Was just thinking about all the posts here, I have read every one of them. A lot of people have sent prayers out to the family, to Neil, Nick, Tim etc. I've just realised something. No one has mentioned Mark Hart. I know he wasn't in CH as long as the others but I was watching him play at the farewell to the world concert, and he seemed just as emotional as the others. I'm sure he probably loved Paul just as much too so I'd like to send out a prayer to him as well.

By the way, can someone tell me if Black and White boy was written about Paul? I was listening to one of my live tapes and Neil said it was written with someone in mind and it was a special song. And I know someone on here called Paul black and white boy. I can't stop listening to this song and feel how the lyrics seem to tell about Paul. Anyone help me out?
Can I just add to my last post this....

The doctors told me after my hubby's attempts that there was nothing I or anyone else could of done to stop this.

He was at a place so deep within himself that he had...and still has... trouble understanding I would not of been able to understand either.

And so it seems Paul was at this place deep in a place within that there was no way out...does that make sense??

We will continue to ask why...we will continue to ask was there anything anyone could of said or done...from my expereinces I would have to say no...

By the way, can someone tell me if Black and White boy was written about Paul? I was listening to one of my live tapes and Neil said it was written with someone in mind and it was a special song. And I know someone on here called Paul black and white boy. I can't stop listening to this song and feel how the lyrics seem to tell about Paul. Anyone help me out? [/QB]
...working beautifully there, as always!
I think "Black and White Boy" was written about Neil's dog, Lester, an Alsatian. Don't quote me tho...

On Paul... Still hollow when I think about it. As a sixteen year old, I sneaked into The Middle, a suburban pub in Eastern Melbourne, to see a band called Crowded House.
Like most people that saw them live, I was instantly moved. Something about the words, and the way that these three men, each with their own distinct sounding voice, put those words together... the way the harmony rang in my ears.
I was inspired.

Fast track 14 years and because of that single event(I remember like yesterday... even still got my ticket!) and I have eeked out a fair living as a musician, but I owe it all to a guy from New Zealand, a Yankee, and two blokes from a town called Melbourne, one of whom inspired me to play the drums...

Paul, you are an Inspiration, and will be sorely missed
Originally posted by karenw:
[qb]I've just realised something. No one has mentioned Mark Hart. I know he wasn't in CH as long as the others but I was watching him play at the farewell to the world concert, and he seemed just as emotional as the others. I'm sure he probably loved Paul just as much too so I'd like to send out a prayer to him as well.[/qb]
Good point...yes, indeed, my condolances and thoughts go to him as well. I don't doubt he's shocked and saddened by this news, too.

Forgive me if I'm repeating myself but I just needed to say this.
I watch the 24-hour MAX tribute to Paul, I watched the Dreaming DVD last night, and, after a week of holidays, I was listening to Crowded House in the car on the way to uni as I always do.
I saw again how close Neil, Nick, Mark and Paul were - what a great, irreplacable band they were. I was listening to these great instrumental sounds, the great lyrics, but the drumming and background vocals are so good.
Then, in the car, it hit me that we are never going to have this ever again. It's actually the end of an extraordinary era in music. Paul is actually gone, and I could not stop crying as I was singing along.
I feel so sad for Paul's family, and Nick, Neil and Mark, as through their music, I feel like I have gotten so close to them over the years. I just want to help them somehow.
In a more personal note, as a Melbourian, I really feel for Nick Seymour. Paul and Nick were both such a big inspiration to me and I idolise them both. He and Paul were two Melbourne guys who were really great friends, who from an ordinary Melbourne life, both went on to conquer the world with their music. It's like their shared their lives together, and now Paul is gone, and Nick was probably closest to him in the band.
I don't know if that makes any sense but I just needed to just get it off my chest.
Rest in peace Paul. You will truly be missed and loved by many for years to come, but with the music and all our happy memories, you will be with us forever!!!!
Hi again. I recently rediscovered a book I found in Angus & Robertson Bookstore a couple of years ago. "Love this Life" Neil Finn Lyrics 1978 - 2001. Published by Allen and Unwin ISBN 1-86508-508-1. Don't know if it is still in print, but if you can get your hands on it, it really is a beautiful book.

I took our children to play at Elsternwick park this afternoon - the sound of their laughter and happy faces allowed me some relief from the sadness in my heart. Rest well Paul - we are all thinking of you....

Love can make you weep, can make you run for cover. Roots that spread so deep, bring life to frozen ground.
Hi KarenW. I'm not sure if B&W boy was written for Paul - however Paul also penned a song called "Lester"...mmmm... I just read the lyrics of B&W boy again, and they are hauntingly beautiful...

Black and white boy, black and white boy
You're so extreme, you're so confused
Colour me in, whatevermood I'm in
I could be still in touch with you

And you're full of the wonder of spring
It's all sweetness and light that you bring
And a room full of people will fall to your infinite charm
But when darkness should quickly descent
You go quietly my miserable friend
To the depths of despair you will crawl
Black and white boy


When you shake off the shadows ofnight
And your eyes are so clear and so bright
You make fools of the liars and creeps
Put a rose inmy cheeks
But when deomns have climbed on your back
You are vicious and quick to attack
And you put on a wonderful show
Do you really, really think I don't know


And you're acting so nice it's obscene
And you put on a wonderful show
Do you really, really think I don't know?
Black and white boy, black a white boy

What a master in verse...glad I am amongst friends who tolerate my ramblings..
I haven't said anything yet on this thread, infact I really have put off saying anything, but I guess now would be a good time.

It's very strange to wake up one morning, and find out someone that you admired to have killed themself.

And like many people, I just wonder "why?!". I guess I thought that Paul would always be there forever, and not go so soon, and in such a tragic manner.

It was only just recently that I saw him at the Max Session in Melbourne, being as funny as ever. There was a moment when the mic he had wasn't working, so he started tapping it, and then finally just resorting to tapping it on the side of his head. Of course at this point, the mic started working, and caused a bit of loud cracking.

The banter between him and the band was fantastic. Stories of him hitting on Tim Smith's wife (because apparently she had some very nice knee high socks). And the story of the time he was... how should I say, pleasing himself infront of the television while on tour, and at the critical moment, Nigel Mansell appearing on the screen.

Paul: "Well, Neil was there with me..."
Neil: "Because mates watch!"

He was a quick witted fellow, but such a dag at times too.

Farewell Paul, we love you, and we'll certainly miss you.
Originally posted by Claudia:
[qb] On Saturday night, SBS screened a repeat of the show Rockwiz with Paul Hester. I laughed and I cried. Paul, we will miss you. Thanks for all the memories! RIP

Claudia [/qb]
it wasn't a repeat. that was the first time that episode was aired. it was taped 3 weeks ago at the gershwin room in melbourne.
I was thinking about Mark Hart whilst watching FTTW too. I think in my case (and perhaps as so many of u are about my age you may feel the same), by the time Mark was a part of CH, I was still playing the music but I was past my teenage thing of being completely obsessed with the band members personally. Hence I always felt very connected to Neil, Nick and Paul as they were part of my growing up, and I knew *everything* about them a fan should! In no way do I de-value Mark's part in Crowded House nor do I ignore his loss right now, but it's just to me personally Neil, Nick and Paul (and Tim is even to a lesser extent) *were* Crowded House at that very influential time in my life.

So forgive us Mark, though I do think all of us that have posted here, although mentioning some names and not others, ache for all those friends and family who are dealing with this sorrow.

We have found comfort in each other, and in the healing words of Neil Finn. May Mark and all whose lives were intertwined with Hessie's find solace and strength at this time. Our thoughts are with all of you.

Originally posted by Purpleams:
[qb] 'How does one heal the healer?'

Well put Sherry. I've been wondering about that - the Crowdies, particularly Neil I must admit, have seen me through some of my darkest times. My heart is breaking for how they must be feeling this week and I keep wishing there was something I could do - how do you repay that kind of debt?

Annie [/qb]
Me too - I just want to give them all a hug and let them know we are there for them.

I made my donation to the Mirabell Foundation over the weekend, but I wish there more I could do
I think we ARE helping to heal the healer.
We are helping by being here on this forum, sharing our love for Paul and sharing our love for the guys who have brought something really special into our lives.

The concerts over the three days at RAH will I am sure help with the healing. There was so much love from the audience (especially Monday)that it could not have failed to have been felt.
Well...hessie is laughing his butt off at my hubby atm...
Hubby just called me from work...he said ya mate hessie has just had a laugh at me...I asked him why...he hadnt turned on the cd player until about half way to work you see....and as I have been playing ch songs will we say this...ummm...rather loudly in the car it started playing a song...full pelt with hessie drummimg madly...hubby said he jumped so high he nearly ran off the road...he said it wasnt till he looked down at the cd player and relized what song was playing...he said he burst out laughing yelling out to hessie..."thanks mate".
I think its fantastic...and sheading another tear or two here thinking of hessie up there pissing himself laughing...he would of loved that.
Was just at The Comedy Festival in Melbourne tonight, to see The Mirabel Foundation fundraiser...

Tim Rogers, the frontman for the band, You am I played a fantastic tribute for Paul Hester....He played Distant Sun, and sung it beautifully, and I immediately burst into tears.

As Tim Rogers told the crowd that it was a tribute for his friend, Paul Hester, the whole room erupted into a massive wave of clapping and cheering in honour.

Paul if only you could have understood, what a difference you made to this world

Paul was also praised for the work that he did for The Mirabel Foundation over the years, by the lady who started the foundation,Jane Rowe - Mirabel CEO

In Memory of a Mirabel Friend
Everyone at Mirabel is deeply saddened by Paul�s death and our love and thoughts are with Paul�s family, friends and the countless people who loved him. Paul contributed enormously to Mirabel over the years, from fundraising benefits to participating in Mirabel children�s events. The legacy he leaves will be forever in our hearts and the donations raised in his memory will be used specifically to assist Mirabel children in music or the arts.

I am so glad I attended, as I have the last 3 years, but,it was especially poignant and sad for me and my partner tonight.
Well it has been pretty much exactly a week since I first heard, well heard the full story anyway, I had heard sometime prior that he had died but the press were still reporting natural causes at this stage.

It is becoming a little easier to deal with, I've accepted it, the feelings of overwhelming grief are mostly gone, I can listen to most Crowded House songs without bursting into tears, I'm still sad for sure but it is a different kind of sadness, I guess it comes with acceptance.

It feels kinda strange grieving for someone I never met, it is comforting knowing that I'm not alone.

I'll never forget you Hessie.

P.S. Anyone else totally love the end credits of the State Theatre gig, I watched just the credits about 50 times last night.
I just watched 'i like to watch' video again and i have come to accept that Paul is now gone and the tears have stopped.But I still think about it everyday at some point and it makes me sad.Even my boss and workmates have noticed that iam not my usual cheery self this last week.When a crowded house song comes on the instore radio it brings it back.

RIP Paul

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