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I feel so grateful to have found this forum over recent days, a place where I can now express my feelings and sorrow at Paul's passing - I apologise for the length, but I just want to say this. It's such an unusual experience to feel such intense grief and sadness over someone you only knew from afar - so thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts here without judgement. I consider myself very fortunate to have spent my formative years immersed in such Aussie musical greats as The Oils, AC/DC, Sunny Boys, H&C, INXS and of course Crowded House - they all contributed to the soundtrack of my life which will forever be a part of my fabric. But I really came to appreciate the great talent, skill and spirit of Paul Hester when I moved to and lived in Melbourne during the mid to late 90's - to me he was the essence of the Melbourne I loved. He was also the most amazing drummer, he was also possibly the funnniest person I had ever seen or heard, was and still is one of very few who actually make me laugh out loud. I remember with absolute joy his visits to Martin&Molloy, the Mick Molloy Show and of course the unforgettable and brilliant Hessie's Shed - my all time favourite - a true gem of TV entertainment. What a gift to spread so much joy, happiness and laughter - he just brightened my life. Most of my friends at the time lived in St Kilda and Elwood and one of our favourite local haunts to meet for coffee and chats was Hessie's "Beachhouse" at Elwood, and Paul was sometimes there - I remember the energy and joy that would accompany him and surround him in the cafe, and that smile that you could see from afar and feel it lighting up the room. What a truly sad and uncomprehensible loss for his family and friends and also for all who admired him from afar - I have cried so many tears, laughed, and cried some more. It just doesn't seem right - so much pain for someone who gave so much joy.
Thanks Hessie for the joy and laughter, thank you for the the music and the memories, thank you for sharing your spirit. I hope your soul has now found peace and your spirit continues to live on in those you loved and those you touched near and far. I will carry your infectious smile, and joy and passion for life with me on my journey, knowing that you'll always be able to light up the darkness when it falls, just listening to the music makes me smile, because I can see you behind your kit, in all your glory.
My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
RIP Paul, I wish I had had the privilege of knowing you - they certainly broke the mould.
"All that lives, lives forever
Only the shell, the perishable, passes away.
The spirit is without end.
Like so many others, have joined this forum after hearing the sad news of Paul's death.
And I too have been a fan for many years - since discovering SE as a 12yr old in 1984. Since then everything Finn/CH has been the major soundtrack to my life as someonelse also said.
Thank you Paul for the music, the laughs, the fire extinguishers you dispersed when it was hot for the crowd but most of all thanks for just being. You will never know how many people you touched with just your smile. May you be at peace now.
My thoughts go out to all your family and friends
Its been 2 weeks and i still can't come to terms with this, why paul? my first tear actually has just fallen, as if the shock and denial are starting to give way and acceptance is starting to settle in. Its hard to read the posts describing the invitation only memorial, there really should be a bigger public memorial, and anyone should be allowed to come to pay respect to an amazing man. Everyone should be allowed to hear stories from Paul's closest friends about how he made them laugh and how he touched people and influenced the community. Everyone should be allowed to come and immerse themselves in the essence and sub-presence of Paul Hester, for it is as close as any of us who cherished him (and there is alot to cherish) will ever get ever again, so please, someone, make the public memorial/tribute night a reality, while Paul's spirit is still with us, please.
Neil - I just want to send all my love and well-wishes. I know you're one of many who would be knocked over for six by this tragedy, yet all I want to do is hug you and hope that this time off from touring will help you regain your strength. Losing a best friend is absolutely best friend died very suddenly, which is probably why my thoughts are now of you in this whole mess.

Each departed friend is a magnet that attracts us to the next world. No matter where Paul is, he will always be alive in your heart.

Take care, Neil.
" when I moved to and lived in Melbourne during the mid to late 90's - to me he was the essence of the Melbourne I loved."

I read this and just said out loud "Oh yes!" loveandpeace that is *exactly* it.

Wow there are still people posting here for the first time, and you all have the perfect words. Thankyou.

For those of you not watching the other threads -
there is a group of us getting together in

Melbourne on Sat 3oth April.

Obviously it wont be the huge public memorial we would all like, but we can give it a good crack.

Email me on if u want to meet up.

Originally posted by niss:
[qb] Miss you Paul. I hope you have found peace. Wish you were still here.

Do not stand at my grave and weep: I am not there,
I do not sleep,
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond's gilt on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled light.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there,
I did not die.

Anonymous. [/qb]
Oh Niss
Like a lot of our fellow frenz here, I felt the tears subside this week... until i read the poem in your post. IT's everything isn't it?
This being mortal sure gets hard, and sometimes it take all our strength to keep it together after losing someone.
I've been watching the Max Sessions and especially RockWiz and HGessie's Shed closely, appointing meaning to Paul's every movement and reaction ...
exhausting isn't it?
I know soon we'll be able to just watch, listen and enjoy ... but for now, it still hurts.

Living in Melbourne, Australia (and hailing from NZ) it's easy to almost take CH and the Finns for granted - such a sublime and seminal part of my/our musical culture. It's fascinating hearing all about the experiences of frenz around the world. Thanks for sharing.

And thanks to all of you for such excellent words of encouragment, poignancy and recollection.

Beth - I'm right with you.

Poohbear - an amazing post, it really helps. So hard to deal with so many suicides, and your words are very insightful.

SheWillHaveHerWay - a great idea planting the flaxes out into three! I too was in the garden on Sunday afternooun, it was very carthartic to be in the dirt. You have inspired me to plant my NZ Cabbage Tree as a tribute. I knew it was waiting for somthing special.

Angela - I also hear CH songs everywhere ... sometimes when they're not even playing! The music has become such an important soundtrack to every part of my day and interactions. Every event has a CH accompaniment now. It's quite lovely.

And something that gives me a lump in my throat while my heart sings with joy and pride - my three year old is mesmerised with CH now, spends every moment he can watching videos of them (taken over from Hi5 etc, imagine my relief) ... He's SERIOUSLY committed.
He requests and sings along to It's Only Natural - it's his new anthem.

I hope our collective love and admiration help Hessie now, and radiate to his friends and family.

What a special man.

We are truly blessed to have had him for the time we did.

Long may his spirit shine.


PS And yes AnnieMay - a true spunk!
Today was a good day....

we found a home for all your dogs and Wednesday the Cat...Paulo....we played your songs in the office and I wore my red Fez, I look ridiculous and you would of wet yourself laughing.

I thought of Stan & Rosie in doggy heaven and hopefully playing fetch with you.

I thought of you like a bright comet...we should of all grabbed hold of you tighter before you left us for the next part of your endless journey....
but hey depending on what you believe we will all meet up again some time down the track, I'll probably kick your arse for doing this to us, but will be happy to see you, and think how many new jokes you'll have old friend.

Till we meet again, if we meet again, the journey was good, no damn fine, and hey I even understand basketball (just)...but never golf *grin*.

A saint a sinner, a mate, a grinner, you know you'll never be forgotten. I'll long to hear those words 'Hey Peety and Mark it's Uncle Hessie come and have a cuppa', cos who's going to make the tea now Paul?

Today was a good day, and tomorrow will be too, you've somehow pulled us all tighter together as you would of noticed at Blackwood

We'll get through this, it will take time and I think all of those around you have somehow been changed forever. Maybe not in a bad way.

Thanks for being a dear friend.

And there I hadn't cried once today until now. Last night it was Famous for 16 Minutes that did me in....PG you angel, a big hug for you.

I'm looking at the sky less these last couple of nights, Hessie, because you're safe in all our hearts now.

I heard DDIO on the radio today when I was at work, turned it up of course. Man those drums are loud now.

Love ya Hessie.

Annie xxx
A friend of mine was killed a couple of years ago, and someone sent me this poem, and it really helped me during the initial grieving, so I thought I might share it here with you all during this sad time, and what a wonderful way to remember someone who has touched our soul:

You can shed tears that he is gone
Or you can smile because he has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that he'll come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.

Your heart can be empty because you can't see him
Or you can be full of the love he shared.

You can turn back on tomorrow and live in yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind
Be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what he would want-

Open your eyes
and go on.

RIP Hessie
you know, the strangest thing happened to me yesterday. I went to get my mail and there was a letter with a return address I did not recogise. I kept looking at it, making sure it wasn't a bill of some sort before I got excited...then I opened it.

It was from my best, best friend in high school. (high school was 16 years ago!!) and it has been about 15 years since we have seen or even spoken to each other. She had finally tracked me down.

The reason this is related to this thread is because we were "THE" CH fans of our school. If there was a question about CH someone asked us, if there was an article or poster in a magazine, people brought them to school for us. We went to the school disco dressed as Neil and Paul. We even wore our CH badges on our school tie and got away with it.

We went to see CH at Expo 88 and the first concert was rained out (we saw the soundcheck)...luckily we were both allowed to return on the following Wednesday night, in the middle of exams, to see the rescheduled concert.

I just can't believe we are back in touch and the weirdest part of it all is that she sent the letter to me the day before the news broke about Paul. It's funny how things happen.....
I havent posted on the site yet as i have not known what to say.

CH were the first real band that i ever liked and Paul's sense of humour blew me away when i first saw CH play in a leisure centre in Birmingham, when i was just 15.

I am 27 now and i was lucky enough to see Paul play with Crowded House a few more times before he left and I met him once with Nick S the night before the Opera House gig in Sydney when i was backpacking and it made my trip.

Since he has died i have been having really weird dreams where he seems to constantly crop up. I am not sure what this means but the other night i was in a car with him and he was making me drink magic mushrooms. Weird!!

Anyway rest well Paul. You touched my life and i will never forget you.
That's beautiful Lucy....such comforting words. I think they will be read over and over again as we slowly come to terms with what has happened.

It's not easy is it? Just when I think I'm getting on top of things, something else sets me off again. Today, it was reading Neil's message where he said something along the lines of "he was the best drummer I ever worked with.....he was my best friend". Simple words...that convey a deep sense of enormous loss and despair as well as a reality shattered to the core.

I think all we can do is surround ourselves with friends and family and spend time enjoying the many highlights Paul brought us....a life well lived indeed! Although he deserved to be here much, much longer, we have so many beautiful memories of the short time he did spend here to cherish.

No-one could ever replace you've certainly left your mark! Let's hope we get our chance to pay tribute to you very soon...our very own Pope of Elwood!! (No offence intended)

Thanks for ALL the memories you beautiful, talented man.

Luv Nat
I found this comforting when I had a loss myself last year. It gives a little hope I guess in times of sadness.

'A ship sails and I stand watching till she fades on the horizon and someone says 'She is gone'.
Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all. She is just as large now as when I last saw her. Her diminished size and total loss from sight is in me, not in her.
And, just at that moment, when someone at my side says she is gone, there are others who are watching her come over the horizon and other voices rake up a glad shout - 'There she comes!'
That is what dying is.
A horizon and just the limit of our sight.'

Just wanted to share it x
This is really so hard isn't it? I still feel shocked and disbelieving at some times and grief stricken at others. The news that Neil and Tim have postponed the dates tore me apart and brought the tragedy of it home in stark reality once again.

I have appreciated the forum so much, knowing that there are other people who understand what it all means. I wish I was in Melbourne to meet you, rather than on the other side of the world.

I always thought that there would be a time that I'd relive all the wonderful CH moments in glorious technicolour. I guess I'd envisaged this in the form of a joyous reunion rather than in these sad circumstances. I am remembering it all vividly and I think I'm grieving for that lost future as well as the past. It really is the end of an era, and I'm acutely aware of it as I approach thirty and the different type of excitement of being pregnant with my second child.

Whenever I saw CH live it always felt like the peak experience that life could offer. The way the music and the atmosphere changed from moment to moment meant that it made me feel so alive and completely present in that moment. It made it so exciting and real, if that makes sense.

I felt like I belonged there (more than anywhere else in my life at the time). I will always remember catching a piece of chocolate cake (I still have the aluminium foil!) and the time in Bradford when Paul threw a beer up to someone in the stalls. They missed and it crashed onto the sound equipment, breaking it. Neil got cross, Paul temporarily stormed off, leaving Neil to wonderfully fill in with Message to My Girl. What a fabulous, unique chemistry.

I have appreciated people posting 'Do not stand at my grave..' and hope it's not too much of a cliche if I include 'Funeral Blues' because I think it's beautiful...

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin and let the mourners come

Let aeroplanes circle overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East, my West,
My working week and my sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can come to any good.

W.H. Auden
Originally posted by RedGirl:
[qb]Angela - I also hear CH songs everywhere ... sometimes when they're not even playing! The music has become such an important soundtrack to every part of my day and interactions. Every event has a CH accompaniment now. It's quite lovely.[/qb]
Heh, yeah, it is nice Smiler . I can't think of a better soundtrack, really.

Originally posted by RedGirl:
[qb]And something that gives me a lump in my throat while my heart sings with joy and pride - my three year old is mesmerised with CH now, spends every moment he can watching videos of them (taken over from Hi5 etc, imagine my relief) ... He's SERIOUSLY committed.
He requests and sings along to It's Only Natural - it's his new anthem.[/qb]
Aw... Big Grin . That's seriously really cool. Something tells me Paul would get a kick out of that Smiler .

Originally posted by Purpleams:
[qb]I heard DDIO on the radio today when I was at work, turned it up of course. Man those drums are loud now.[/qb]
No kidding...those have been sticking out to me a lot more whenever I listen to their songs now, too. There were some songs I'd play "air drums", if you will, along to whenever I'd listen to them, and it sounds kinda cheesy, yeah, but now when I hear them and do's not so cheesy.

Hi all,

I've been debating whether to sign on for the last few days. While I can't claim to know the band a fraction as well as most of you guys seem to, they do occupy a very important place in my musical development and my esteem - my first band (back when I was 14-15) covered 'Four Seasons...', 'Show A Little Mercy' and 'Throw Your Arms Around Me' largely due to us seeing that wonderfully bonkers MTV Unplugged on telly one night. I didn't realise at the time how rare it is to get a band whose personalities are as endearing as their music, and the banter between all of them, from Hessie's opening 'I need complete quiet... thank you' inspired me as much as the songs. The way that they had their instruments and stagecraft completely in their command, and the sheer number of noises Paul could get out of a single snare drum and a crash cymbal astonish me even to this day.

Later, in a world of grunge, post-grunge and 'britpop (eugh)', the Crowdies were like my guilty secret, as I started writing songs and playing in bands properly. Many of my peers would look at me strangely if I brought them up, and my response was to chuckle and think "You don't know what you're missing".

Tim leaving in the early '90s was kind of inevitable, but Paul leaving in 1996 came properly out of leftfield. I missed seeing them because I was umming and ahhing over whether the band would still be the same without him (which it wasn't - but I still regret not seeing them, doubly so now).

I guess you always expect characters like them, and Paul in particular, to stick around forever, or as near as damn it. OK, so you don't write lyrics like that, and you can't be that instinctively funny if you don't have the occasional dark moment, but every time I saw or heard of any of them they all looked really hale and hearty and never without that trademark sense of humour. I must confess that I hadn't kept as much track of Paul as I should have, and since he left us I've been listening to any stuff I could get my hands on that he'd been involved with recently, and as could be expected it was all great.

I got hold of the Special Edition EIH for the live DVD, and obviously was awestruck by the version of 'Weather With You' on there, not least because the backing vocals at the end which I'd always assumed were Tim were actually Paul. One moment that had me on the brink of getting emotional was looking closely at Neil - you can see his face light up when he turns to face the drums. I really hope Paul saw that.

Depression is a nasty, insidious illness that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, and from everything I've read it's taken a truly unique and wonderful guy from those he loved, and those who loved him back, before his time. If it can raise awareness then that is a good thing but I don't think anyone could argue it was worth the cost.

Guys, you've inspired me more than you'll know. Your music is the one thing my parents, estranged since 1983, can agree on.

Paul, you showed me that there's more to being on stage than plugging away at your instrument, and that it's important to not take life too seriously, whilst still taking things seriosuly enough to do our best for those we love. This thread should make it obvious beyond a shadow of a doubt that you will be missed terribly, but I just had to add my voice to the pile and say that our lot are going to miss you too.

Au revoir.

This is my first post - it has taken me this long to gather my thoughts.
I only stumbled upon this forum after Paul's death - but oh how emotionally powerful.
I have never experienced such raw emotion, love, sharing, laughter and tears from people that I do not even know.
I feel for Paul's dogs and cat - they would have sensed all was not right. I have cried every day since the news and my cat Sunday has not left my side - in fact I am attempting to type this with her sitting on my keyboard - this is my 3rd attepmt..
I just wanted to let you know that you make outsiders like me feel welcome and that all our contributions are important.
Got to find another box of tissues

We will always love you Paul

Cheryl and SUnday
Since the first Split Enz show in Melbourne to The Finns at The Palais late last year and everything for the decades in between, I have loved your music.
This week an emptiness has engulfed the world of music.
Thousands loved you for your humour and drumming.
You brought so much joy, if only we could have helped you when you needed someone.
I taped and listened to the Mick Molloy Tribute on MMM today. That helped me a little.
I went to see "The Frames" at The Prince Of Wales this week. As I knew your wake was to be held there next week,
I took a letter to leave somewhere on the premises.
It was impossible to find a "small safe cavity".
Then the band dedicated their last song to you. A beautiful ballad. So I gave the letter to them, explaining my reason and asked if they could read it at their final show in Perth.
This they promised and I hope they kept to their word.
I have had no other way to deal with the grief I feel.
The song has ended but the music will live forever.
May you be happy and at peace where you are.
Loving memories,
Sally Taverner.
As many others have said, it's taken a while to gather my feelings about how i feel about Paul's death. Crowded House have been, for most of the last ten years, my favourite band. I wasn't the biggest fan ever (I didn't even realise there was a keyboardist), but I loved Neil's voice and I loved the simplicity of the songs, the fact that they were so easy to learn to lyrics and sing to and the fact that they seemed to speak to me. My first 'proper' boyfriend and I chose "Not the girl you think you are" as OUR song...i can't remember why.

In hearing of Paul's death I was crushed. My initial rection was that he'd been mugged or something. I got really incensed when the media changed their tone from saying he'd died to he committed suicide. What does it matter whether he took his own life or not? What I mean is that a wonderful, talented and friendly man lost his life. Some people will judge and try to undermine the gravity of that by dismissing his death as a 'suicide'. That pissess me off.

Also Molly Meldrum...ok he can probably be forgiven for being in grief but he was almost saying like he thought it was more sinister and that paul couldn't have taken his own life because he was always happy. I was clinically depressed for a very long time, my father in law has manic depression, other friends and family have depression and from experience nobody really goes around saying 'hey you know what? i feel like **** and I don't want to be here anymore". it's just easier to hide it and keep smiling because if you don't, many people will just dismiss you as an attention seeker or worse off, stop talking to you all together. Paul Hester was a very popular bloke, but I bet he had those fears and doubts like anyone else.

I don't believe Paul left us because he felt unloved or anything like that. I don't even think he left because he felt he was a could he after all he's achieved. I think he just reached a point where he said to himself that he'd done all he could do, but he couldn't make himself feel any better and didn't want to become a burden to those he loved. He maybe just didn't understand that you never can be a burden to those who love you.

Sorry for rambling. I just needed to get all that out.

The weather in the days following Paul's death was sublime here in coastal Victoria.
Crowdies sounds wafted from my stereo: the words, rhythms and chords resonating through to my soul as I pottered in the garden. The sun shone,its warmth seeping through to my bones. The sky was at its bluest and its most red, gold, orange and purple during sunset. Birds were singing, surf was pounding and as blue as could be.

Colour is its own reward.
As filled as I was with sadness and bewilderment, my senses were heightened - the beauty of the world around me left me regretting that Paul had left this all behind.

Or did he take the weather with him into the world where he now lives?

I hope he was dreaming of glory
Miles above the mountains and plains
Free at last.
Thanks to PG for his words - they gave some closure to those of us who weren't able to be part of his final laying to rest.
Thanks for "keeping it reel"

A public tribute show is something to look forward to. Paul's Farewell to the World, sad and tragic as it is, has brought many, many people together in a celebration of his zany personality, the joy he gave so many people and the love felt by so many for our lovable larrikin.

My close encounter with Hessie was in Elwood at the shops about 3 years ago where he ran in front of my car as he crossed the road. Cursing, until I realised who it was; then I thought how very Hessie! Coincidentally, Anytime was playing on my radio at the time.

I'm sending heartfelt love and condolences to all family, friends and fans.
Love this life..
It is a very hot Sunday morning in Melbourne. Around 30 degrees already. Strange for April. Just reading thru all the posts and re-read mine. It sounded like I was in a "tme warp" and I had not dated it.
I actually wrote it nearly 10 days ago, but only managed to "post" on the Forum yesterday.
I am totally machine stupid and it has taken me this long to work out how to do so.
Anyway, I am glad I did. Somehow to share grief does help.
Cheers to all at The Forum.
Sally Taverner.
Hi All- hope this finds you feeling more able to cope as the days have gone on. I haven't been a big fan of videos since MTV was MTV in the early eighties (and I was in my late teens)... that said, I went to Amazon after hearing about Paul and ordered the Dreaming the Videos DVD. I always liked making my own visuals while listening to the music OR seeing the boys live.

OH- that was painful. I hadn't seen several of the videos ever or had forgetten the ones that I had seen. I'm not being negative when I say this- I thought some of the videos looked like senior projects I might have done in high school and I LOVED that... I guess at the heart of it is that in some of those early videos the band looked like three boys really, on the start of some big journey, very fresh faced and eager.

I'd like to keep thinking about Paul that way- a big grinning guy doing a far better cartwheel than any of the girls on my block could ever hope to do as children.
I was very shocked by the news (hence my lateness) , i don't post at all but some of us are just very quiet i suppose - but we share the pain and sadness .

Personally , the only comfort i can take from this is that i now know that we have another angel looking down upon us . Master Hester , you will never be forgotten ... you have filled too many hearts with joy for that .

In my shortish life , the saddest and most true saying that i've ever heard is "tears of a clown" . I've had some problems which i've never discussed with friends or with family and i totally understand that some people will always 'play' the happy person (and in Pauls case) i feel this maybe sadly and quite probably true .

Paul , please never forget that you gave many many people joy , cheer and smiles during your life whilst (quietly) fighting demons and darkness of your own . You are a person who provided light and happiness when others (including yourself) were suffering .

I'll never forget driving 70 miles whilst listening to WOODFACE at a critical point in my life , and that the music made me see through the darkness that was around me then ...

RIP Paul , you were loved more than you'll every every understand . I hope that from your heavenly position that you will bring comfort and understanding to the people that you loved , your children , your family and your true love .

All the best Paul - i hope to meet you for a beer (like many many others) at the gates . GOD BLESS .
Thanks again to everyone posting, and especially those for the first time. I think we've established that whether you own everything CH ever produced, or whether you "only" know the words to the songs, or even if you didn't know who the keyboardist was ( Smiler ), we all feel an immense loss right now.


I had a special kind of moment last night, when my 5yo changed CDs on the stereo. He had "performed" Something So Strong about, oooh, 150 times yesterday, (complete with cartwheels), and though I can say I would never become sick of CH, well, you know.... Anyway the music stops and I'm saying hey!who's doing that? And he just comes in and says, very solemnly "Mum, I think it's time for some Paul Kelly."

I'm saying " I dont think so.." but he just hands me the pile of CH Cds that had been on *very* high rotation, puts his hand on my shoulder and smiles, "Mum, it'll be fine."

Bless his cotton socks Frowner Smiler

(He still asked for "the Crowdies" in the car this am though! Smiler )

Over the last 3 weeks I have been reflecting on the sad loss of Paul Hester. I have reviewed this amazing website, listened to Crowded House, watched the Max Sessions and replayed old videos.
If only he had truly known how much people felt about him.
I am very sad for his family and friends. There are many people out there in this world that are thinking of those closest to Paul and although this is little consolation, just know that he has touched many hearts in his life and his way.
It seems that it is really hard for people with depression to open up and that there may be in fact many people you think you know well that you dont know at all.
Cherish those you love and let them know because tomorrow may be too late.
RIP Paul - what joy you brought to music lovers.
It has now been nearly two weeks and I have lost count of the amount of times I have turned the computer on to write something and then turned it off again because the words just wouldn't come. It is just so very sad. I never thought the death of somebody I never met, could hit me so hard. Paul is still the first thing on my mind when I wake up in the morning and he is never far from my mind for the rest of the day. I feel so sad when I see him in the 'I like to watch' video. He's so funny and seems so happy. Of course I know that video is years old, but to see him like that and then to think what he must have been going through recently is heartbreaking.
Split Enz and Crowded House have been an important part of my life for a long time and when I listen to the songs now, the drums seem to stand out more somehow.
Thank you Paul, you were wonderful, rest in peace.

...and maybe the day will come, when you'll never have to feel no pain...
Sunday 27th March 2005 - 2300hrs

Mog and Nog have managed to finally get a little time together (at Mogmortimer Towers) after having spent the previous week working in their seperate, somnambulistic lives. Here, entwinned within our private universe, we are tired, slightly drunk, but very happily indeed, watching our "Farewell to the World" video. Totally oblivious and ignorant to the trials, tribulations and desperate realities that have recently unfolded within the real world - we equally interject our video viewing with conversation and comments regarding (amongst others) Mark's out of tune 12 string guitar on Distant Sun (I'm only jealous that he's more talented than I am), Nick's wonderful, melodic, meandering bass lines and "loud" shirts, the absolute genius of Neil (that wonderful voice, his lyrical poetry, his melodical sensibilities and ability to capture, interpret and put into words and music our deeper thoughts) and last, but by no means least, Paul Hester.
Paul (the entertainer)possessed such a warm character that made us feel as though we were somehow involved in the "gang". His good-humour could "reach out", even in the medium of video and could easily distract one from the quality of his musicianship. He was a stunningly good and intelligent musician in the sense that he was humble and selfless, always complimenting the song rather than promote his own talent. That ability and character displayed his sensitivity. This undoutebly, was a man I would have loved to have been aquainted with... and through the power of his performance, I felt I had.

Our evening was spent in unashamed naivity. Mog had seen Crowded House live, several times, but I was becoming selfishly excited at the prospect of potentially seeing this wonderful band in a reunion. I believe that Split Enz have a history of celebrating 10 year anniversaries, so perhaps we were approaching a time when we would see a revived, "one for the road" performance from this wonderful combination of inspired human beings. Tim and Neil's superb gig at Manchester had selfishly, whetted my appitite for MORE!
Mog and Nog's weekend was to be spent within such wonderful company and without ANY understanding of the event that just occured. Ignorance is bliss.
24 hours later, I heard the news. I cried. I phoned Mog and relayed the story. Her tears followed immediately. She didn't sleep through "another" event that this sad event reflected (as many other folk seem to have shared the same, unfortunate experience).

My confession is for ignorance, greed and selfishness. The moments of my life that are wonderful and glorious - are actually some other poor soul's desperation.

Rest in peace, Paul. Thank you for touching our lives. Thank you for gracing us with your talent, wit, charm and general good nature. I hope that you had some understanding of our gratitude - I sincerely believe that you did.

Our thoughts continue to be with his family and friends..... and the rest of you good people, out there - in "reality".

Nog and Mog xXx
Similar to what Mog&Nog has written, I had an odd CH moment around that weekend. I was home on Saturday night (Spanish time) with my boyfriend and we were getting ready to go out to party. It had been ages since I last listened to CH, but I felt the need to play them for him as he is much more into Spanish music and does not understand English that well. We were drinking to get into the mood to go out, but as I was playing CH I was getting excited singing along and translating the lyrics while trying to make him appreciate the melody. Hard work really when you see it�s getting too late to go out.

Weird, really weird, I played Hole in the river which I always found so dark and �different�. I told him it was about suicide and translated the lyrics. Death has been one of my regular conversation topics ever since I watched my grandma die last summer. So there were some �dark� songs playing that night from CH and an American band called Live (another favourite of mine)

I played Fall at your feet and felt my heart was running slower, I could hear the song changing the rythm and I panicked for some seconds. I have a family history of cardiac problems so I expect it to cause me health problems at some point. Ok, I guess it was the alcohol and my anxiety for �teaching� CH to my boyfriend, but I got scared. So we got to Italian Plastic and I told him what a funny and crazy man the drummer was by translating some of the lyrics, but my boyfriend was getting tired of listening and wanted to go out. At some point he took the first CD cover, pointed out to Paul as an angel and made a silly joke: �hey, that�s the Blue Angel� (a bar in our town)

When I found out about what had happened it was Sunday night (Spanish time) and yes, it was a shock. What else could it be?! I told my boyfriend and he was surprised by the weird coincidence. He was like: �you mean the drummer you told me about?� Since then I have been reading all topics PH-related in the forum, wanting to write, but not finding time to say all I�d like to say, reading many who thought and felt the same as me, learning a lot about Paul, Neil, Nick and even Split Enz.

I got to know CH, like many of you, when I was 13. It was my first summer in the USA. I used to go there to learn English. Movies and music were my passion, so there I was happy watching MTV. That�s where I remember I first discovered CH, through Something so strong. I downloaded Dreaming last week and saw the video again for the first time in years, I guess more than 15 years later. I recall getting excited and looking forward to watching �that� video in a farm with funny and cute guys and a catchy and sunny song. Soon I was getting their record taped to go back home with my new discovery. So one year later I was buying Temple of Low Men in vinyl, listening to them in the odd Spanish radio station and I guess looking for a copy of their first album, but I imagine it was difficult to find at that time. I also was into New Zealand, CH were from New Zealand (how could I know?) and I wanted to go there someday. Not to Australia, but New Zealand.

By the time Woodface was released I was doing my senior year in the States, I got it on tape and bought Crowded House�s fist on tape too. By Together Alone I wasn�t into them that much, I was in university, but some of my friends got into CH and Live by lending my tapes to them. It cost me the loss of some tapes�s covers, though. I also discovered postcolonial literature and short stories and the stories that fascinated me most were The Chosen Vessel and The Drover�s Wife by Australians Barbara Baynton and Henry Lawson. So Australia was on my mind for another trip.

Then I moved to England for a couple of years and got a Split Enz Golden collection, Crowded House and Woodface in CD. To my surprise, I discovered my father had bought Recurring dreams, but although he knew who they were because of me, I bet he never listened to the CD cause he never missed it from his CD collection, hehehe. Also bought Try whistling this and newspaper The Independent�s �songs from Neil Finn� and had by that time, 1999, joined the only group list I�m a member of, the Spanish Finn list in yahoo. There I got to know a very special friend. For these weeks there was no one I could talk to about Paul or CH. Last Saturday I was in the mood for listening to them, didn�t feel like going out, I was feeling terrible,I sent her a message and she came to the rescue. She called me and we talked about our feelings on what had happened, most of them already expressed in this forum and it really did �bring me relief�...

Yes, it is the soundtrack of our adolescence, of a time when things were brighter. CH were part of my �private universe� until Woodface came out and they became quite well known in Spain. For me the group were Nick, Paul and Neil. As many of you have said, the group was not Neil and two guys. Nick was the art, Neil the music and Paul the humour, but all mixed and perfectly combined. I was first attracted to their humour as well as their music in Something so strong, and you could always expect an original video from them. They touched extremes making music for the soul,but being so funny on the other hand.

Paul�s death, specially the circumstances, has upset me a great deal. I guess many of us identify a little bit with him. I�ve always been a clown full of crazy ideas, but I started to change due to an experience with love. At that time nothing mattered, but my sense of humour saved me, kept me alive, it always has. I felt the need to go home and decided I wouldn�t be moving anymore, just for short trips. Fortunately I have dreams to leave for again and I still feel the need to bring out the clown in me. Although some days I find it harder, as l�ve become more introverted and shy with the years, I have to keep the child and clown in me alive no matter what for survival matters.

So these days I�m into Formula 1 and one of my dreams, somehow CH related, is to go to the Australian Grand Prix some day. If any one of you is into this sport, you�ll know the leader of the championship is no other than an Asturian, like myself, Fernando Alonso. Funny coincidence he beated the great New Zealander Bruce McLaren to be the youngest �fast-lapper� and GP winner. Sorry for that, but we are so proud of him! I followed him to China last year so this dream does not seem too far away. The Grand Prix is in Melbourne so chances are I could easily visit all the special places for any Crowded House fan. No other group has touched me so deeply, so I�ll keep working on introducing new fans to their music as I always have.

Long live Crowded House!

PS: I cannot find words to comfort Paul�s family and friends, but just hope they find their way to cope with the loss and be happy again
AnnieMay, it sounds as though your son is wise (and talented! Smiler ) beyond his years! Bless his cotton socks indeed! Smiler

Detroit Rock City, I also had to track down a copy of Dreaming.(Thanks Winterpumpkin! Wink ) After leaving our local book/music store in tears last week because not only could I not find Dreaming, but I could not find one CH/Finn related CD (what a travesty!), my husband graciously called all the major towns around here (all are over an hours drive)and tracked one down for me. On our drive home, Better Be Home Soon playing (CH also in high rotation here), my son starts singing along (not just humming or "dancing" to it like before)for the first time (okay, his timing is a little off) and I think, and smile, that what a legacy Paul has left us all...
It was hard watching some of those videos (many I had never seen either and wasn't prepared for some of the images), but somehow it was reassuring, knowing there were good times too.

I have to say I totally agree that the drums are a little louder now...even when I'm not listening to a CH song. Wink Kind of cool,that...

Thanks again for all the thoughts continue to be with all of you with best wishes for continued healing/coping...hoping we can all start enjoying Paul's legacy in our own time---

Thanks Paul! May you RIP...

PS Thanks for posting Funeral that one, also Tonguetied, beautiful metaphor, very hopeful way to look at it, thanks for that too.

"Every noble life leaves the fiber of it woven in the world" Author Unknown
Winterpumkin, these coincidences are as weird and magical as the weather changes reported here by some posters. I'm not religious though somehow spiritual, and there were weird and magical coincidences around my grandma's death too. I guess there are mysterious signals out there telling us something is about to happen or has just happened...I like to look at it in a poetic way, like life is more than just the daily routine
I'm a teacher in the UK and I have just returned to school after the Easter break. As I walked the corridors and came into my room it struck me, for no reason at all, that Hessie was alive the last time I was there. Nothing had changed. My books were all in the same place; kids that I hadn't seen for two weeks came up and said hello, like they'd never been away; even my coffee mug had 2 week old stains on it from when I hadn't bothered washing it up on the last day. The last two weeks seemed to vanish into thin air and I was back in the old routine. Somehow it just all struck me as incredibly sad and poignant...strange how the smallest things can set you off.

Well, I'm getting incredibly maudlin, so I'll stop now! Just had to share. Frowner Smiler
Originally posted by cumulo nimbus:
[qb]I also had to track down a copy of Dreaming.(Thanks Winterpumpkin! Wink )[/qb]
Big Grin ...

Originally posted by cumulo nimbus:
[qb]After leaving our local book/music store in tears last week because not only could I not find Dreaming, but I could not find one CH/Finn related CD (what a travesty!),[/qb]
*Holds out hand* Join the club (well, there IS the Recurring Dream CD and the Everyone Is Here CD at the store in my town, but that's it-and I already have those. There was a Neil Finn CD that I saw there once, but I didn't have money at the time, so I was going to buy it the next time I was there...and the next time I went, I couldn't find it Frowner ). There isn't much in the way of Finn stuff sold here, either Frowner . No Finn-related DVDs sold here at all-I've looked numerous times.

Originally posted by cumulo nimbus:
[qb]my husband graciously called all the major towns around here (all are over an hours drive)and tracked one down for me. On our drive home, Better Be Home Soon playing (CH also in high rotation here), my son starts singing along (not just humming or "dancing" to it like before)for the first time (okay, his timing is a little off) and I think, and smile, that what a legacy Paul has left us all...[/qb]
Smiler . It's nice, isn't it?

Originally posted by cumulo nimbus:
[qb]It was hard watching some of those videos (many I had never seen either and wasn't prepared for some of the images), but somehow it was reassuring, knowing there were good times too.[/qb]
Yeah. Exactly. It's a mix of emotions. It's still a bit weird for me to see the "Something So Strong" video-Paul just looks so happy there, and everyone's smiling and having fun...*Sighs*. And the video for "Don't Dream It's Over" still gets to me, too. But at the same time, like you said, it's reassuring, too.

Originally posted by cumulo nimbus:
[qb]I have to say I totally agree that the drums are a little louder now...even when I'm not listening to a CH song. Wink Kind of cool,that...[/qb]
Yeah! I've noticed the drums a lot more in a lot of non-Crowded House songs, too Smiler .

Originally posted by asturias
[qb]Winterpumkin, these coincidences are as weird and magical as the weather changes reported here by some posters. I'm not religious though somehow spiritual, and there were weird and magical coincidences around my grandma's death too. I guess there are mysterious signals out there telling us something is about to happen or has just happened...I like to look at it in a poetic way, like life is more than just the daily routine[/qb]
I can agree with that analysis. It's just a bit strange, is all...but yeah, that certainly makes sense.

First post, quite simply:
Paul Hester made me smile, made me love the city I live in, contributed to an appreciation for music that I pass to my son, and made me cry at his passing.
So sad for those left behind, but the positive lessons that I have learnt without ever meeting him will last forever. I will always consider him to be "the person I admire most".
Thankyou, Paul, for all you gave.

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