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Crowded House drummer dies
By Patrick Donovan
Music writer
March 28, 2005

Former Crowded House and Split Enz drummer and TV personality Paul Hester committed suicide on Saturday after a long battle with depression.

A message, sent to Crowded House and Split Enz fan club email lists said: "Everyone, sitting here in the office trying to figure out what to write, we are a bit messed up at the moment. Last night, our mate, and Crowded House drummer Paul Hester, took his own life.

"Over the years Paul has swung the extremes of happiness and sadness, but none of us ever thought this would happen. He loved life too much . . . "

Crowded House was one of Australia's most successful bands of the late 1980s and early '90s. Formed out of the ashes of New Zealand's Split Enz in 1985, it featured Hester on drums, Neil Finn on vocals and guitar, and Nick Seymour on bass.

Guitarist Kev Garant, who played with Hester in the Bay of Pigs, said: "He was considered an absolute world class drummer in the pop field."

As recently as two weeks ago, Hester, 46, was at the Espy in St Kilda to appear in the SBS music quiz show, RockWiz.

RockWiz's Brian Nankervis said: "He could be everything and anything in one go. He had a lightning wit, he could be wonderfully sensitive, clever and unpredictable."
So long to a great musician, drummer, singer, songwriter, humorist, idol, friend, father, husband,etc...
Sometimes the people who seem to be happiest or most cheerful are the ones that battle the worst demons.
My condolances to the Hester family, to all of Pauls friends and fans and may we all keep are best memories of Paul Hesters legacy.
I'm more overwhelmed than I expected. As Dean said, it feels like I've lost part of my family. And as Joel said, Crowded House is responsible for my love of music --my music collection as well as live performances. I briefly met Paul once. It was in Minneapolis during the Together Alone tour. Myself and 2 friends were allowed to stay for soundcheck. Paul was so welcoming, even acknowledged the audience of 3 during soundcheck, and came over to talk to us after that. That memory is what is able to bring a smile to my face today.

See ya round,


"...when you wake up with me, I'll be your glass of water/when you stick up for me I'll be your bella bambina..."
My girlfriend and I pulled out the old Spooky Vibrations Fan Club CD this afternoon. It's a wonderful collection of Hester randomness and it's certainly the way I will remember Paul. A song like "Worms" was quite heart-wrenching to hear Paul sing. If anyone in Boston wants to get together, have a drink, and remember Paul I'd be up for it.

This is the saddest Easter ever. I keep remembering that Sheryl Crow lyric that was rumored to be about Paul. "He's got a daughter he calls Easter, she was born on a Tuesday night."

Very sad indeed.

"I'll be your piggy in the middle, stick with you till the end."
Originally posted by Billypogo:
[qb]So this is how it feels to get kicked in the teeth and the stomach?[/qb]
Ugh, no kidding. I went to the Next Exit boards, and that's where I first noticed this story-upon reading the thread title, my stomach just dropped. And then when I read the news...yeow. I was actually shaking for a while, too.

Originally posted by Martine:
[qb] As someone has already said, I wish he had reached out to someone. It's so hard to fathom for us...who didn't walk in his shoes ... the why of it.[/qb]
*Nods* This kind of situation is odd that way. Especially when you hear that they seemed so happy beforehand. It just never makes sense.
We too are feeling numb and surreal on this Easter is so sad for the kids and family...Crowded House never would have been the same without Paul. His sense of humour and timing were incredible. He certainly made us laugh on the many listens of those wonderful live recordings. Paul we hope you are in a place without pain..Rest in Peace...we love you
Jeff & Louise
Tried earlier to get on but obviously this section was crammed...was just mentioning to someone how this morning as I was watching my children receiven their eggs and baskets, 'Fruit Salad was playing on the Wiggles and then I go to my puter to find this....
My heart goes out to his family; his brothers Finn (how they must be dealing with this being on tour and all..) and most importantly, all of you!
We adored you and your music, Paul..some how I will remember your comedic image of running around stage doing Lord knows what...well never forget you! Frowner
It's about 2:00pm here in California, and I've just heard the news from my brother. I've been a Split Enz/Crowded House fan since 1977, when I happened across a copy of MENTAL NOTES.

I've been a fan ever since, and was lucky enough to have met Paul on several occasions, when he passed through San Francisco on all of the tours Crowded House did during the 1980s and 1990s. He was always generously funny, patient, odd, loving, and would always laugh at me when I told him, "Hello, I'm Pete the Greek". He used to kid me about all the Greeks in Australia, and "why don't I live there??".

My favorite memory of him, is the bit in the FAREWELL TO THE WORLD film, where Crowded House has just played a small concert for some sick children. After the show, Paul is found alone (with the camera), and just breaking down in tears from the emotional impact. This clearly showed to me how "human" Paul was, and how much he loved who he was, and how much he understood that the music of CH affected so many people. He always maintained his human side. An amazing spirit, drummer, comedian, father, person.

My eyes are filled with tears, and I send my prayers and sympathies to all in his family, and his extended family. Sorry to hear this sad news about "Mrs. Hairy Legs".

Pete the Greek
San Leandro, California, USA
i know i haven't been around in a while, but i thought it would be appropriate to say something now.

a couple of months ago i made a habit of going out for walks and listening to my discman. on a couple of occasions i chucked in a Crowded House mix i made for myself, and walked around town thinking, "the man's such a talented drummer. bless him. i hope he's overcomed his demons."

the closest i got to a CH reunion was watching him play "There Goes God" with Neil and Tim Finn, and later "Four Seasons In One Day" at the Palais last November. how stoked was i to see him smiling, laughing, and (as he did) putting the house in stitches with his wisecracks.

when we saw him at RocKwiz a few weeks ago, we swore the joie de vive was there. we cheered him on, even when the taping ran long and he annoyed the hosts a bit with all of his nonsense. if i have one regret in life, it's not running over to say hello to him after the taping. we never saw him again after he disappeared behind the curtain.

"And you're full of the wonder of spring
it's all sweetness and lightness you bring
and a room full of people fall to your infinite charm
but when darkness should quickly descend
you go quietly, my miserable friend
to the depths of despair you will crawl
black and white boy..."

we'll miss you, Paul.

I still can't believe hessy is gone,he was a big part of magic that made crowded house so special.From now on, whenever i listen to a crowded house record or video it will never be the same knowing that Paul will never be around again.Iam playing reccuring dream live album now in tribute.

The heart beat of the best ever band has gone forever.

RIP Paul Hester,hope u are in heaven drumming and cracking jokes with all up there.

'long may the mountains ring to sound of his laughter'

I honestly cannot believe that Paul is no longer with us. Its being reported here in NZ that he was found in a park in Melbourne near his home after failing to return from walking his dogs. Its such a tragedy, you just wish that he coulda reached out to someone for help if he felt this way, though having been in the deepest hell that is depression, I know its not easy to do. He and I share the same birthday (though 23 years apart) and i always thought that was really cool - how many people can say they share a birthday with one of their hereos? Anyway...Love to all who grieve for our Black and White boy.
I've just come in tonight to find my mailbox flooded with messages from the TITM list. I knew instinctively it was bad news but I can't believe this. I'm still trying to absorb it.

I never had the pleasure of seeing CH live but was never in any doubt Paul was the heart and soul of the band.

He was a brilliant drummer and the kind of person there are far too few of in this world. My thoughts, of course, go to his family and friends. It's so sad.

your humor and wit always made Crowded House shows entertaining....even though I never saw Crowded House. i'm sure anyone who met you would say you were like that off stage as much as on stage.

my dreams of seeing a reunion tour will never eventuate. though listening to the fanclub cds and watching various live videos shows that you were the heart of the band.

you're drumming at the end of When You Come is my favourite drumming moment.

you will be dearly missed by all
not just as a drummer
but as a great mate

Only found out this evening as well and are shocked and saddened. Paul was always the life and soul of CH and this is a bolt from the blue.

Rest in peace Paul.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his girlfriend and daughters and the rest of his family and friends.

Peter thank you so much for taking the time to drop us a line at Frenz at what must be an awful time for you all.

Thoughts also go out to Neil and Tim getting ready to start their UK and European tour. Boys please go home if you feel you want to. Times like this overtake normal life and things like gigs. But if you feel up to it we'll make sure we give you as much support as we can at the RAH gigs this week.

My Mum called me at 8am with the news, my husband took the call and reached over, hugged me and then told me. I couldn't believe the tears that ran down my face, and are still pooling in my eyes.

I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Paul on several occasions during the Crowded House years and with the Largest Living Things. My two fondest memories of Paul are at the soundcheck at Selinas where Paul was talking to us about the Sydney Kings basketball team, and Neil was on stage waiting to do soundcheck. Neil called out "Come on Paul!" and Paul turned around and said "Talkin basketball mate, more important." For some reason that sticks with me, probably because that was the very first time I met him. The second memory I have was during his short tour with Largest Living Things. I was working at Gowings in Sydney at the time and Peter brought Paul in to buy some green hush puppies. He came up to me and hugged me and talked to me for ages, made me feel like a mate. Then two nights later, my husband and I went and saw LLT at Windsor RSL and after their gig, Paul came down and once again spent some quality time with myself and my husband (wearing some lovely green hush puppies I might add!). Years later, I would still see Paul wearing those hush puppies and smile. Everytime I met him, he'd always remember that I helped him get those shoes. hehe.

I have so many more memories of meeting Paul, but for some reason, the green hush puppies will always stay with me.

The last memory I have is of watching Paul host MTV late on a Friday night with Richard Wilkins, May 19th 1989, and my parents had been called at midnight to go to the hospital because my grandfather wasn't in good shape. At 2am, we were told my Grandfather had passed away and Paul made me laugh through my grief. It was the first death I had experienced in my family and Paul got me through it and I will be forever grateful.

You have no idea the impact you've had on me as a person Paul, and without a doubt, you're making people laugh wherever you are now.
All of these sweet words for Paul, his family, friends and those that simply loved him.

Reading through the messages still hasn't helped me comprehend why.. all I feel is a heavy chest and sadness for such an amazingly beautiful soul.

Paul - thank you for giving everything you had, inspiring so many people with your passion and fire. You gave me so much joy over the years, made me laugh until I cried during your performances. Your music was always food for the soul.

I remember even at the Finn shows last year how I was hoping you would be there to add that extra something that only you could. You will be missed but never forgotten.

To Peter, the fans and all those touched by this tragedy - my thoughts are united with yours.
I just wanted to send a message to Paul. I want him to know that his time on Earth was truly worthwhile and i thank him for sharing it with all of us . I appreciate what he gave of himself while he was here . He will be missed. My condolences and sympathy go out to all his families his friends and his fans .
He is now where he wanted to be .....
The williamson family of Rowville Melbourne Australia
This is so sad, just a tragic loss.

What can I say?

I was only last night thinking about him and having a giggle to myself at his funny onstage antics and the more bizzarre songs he contributed to CH. Although I never got to see Crowdies live, I always noticed in the recorded performances , the energy he brought to the band. What a neat guy. What a loss. Condolences to his partner and girls, and family and friends (and all the frenz too).



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