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Poor Paul. I had no idea he wrestled with stuff like that.

He is the one memory I have from skipping school when I was 15 to go to a soundcheck on the 'Enz with a Bang' tour. The only thing I remember about that day is Paul, wearing pointy black suede boots, black jeans and a bright pink shirt, which he lifted to flash his stomach and chest at me. I took a photo at that exact moment. It turned out great. I wish I knew where it was.
Apparently Paul took his own life last night.

Peter Green posted this to the lists (Frenz, TiTM), but no details or anything, and asked that people not email them for a few days while they wrap their collective brains around it. He said they might have more information at some point, but for now that's all we know.

Me... my body is on autopilot, completely disconnected from my brain at the moment. I've spent the better part of the last hour or so just clicking on my usual links (ESPN, FARK, etc.) and not actually reading anything. It's like my body is going through the motions of trying to distract myself, but my brain is saying "no way".

How utterly sad.
I've been surfing for awhile without knowing, and came back to frenzforum for one last check before doing something else.

Feels like I lost a part of my family. I know the last few years of CH were hard on him, but I figured everything since was going alright.

This will be a LONG night of no sleep.

RIP Paul, we'll always have you by our side.

I was just thinking about 2 mins after typing this up ... the words we all know too well ...

"Love this life
Don't wait till the next one comes ...

And maybe the day will come
When you'll never have to feel no pain
After all my complaining
Gonna love this life
Gonna love this life ..."

I think this lyric will get us all through this, I hope.
Something else to add-already sent condolances to his family and friends, but I'd also like to send them to all the fans of Split Enz/Crowded House, too, as it sucks to lose someone from a band you love so much-like stated, they feel like family after a while and everything, so things like this are hard to take. So yeah, condolances to all of you guys as well.
I hate to say this...but i'm having immense difficulty believing it, but I think it's more of a case that I don't want to believe it. I can't believe it, it doesn't seem feasible.

Crowded House are the reason that I have a CD collection, they opened my mind to music and influenced a lot of my poetry and creative writing. They also influenced me to get an involvement in acting (although not music, it's a form of artistic expression) as a hobby.

The vivacious personality of Paul Hester was so uplifting which made the music of Crowded House so unique, not to mention his humour in interviews. Juxtaposed with that, he was also a regular guest on the radio show Martin/Molloy (Tony Martin being my favourite comedian) and also had a pivotal role on the Mick Molloy show.

I believe everything happens for a reason and I don't see the reason behind this. It has me puzzled. I feel sorrow, i feel anger, i feel emptiness and loneliness as I read the above and especially as writing this. I don't want to believe it. The madness is over.
I'm completely shocked and completely speechless. I saw Paul, close-up and full of life after the Finn concerts in Melbourne in November last year.

I was watching Crowded House video's and being entertained by his antics just today.

I'm utterly speechless.

I had no idea that he struggled with a darker side.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, and to Neil, Tim and Mark as well as all his friends etc.

If only he had reached out to someone...

R.I.P. Paul - and thank you.
No you probably won't see anything on any News sites for a day or so. I've asked a few of my media people to hold off for a day, as I really want Mardi , the family & Paul's 2 young girls some time.

The next few days are going to add so much more sadness to what is the saddest day, and just so everyone can have a break will make it more bearable. Myself included. Telling everyone this is exhausting, and people whom you've never seen cry in years, breaking down ...just rips my heart out.

I wish it was a hoax but believe me it's not.
Even now I still ask the same questions you guys do- why did this happen.

I spoke to Paul just over a week ago, our friend Kevin spoke to him yesterday, and there was no major depression that we were aware of. He seemed like the same old Paul, working on projects, the MAX sessions, loving playing with the Finns and hanging out with his kids....we are fairly certain that it was not a pre planned thing.

It feels totally surreal, and I keep hoping it's just some horrible dream that I'll wake up from. Sadly it's not.

We have had a lot of emails asking abouts ending flowers, as soon as I have some details I'll give you the address.

Hang in there,

Peter
Peter

If you happen to be reading this...

Thank you so much for the courtesy of taking the time to let Paul's Frenz know what was happening.

That is an extremely big thing to have done, considering how close you are to the whole thing.

Take care of yourself and know that we are thinking of you too at what must be an almost impossible time. Your diary entries and the personal contact that we have with you make it quite obvious that you feel your friends' pain as if it were your own.

I'd like to think that this is all a horrible mistake, notwithstanding that it is obviously also a horrible reality, but know that we are all thinking of you.

Do take care.

Cak
Thanks, Peter, for confirming the news, as there was still some doubt for many of us on chat clients as to whether or not the original e-mail was a hoax. It's much appreciated you taking the time to interact with fans in a time like this. Good luck with everything.

I debated whether to post the link or not, but considering it's already out there, top Australian music news website Undercover Music has already got hold of the news & has posted it on their site.

URL: http://www.undercover.com.au/news/2005/mar05/20050326_paulhester.html
All I ask is to live each moment free from the last.

Or, more fittingly...

Now i'm walking again to the beat of a drum, and i'm counting the steps to the door of your heart.

I've just heard in the news. My brain...I can't seem to find the words. I'm just typing on autopilot, I can't even physically speak except to utter the same words over and over again: "Oh my God, oh my God."

Farewell, Paul Hester, you beautiful soul.
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 glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight
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.
I am so sad. It's like... I don't know... I had so many good memories about all the videos and bits and pieces on live Cds and I liked what he was on stage and on videos. First time I ever got to know about Yoga...
F F F

Do you remember the Together Alone Video? Last week we've been at Kare Kare and I told my boyfriend about it. The piggy and how they ran through the bush...

Can't believe it. Poor Paul, I hope he didn't suffer.

His poor girls.
Oh man... Another one gone...
Bull****. This can't be true... What the ****... Christ, Tonight I bought the Crowded House Debut Album ...On the drive home I was looking at Paul being sucked into the fan on the cover... What a fantastic painting... Such a talented man. "This is What I Call Love", that struck me as a fantastic song...

Please tell me this isn't true, I met him only a few months ago at the Finn Brothers concert, he was the only member of the band who came out and said hello to everybody, he was so kind... I shook his hand and thanked him for a fantastic show. I can feel it now... Jesus christ this can't be happening.

He signed my Split Enz suit, oh god... I feel so awful. Listening to "Last Day of June" doesn't help...

How can this conclusion have been jumped to so quickly??!? Wouldn't there be an investigation or something, Oh Paul...

My heart goes out to his family during this time of grieving, I feel terrible, I can only imagine how they are feeling...

I fell asleep this afternoon with his drumming ringing in my ears, and I wake to find this.

Rest in Peace Paul.
I just can't belive that,I'm totally shocked...
I couldn't sleep last night, and saw the latest photo of Paul on Dorthonions site, just thought *hey, good to know Paul is still doing well, sitting behind his drums* ...and as I woke up today finnifunny told me this terrible news.
Paul was (oh god, I have to write *he was*) my hero, the guy I admired, cause of his positive vibes he spreated. He was the only drummer I know, who didn't *disappear* behind his drumset on stage.

Hope your happy there, where you'r now, Paul.
And the reason , that made ya do this, doesn't make ya sad anymore.
You'll never be forgotten...good bye

My condolences to his family, especially to his two little girls...my thoughts are with you.
Good morning from Arizona, where I now live, and am just reading my morning email.

I really appreciate Peter taking the time, in what must be the most horrible and upsettings of circumstances, to email everybody and post here.

I'm still in shock. I can't believe it's true. But it's not April Fools Day, and I know Peter wouldn't play this joke on us. I can only think of his kids and the rest of his friends and family, and they're certainly in my heart today.

I appreciate everybody giving Peter and everybody else the time and space they need to deal with this. When Peter can, I'm sure he'll let us know where we can send flowers, cards, or donations in Paul's memory.
I'm also lost for words...

I'm glad I had the opportunity to meet Paul a few times over the years. He was always incredibly nice and seemed to be in good spirit. He even gave me his used drumsticks one time.

If I remember well he was going to get married in May this year. This must also be an horrible nightmare for his girlfriend as well for his daughters and other relatives.

My best wishes to his family and friends.
Frowner i'm so sad. i registered today because i wanted at add my chorus of sadness.

i'm sorry to say but i heard this news yesterday only several hours after he was found. someone online who worked for the ambulance services posted the news with a rest in peace in a community. After a bunch of us were sceptical and someone pointed out perhaps it is an idea not to post it til its officially released by the family, they deleted it.

before then i was in a panic and emailed the age newsdesk who hadnt' heard it. i searched everywhere and hoped it wasn't true.

i am stunned. that park is a park i've been to a couple of times as its an old area i lived in.

i'm so sad and just can't help it.

i think what is synchronistic or spooky is so many people have been picking up their crowded house records and giving it a spin, remarking or thinking about paul and here we are days/weeks later and posting our sorrow.

many condolences to paul's partner, daughters and family and friends who are going through a difficult and stressful time, particularly as now the age and news.com.au have posted the news.
I found out about Paul's passing through the first phone call I recieved when I woke up and, although it wasn't the worst phone call I've ever got, it's definately up there... I just can't believe it... He's gone forever. My prayers are with his girls, left alone without their Dad. I can only hope they will grow up to carry on the memory of their father.

RIP Paul...
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,

Jennifer

"...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.
-Adam

"I'll be your piggy in the middle, stick with you till the end."
quote:
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.

quote:
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 Sunday...it 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.

-Michelle
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'

Roger
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

dan
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.

J&N
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).

Peace

Erin
Jeremy and Nicola wrote:

quote:
Boys please go home if you feel you want to.
I completely agree with this. Neil was in a band with Paul, and Tim shared a house with him earlier on. These 2 must be hurting.

Sometimes its not necessary to put the fans first. We are family by default. We understand. The Finns have never let us down yet, and would not be doing so if they chose to join Paul's family and friends in grieving for him now.

I wasn't experiencing the excitement of the upcoming gigs, but I feel sure that all their genuine fans would completely understand - and agree with - a postponement, if that is what they feel they need to do.

Just do what you have to do guys...
I'm so saddened to hear the news. I wasn't aware of the bouts of depression that he suffered from. Reading Peter Green's'Famous for 16 Minutes' diary from late 2004 Peter mentioned that Paul had plans to wed in May and referred to how glad he was to see the happy Paul again and a recent period of darkness had seemed to have passed. Depression is such an insidious disease.
I had watched Dreaming the Videos recently and loved the capers of the boys Paul in particular. I loved how he lightened the mood of the videos of the more serious songs showing they didn't have to be taken so seriously. Unfortunately I never had the chance to see him in concert and had hoped to see a full reunion of Crowded House members someday.
My heart goes out to his loved ones, family and friends, it must be such a difficult and painful time they're facing right now and in the days ahead.
I hope you find peace Paul. Thank you for the rhythm, the music,the memories and your wonderful humour.

"...now I'm walking again to the beat of a drum and I'm counting the steps to the door of your heart only the shadows ahead barely clearing the roof get to know the feeling of liberation and relief."
God bless
Orla
I guess the previous poster was referring to Elsternwick Park, where Paul was found...

A very sad thing. And a timely, poignant reminder to anyone who feels depressed... It's very likely there are many people who care about you. Don't give up, get help. Call Lifeline for a start...

Nobody who has never felt the dark walls closing in on them can fully understand the tricks a depressed mind can play on a person. Look out for your friends and buddies whom you think may be affected.

Rest in Peace, Paul. The torment is over.
Just read the news this morning that Paul Hester had committed suicide. I'm stunned.

I started listing to Crowded House music when I was down in Melbourne to visit a friend at Springwood Cemetry. He had hung himself. He had a rough childhood and was devastated that the woman he was in love with before moving to Sydney was getting married. The police found him in his apartment on my one day shy of my 20th birthday.

Even though I haven't been in active in the music scene for years ( I'm lucky if I buy one CD a year ), Crowded House music has the signifcant place in my life. It helped me deal with a senseless loss of a friend.

I don't know what to say. It's odd I feel so bad for someone I didn't know apart from what I've read in books. I did work very briefly at the Black Dog Institute, a depression research centre, and I'm feeling an weird sense of guilt that I couldn't help Paul Hester out. Very strange.
I'd thought about playing CH earlier today, but couldn't bring myself to do it. Then I decided, all right, in his honor, "Italian Plastic." I kept listening through the end of Woodface, and I don't think I'll ever hear that sequence the same way again. Especially because I'd managed (not for the first time) to forget about the final "hidden track." I'd thought I was sending Paul off with "How Will You Go," and there he was shrieking cheerful lewdness in my ear. It fits.

Evvie
First off, let me wish everyone a very Happy Easter., despite the very terrible news. I hope that everyone spent the day reflecting, remember and enjoying the music and memories that Paul helped create for us all.

I was lucky enough to catch my first CH show in 1989 at Shriver Hall in Baltimore MD. It had perhaps the most significant impact on my musical future and to this day, the recognize CH as my biggest influence. It was the kind of show, the kind of band, the kind of life I wanted to create for myself. Paul Hester was 1/3rd of that influence. And on occasions too numerous to even fathom, I played CH records, which only helped to create the memories that have since become my own history. I can still recall, as if it were yesterday, going on a long distance run in the spring through the woods for miles with "Temple Of Low Men," playing on my walkman. I will never forget that run. My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

It's very sad news indeed. I am lucky in that I am afforded the luxury of being able to thank them every time I get to perform one of their songs. It's a musical 'tipping of my hat' to those three musicians who have always inspired me.

On that note, I am going to use this Monday night's show in Annapolis, MD (49 West) as a night dedicated to the music and memories of my favorite band. If anyone lives nearby, and would like to share in some song, you are most welcome.

Peace & Love Everyone,
Dan
more info
Well put "35000 feet over Tasman".

I'll never forget the first time I met Paul, at a Frenz picnic on the banks of the Yarra River. He had just joined Split Enz and he had bright bleeched hair. When I asked him to smile for my camera - he stuck his finger up his nose! He always had great timing. The photo was sublime - pure Paul. He was always very accommodating to the fans, signing autographs and endlessly posing for happy snaps. It's so sad that he had been suffering so much. I'm thinking of and praying for everyone touched by his life and saddened by his death, particularly those who knew and loved him best - his family and friends.
"He goes on, and on"
Looking back through the posts, I'm struck by how many there have been on the topic over such a short period of time and how personal they've all been. It's particularly noteworthy to see messages from people who are posting for the first time or who rarely post.

Obviously, more people must be keeping up with Frenz-related news than I certainly could've ever imagined, which is heartening during a time such as this . . .
I am both shocked and devastated at Paul's passing. As Pete G said, none of it makes sense.

I want to pay tribute by saying thank you to Paul for the memories. There were plenty of them on the journey, both good and bad, but they will live with us forever. Not only the magnificent music and live performances, but the unique banter Paul had on stage with the Crowdies. He made you laugh that is for sure. I am sure I will be getting out some of the Crowdie concerts to reminse.

Maybe the circumstances make it worse for us all- it is tragic when anyone takes thier own life. I can only image what Mardi and his two little girls are going through at the moment. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

To his family and friends, all the fans collectively send thier condolences to the Hester family. I know Neil, Nick and Tim will be doing it tough upon hearing this news- you don't forget a guy like Paul and he will never be forgotton.

R.I.P Paul Hester
I've just found this article on the Nine MSN website:

Hester committed suicide says website
10:30 AEDT Mon Mar 28 2005


Australia's entertainment industry is in shock as news emerges that former Crowded House drummer Paul Hester may have taken his own life.

Hester, 46, the father of two girls, was found dead at Elsternwick Park in Brighton on Sunday. He was last seen walking his two dogs on Saturday night.

Victorian police would not release Hester's name, but a spokeswoman said a body had been found in the park about 1pm (AEST), and the death was not suspicious.

Fan website frenz.com reported Hester had committed suicide.

"Frenz.com deeply regrets to inform you that Paul Hester of Split Enz, Crowded House, Largest Living Things, and many other great projects, has taken his own life," the website said.

"It is not a hoax or a rumour. At this point, it has been confirmed though we have no other details at this time."




Hester played in several Melbourne bands before joining New Zealand band Split Enz in 1983.

He and Neil Finn formed Crowded House with bassist Nick Seymour in 1985.

Finn, along with brother Tim, is in the United Kingdom for four dates at the Royal Albert Hall in London, but may postpone the performances to fly to Melbourne on Sunday.

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of a close friend," Finn said.

Entertainment reporter Richard Wilkins enjoyed a working relationship with Hester, particularly during the Crowded House days.

"I was a big fan and liked him enormously," Wilkins said.

"He was really well respected. He was a great drummer and a great singer and a great band member."

Crowded House fans have expressed their sadness on various websites.

"He is the one memory I have from skipping school when I was 15 to go to a soundcheck on the 'Enz with a Bang' tour," said one fan.

"The only thing I remember about that day is Paul, wearing pointy black suede boots, black jeans and a bright pink shirt, which he lifted to flash his stomach and chest at me."

Another fan, Dean, said he felt as though he had lost a member of his own family.

"Feels like I lost a part of my family," the Crowded House devotee said.

"I know the last few years of Crowded House were hard on him (Hester), but I figured everything since was going all right."

Hester quit Crowded House in 1994 but had reinvented himself as a drummer for hire and owner of the Elwood Beach Cafe.

He had his own music chat show, Hessie's Shed, on ABC TV in the late 1990s, was the host of Music Max Sessions, a series of acoustic concerts, on Foxtel and made a number of guest radio and TV appearances, including a semi-regular role on the popular Austereo radio program Martin/Molloy.

He lived in Elwood - a fashionable bayside suburb of Melbourne - with his girlfriend Mardi Sommerfeld and their two daughters aged eight and 10.
I'm still in a bit of shock, and so very sad. Aside from the brilliant music of Crowded House, Paul was a big part of the draw for me, just because he seemed to be such a joker. Even my kids love Paul, as they know him as "Paul The Chef" from The Wiggles TV show. He was an amazing talent, and clearly a man who was loved and admired by many.

I lost my father under similar circumstances almost 9 years ago. My heart goes out to Paul's girlfriend and two girls. Perhaps in time, they can accept, if not understand this tradgedy. Suicide is such a selfish act. I know often times people suffering from depression think that it's the only way out, and that it relieves their loved ones from the burden of living with someone suffering from this illness, but the truth is, it's the exact opposite. It causes anger and hurt and leaves far too many questions and "what ifs" for those left behind.

Paul - I hope that you are now free from the pain and suffering that was terrible enough to cause you to not want to see another day. May you rest in peace, and may all those whose lives you have touched be able to recall the good times, even in light of such tradgedy and sadness. It's such a shame you couldn't see just how much you really meant to the world and those around you.
Oh my lord this has thrown me for a loop and I really don't know how to react. I haven't posted here in eons, but feel the need to now. Crowded House was the soundtrack to my youth. There is not a band that I hold in higher regard. When they were on the Temple of Low Men tour, I had private boxs seats to the concert, but they canceled the tour just before our stop. So I was never blessed to see them live, but I have several concerts on videotape. I knew Paul was in a bad place when they did the Intimate and Interactive at MuchMusic and he was all over the place. He left the band several days after. But it was so long ago that this really comes as a shock. Well, peace be with you Paul and my thoughts are with his family and friends.
I just found out the news in of all places the Duran Duran fan community site--thanks to whomever posted that, but the news has put me in a state of shock.

This will take some time for me to grasp and understand.

I hope that despite his demons he somehow knew that we loved him. We can all wish that we could have done or said something to make a difference, but we do not have that kind of guarantee even if we had. The ones who have had a chance to meet or talk to him give yourselves a pat on the back--you may have kept him with us one more day.

We are so sorry Paul, and we shall miss you. But you are forever in our hearts and our ears.....


Condolences to his family and friends and to all fellow forum members.
I feel weird that what I wrote on the frenz.com home page was quoted in a paper. Hey, I'M not reporting suicide. It was reported to me, and I wanted to put it on frenz.com because I was getting a lot of emails asking if this was a hoax, rumour, or early April Fools prank.

I also tend to get a lot of mails from people who think that I know more than is let out to the public. Sometimes I do, and in this case I don't, and I wanted people to know that too. I wish I knew more, but I don't. Peter hasn't contacted me, and I'm certainly not going to contact him. I'll wait for him to reach out to me (or all of you) with whatever info he wants me to share.

I wish Paul could have seen these nearly 200 posts before he made the choice he made. The fact that nobody saw this coming reminds me to love and appreciate those in my life and show that to them while they are around.
I've had clinical depression for a number of years. Listening to Crowded House and Split Enz is sometimes the only thing I look forward to in my day. I especially love watching and listening to Paul and his antics. He never fails to put a smile on my face, no matter how bleak I feel.

Thankyou Paul.

"...Paul was one of around 10 drummers who were auditioned by the band...By the third audition, he'd had enough. He pulled out a portable cassette deck and, holding it up in 'record' mode, asked them: 'Have I got the job?'"

-Stranger Than Fiction: The Life and Times of Split Enz (by Mike Chunn)

http://www.book.russells.id.au/15/239.jpg
Yep, that's the media for you, Deb...

For you news followers, here's another 'alternative' news article: CLICK HERE. Although it doesn't tell us anything we didn't already know.

I've just seen the Channel 7 (Australia) news item. Molly Meldrum was even interviewed!

Austalian Pay-TV channel Music Max is also going nuts, currently screening the Finn Brothers Max Sessions, of which Paul was the host. They've even got a "In Memory of Paul" watermark up there...

Take care everyone.
For those who don't wish to register, the item is as follows:

Music world mourns an 'incredible showman'
By Jesse Hogan
March 28, 2005 - 11:15AM

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Hester poses for a photo to accompany a feature article in The Sunday Age in 1997.
Photo: Craig Sillitoe

Related
Crowded House drummer dies
Memories of Paul: Your Say
Paul Hester's life
Australian music guru Ian "Molly" Meldrum believes the local music industry has lost an "incredible showman" with the death of Paul Hester.

The former Crowded House and Split Enz drummer took his own life in a Melbourne park on the weekend after taking his dogs for a walk. He was 46.

Meldrum said this morning that Hester never abandoned his Melbourne roots throughout his long and successful career.

"I may have sat down with Paul in New York, and he might have been away for months, and all he wanted to know was what was going on in Melbourne, who was winning the footy. That's the sort of bloke he was," Meldrum told radio 3AW.

"One can never underestimate how respected Crowded House were throughout the world. To have success on the charts is one thing, but to be absolutely respected by your peers is another, and Paul Hester was certainly one of those musicians.

"He was just an incredible showman, as much as anything else."

Meldrum was shocked by news the drummer had long battled depression. He had last seen Hester in November last year, when they filmed a Channel Seven program Australian Legends.

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Advertisement"There was myself, Paul and Glenn Shorrock, and we filmed most of the day. He had Glenn and I, and the crew, just in tears at times. His story about how he had to fill in for Midnight Oil drummer Rob Hirst is one of the funniest rock 'n' roll stories I've ever heard in my life," Meldrum said.

"He had a wicked sense of humour, and I almost liken it to the wonderful sort of humour The Beatles had, and certainly John Lennon.

"He had the cheekiest face you could ever see. He didn't even really have to say anything. He'd just give you a look and you'd just crack up."

Hester played in several Melbourne bands before joining New Zealand band Split Enz in 1983.

He and Split Enz member Neil Finn formed Crowded House with bassist Nick Seymour in 1985.

Finn, along with brother Tim, is in the United Kingdom for four dates at the Royal Albert Hall in London, but may postpone the performances to fly to Melbourne today.

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of a close friend," Finn said.

The drummer Hester replaced in Split Enz, Mal Green, described him as extremely generous.

"Apart from being a fantastic drummer and an extreme wit, a man of generous spirit," he told ABC radio this morning. "I actually had a drum kit stolen from me and I had an important gig to do and he called me and offered me his equipment which was very touching."

Entertainment reporter Richard Wilkins enjoyed a working relationship with Hester, particularly during the Crowded House days.

"I was a big fan and liked him enormously," Wilkins said.

"He was really well respected. He was a great drummer and a great singer and a great band member."

Crowded House fans have expressed their sadness on various websites.

"He is the one memory I have from skipping school when I was 15 to go to a soundcheck on the 'Enz with a Bang' tour," said one fan.

"The only thing I remember about that day is Paul, wearing pointy black suede boots, black jeans and a bright pink shirt, which he lifted to flash his stomach and chest at me."

Another fan, Dean, said he felt as though he had lost a member of his own family.

"Feels like I lost a part of my family," the Crowded House devotee said.

"I know the last few years of Crowded House were hard on him (Hester), but I figured everything since was going all right."

Hester quit Crowded House in 1994 but had reinvented himself as a drummer for hire and owner of the Elwood Beach Cafe.

The present owner of the Elwood Beach Cafe, Sana Zeneldin, said she bought it off Hester and fellow musician Joe Camilleri about four years ago.

"This place was special to him, but they wanted to get back to their recording," she said.

"We are quite shocked at what happened."

Hester had his own music chat show, Hessie's Shed, on ABC TV in the late 1990s, was the host of Music Max Sessions, a series of acoustic concerts, on Foxtel and made a number of guest radio and TV appearances, including a semi-regular role on the popular Austereo radio program Martin/Molloy.

He lived in Elwood - a fashionable bayside suburb of Melbourne - with his girlfriend Mardi Sommerfeld and their two daughters aged eight and 10.

- with AAP

For immediate help telephone Lifeline on 131 114 or the Suicide Helpline 1300 651 251
quote:
Originally posted by Texas Rose:
[qb]You keep thinking that if you can read enough and learn enough about it, you will understand, or you will be less bewildered.[/qb]
I guess that's what I'm looking for. It all just seems so confusing and frustrating to me. I keep coming back to the boards and my E-mails all day and this evening, I just can't let it go. I know even after I go to bed I'll be popping back to the computer now and then.

Tracy
Why Paulo why? Well, you had your reasons and we respect that.

Thank you for all the music and the memories. Sleep with the angels, dude. We miss you and will never forget you.

I don't believe in painted roses
Or bleeding hearts
While bullets rape the night of the merciful
I'll see you again
When the stars fall from the sky
And the moon has turned red
Over One Tree Hill

We run like a river
Run to the sea
We run like a river to the sea
Thank-you both for the replies. Today's the day where i'm having my first cry. Last night I was just in shock and denial since there were really no official press releases or anything at that time. But today it is official. Paul is no longer with us.

This is the first time i've experienced the loss of a hero in the entertainment industry. It's very strange, i'm crying, I don't undertand why. We weren't connected as relatives or anything but we did connect through music. It's amazing how the most distant links have the most discernable effect on someone. Crowded House are my favourite band, but crying over it sounds a bit obessessive to me, they obviously mean more to me than I care to consciously acknowledge.

But once again thank-you for the support, it has helped.
I didn't know Paul; I'd never met him, but I'm extremly saddened to hear the news of his death. My sympathy goes out to his daughters and to his family and friends as they now deal with his loss.
He was a part of my life through Split Enz and Crowded House and I will always be grateful for the happiness he brought to us through the music.
Whatever unbearable feelings Paul had and he felt he could no longer live with, are something we will never understand.
Wherever you are now, Paul, I hope you are at peace.
Karen
Shocked and saddened to hear the news when I woke up this morning. I had only recently been watching the brilliant "split Enz" DVD which features a doco about the "Enz with a bang" tour. Paul, forever the clown, was fooling around with Eddie in the water melon clip. On the DVD, Eddie later credits Paul with keeping Enz together in 1983 with the his raw enthusiasm and antics that he injected into the band.
For me, he was a brilliant drummer, right up there with the world's best, totally zany and entertaining on stage. A terrible loss for the Australian Music Industry and the Music World but more importantly for his two young daughters and girlfriend. My thoughts go out to them.
It sounds like a tragic set of circumstances too that surrounded his death.
Thanks Hessie for the pleasure you brang to everyones lives,we'll miss you..........
I cried this morning reading all of these messages. The tears just started to flow. I don't know what to say but I had to say something. My thoughts, feelings and love go out to Paul's family, friends, and fans all over the world.

Again we realise how precious life is, and how we can so often take it for granted. All we can do is try to be kinder to ourselves, our friends, our families and our neighbours. Even then, this is sometimes not enough but all we can do is keep trying.

Thankyou Paul, for everything that you have given to the world. You are so missed.
I also want to express my condolences.

There's an article posted from when he left CH with a very interesting comment about Kurt Cobain's suicide:

http://doodlesite.com/crowdie/ch/sydney/mojo/mojopaul.htm

Q:"What was the turning point?"

A: "Just a week before, while we were in New York, Kurt Cobain shot himself. And I'd never met him or anything but in a funny way it made me think of all that. I just thought, How can you do that with a kid and a girl? All right, your band thing's ****ed but... It just made you think about all those things. He must have got to a point where he couldn't deal with it."
Just another voice in the crowd right now, but...

I had a friend who got to interview Paul for a music magazine. I still have that cassette and am going to try to listen to it tomorrow. :-(

There is nothing to say; we are all so sad and shocked. I can only imagine the concert tomorrow night at the RAH. Please, post reviews and keep us updated on the lads' demeanors and how they are holding up under the incredible sadness and strain.

Deepest condolences to Neil, Tim, Mark, Nick, Mardi, the girls, Peter, and all who knew him and loved him.

Rene
I will never forget this quote..I don't remember where I read it and don't even remember who said it but it was in a music magazine in the 80's and the quote was "Paul is a comic and a drummer but he is NO comic drummer!" ...I am wearing my ENZSO shirt and have been playing CH cds all morning although I don't know what to think about a CD I have which was bought from FOTE a few years ago now, "Roxy Theatre, Atlanta USA, 14/04/94...the CD title is "Paul is Dead"...I'm finding that difficult Frowner
I never got the chance to meet Paul nor did I know him, but I feel like I have lost a true friend. I have never cried at the lost of a so called "celebrity" but I have today. Paul was the melody, the inspiration and the humour of Crowded House and a damn fine drummer to boot. Listening to Crowded House will now have a different feeling to it - I have to admit I don't like it at all - this is something we will all have to get used to - I don't want to feel like I want to cry when I hear one of those beautiful melodies or a bit of "quirkiness" from Paul. It was bad enough when I learnt that there was no more crowded house!!

I send my wishes out to everyone today and the next few days that sheds a tear for Hessie. I can say nothing more to his girlfriend and his 2 daughters but sorry for their most devastating loss.

Paul - Rest in Peace and thanks for beautiful music and memories.
I'm still trying to cope with this, having denied it for a while after finding out during Easter dinner. Came home, opened a can of The Best Cold Beer (c'mon, doesn't everyone know what that is now thanks to Paul?), and read all these wonderful postings and stories. Spotting all the typos in the media reports lightens the mood a little, but the fact is I can't sleep out of sadness, I'm trying to face bringing my copy of _Afterglow_ to work on Monday (with Paul's signature on the cover), and I'm wondering, though far from Melbourne, what I possibly could do to comfort more people who are hurting so much right now. Take care all.
In a very odd way, Paul Hester is the guy who sucked me deep into the Crowded House universe. I had obviously listened to Split Enz in the 70s and was also familiar with Crowded House, but I wasn't a huge fan.

Then I saw them on US' The Tonight Show doing Distant Sun. During the last chorus, Paul gives a couple of impromptu shouts at JUST the right time. It was at that exact moment that I became absolutely hooked. Odd how a little moment like that becomes the pivotal moment. But I remember it as if it were yesterday.

I'm thinking now of Neil's song, lyrics that are almost painful to quote:

Anytime (come without warning)
Anytime (it could be so easy)
A walk in the park (or maybe when I'm sleeping)
Anytime (see the clouds come over)
Rain or shine (I make you so unhappy)
Let's make it right


damn...

And here's more of the sad details:

http://www.smh.com.au/news/Music/Hester-hanged-himself/...6.html?oneclick=true
Oh My God...

I only found out this morning after my mum showed me the article in The Age about it. I didn't belive her but after i'd seen the article I was just devestated. I can't belive that such a beautiful human being would take their own life...

Paul, you have been an ispiration to me, and in times of trouble I have always turned to you and your music for guidance...you will be sorely missed, you are the reaosn I became a drummer. I love you and you will be forever in my memeory. Thank you and goodbye.

Kate. Frowner
Some really freaky stories regarding Paul and the comments about Kurt and that "Paul Is Dead" thing and all that...yeesh.

quote:
Originally posted by Fingal:
[qb]I have never cried at the lost of a so called "celebrity" but I have today.[/qb]
I haven't cried yet, oddly enough. I've just been having these periods where I'll just sit there in disbelief, and my stomach'll occasionally be doing knots. I don't like that stomach feeling, I really don't.

quote:
Originally posted by Fingal:
[qb]Listening to Crowded House will now have a different feeling to it - I have to admit I don't like it at all - this is something we will all have to get used to - I don't want to feel like I want to cry when I hear one of those beautiful melodies or a bit of "quirkiness" from Paul.[/qb]
No kidding. I was debating for a while earlier this afternoon whether or not I wanted to watch the "Something So Strong" video when it came on TV this evening-I wanted to, but yet I didn't want to, ya know? But I did anyway, and I just sat there and stared at it (and it didn't help matters that he pops up a lot in that particular video). Oddly enough, though, while I've been a bit uneasy about watching some of the band's stuff that I have on tape, I've been thinking of listening to some of the band's songs...I'm dealing with all of this in a very weird way, at least, it's weird for me.

quote:
Originally posted by Joel:
[qb]This is the first time i've experienced the loss of a hero in the entertainment industry.[/qb]
Second time for me-back in February of 2003, Howie Epstein, the bass player for one of my favorite bands, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, died of a drug overdose-I heard about it on the radio one morning. And now another band I love suffers the loss of one of its members. That kinda disturbs me, and I pray that everyone else from all of my favorite bands sticks around for a very, very long time.

Also, Semi-Detached, thanks for the U2 lyrics-I've been listening to a few of their songs today-those lyrics are just what I needed right now, interestingly enough.

Angela
Beloved comments for a commrade in music who like so many others who find solace in the chords found the melody too hard to bear.Thankyou so much Paul for your part in the soundtrack of my growing years.
As like many awoken by the news this am and couldn't comprehend a light so bright had gone.The lyrics seem deeper and so reflective at the moment.The tears and the smiles mix into the cocktail of the questions left behind.Celluloid and musical heroes always remain young in our hearts.Remembering the triumphs and the talent of one so beautiful in spirit to me.Rest in the arms of the beats of the brush strokes of your next lifetime.
http://www.beyondblue.org.au for those who feel they need help when their door slams and you can't find the key.There is a way out beyond the blue.
I saw CH for the upteenth time in the early nineties at the 21st Century in Frankston when Tim had joined. I yelled out to Neil to play 'Massive' but got no reply. During the encore Paul said to the audience 'So who wanted me to play 'Massive'. Get up here and sing it'. Stage fright got the better of me but they played it anyway. Neil was to later say it was their worst gig ever because of tensions within but for me it was their best. Hessie pulled it together with a couple of gags.
Thanks Paul for the memories and the 'show off snare drummming' during live performances of Sister Madly.
You will be sadly missed.
i can't stop reading all these posts. its a blessing to be able to draw comfort from other frenz, especially since its such an odd sensation, something that alot of people wont understand - grieving the loss of someone you don't actually know.

paul as the chef on the wiggles was the reason that as an adult i remembered there was a band i loved as a 10 year old in the 80s... crowded house. that reminder truely changed the direction of my life, just as so many of you have been changed by paul and CH.

thank you paul hester.

my prayers and love for his family and friends, and hugs to peter, as well as all of the frenz who are united in mourning.
For whatever it's worth, I sent email to the morning DJ for our local AAA radio station here in Pittsburgh to request a track or two tomorrow morning... It's all I could think of to do for now...

I don't know if it's just wanting other people to hear the music he h