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

I'm not ready to just let him fade away.
I'm with you Shaani. We were saying the other day that we feel like Hessie should still be the top story on the news every night. I know that it will get easier given time, but right now that overwhelming sadness just will not quit. Six days now since I heard and still every morning when I wake up the first thing I think is 'Oh god it really happened'.

Thank you all so much, each and every one of you out there, for making me feel less alone in this.
My husband was with me Monday morning when i heard the news of Paul and i just lost it completely. He looked at me so strangely as if to say"oh is this bad news". I mentioned to him that a friend and i would like to go to Melb for a memorial when its organised and he cant understand why i would want to, as many people have said here over the last week "Even though i never knew him or met him, its as if i have known him all my life."
So i too thank everyone here for being a massive support system for myself and all those from across the globe.
THANKYOU
Off to watch Rockwiz.
Big Grin Smiler Smiler
I also think it should be the top story every night but I just feel so lucky to be a part of what I feel to be an exclusive club. I just need to come here to realise that we are so much luckier for having been touched by him ourselves and I almost feel sorry for the people who dont know how this man impacted our lives. I, too have found myself thinking of him all week and I shake my head and think, why? but the tears have now stopped (or at least eased) Can you imagine how much CH and SE has been played this week by all of us?

I also thank you all, complete strangers, who have helped me through this time when noone else understands.

Any word on a get together in NSW. Just feel like I have to do something.
"and still every morning when I wake up the first thing I think is 'Oh god it really happened'."

Yes I think we are all feeling the same aren't we Frenz? Shaani, frozencharlotte, kattybabe, purpleams, don't worry you're not alone and won't be this time next week either. None of us are ready to leave just yet *hugs*

That JJJ show was magic, did u hear me singing by the time they got to "6 months IALB"?? My kids and I were going nuts! (btw, thanks to the Wiggles for introducing my kids to Split Enz Wink )And any tears quickly turned to laughter as my little boy broke out with "Tell me I dont know where you go-o-o!" at the dinner table! Smiler

Hoping RockWiz is on SBS Digital 1 tonight!
thanks to everyone who has responded to my earlier post about not being ready to let go...I feel better just knowing that you guys understand what I mean and I too, would like to thank absolutely everyone on this forum for being here...I truly don't know what I would have done without you all and yes, we are all part of an exclusive family...and I feel proud!
Hi guys. I'm a newbie to this site, but I have been a Split Enz/Crowded House fan for many years. I just wanted to also send my thoughts and prayers to Paul and his family and friends.

Unfortunately, I never got the chance to meet Paul, but you could just see from the concerts and footage of him-he was such a lovely guy-and he was so funny.

I'm a big Beatles fan too, and I don't think I have been so affected by a celebrity's death since that of George Harrison in 2001. I miss George very much-and I know I'll miss Paul as well.

So, Paul, thank you for the laughter and happy times we've had watching and listening to your work. We will miss your many talents greatly, but I think, even more, we will miss you as a person-your smiling face, and the way that you made other people smile. Rest In Peace. XXX
Hi every one. I'm also a newbie to this site, although posted my first message a couple of days ago. I just keep finding myself coming back to this forum to get an update on peoples thoughts and feelings. My husband is beginning to think I'm a wee bit strange as I still haven't really let this go yet, and rightly so. Just shows you what an effect Paul had on people. His death has made me realise how easy it is to take the good things in life completely for granted inc. Paul. This forum is fantastic and makes me feel that whole bit better knowing there are soooo many people feeling exactly the same way.
yes, purpleams...I just finished watching Rockwiz, I was just starting to get teary at the bit where one of the questions had been answered and the host was just finishing off the rest of the information and Paul pressed his buzzer and said "True"...I didn't know whether to laugh or cry and then my mother rings at that exact moment to tell me to watch SBS.
I just finished watching Rockwiz, and again a great wave of sadness washed over me. It has taken me days to sit down and try to make sense of this all. To articulate how this tragedy has made me re-assess what is really important in my life. To love, and be loved. To speak and have someone listen. To listen and understand. I feel incredibly lucky that I got to see CH many times; as their music has always been entwined in my life journey. I visited Elsternwick Park last Thursday at dusk, trying to make sense of it all. Tributes lay at the site, and life goes on around it - children laughing and dogs barking. I shed a tear and vowed not to take so much for granted; to let people know they are loved and to remember how fragile life can be. I then went home and kissed my husband and children. Although I am still overwhelmed by what has happened, I need to move on and try to wake from this surreal dream. Every time I hear a CH song my heart skips. To his loved ones I offer my heartfelt sympathy - we will all miss Paul and the way he touched our lives and our hearts
quote:
Originally posted by Shaani:
[qb] did anyone notice the DJ on JJJ, at the end she was giving a run-down of the songs that were played and she said" Mean to You"...I was just quietly reflecting and all of a sudden I burst out laughing. [/qb]
I noticed that too! I listened to Live At The Wireless, lying on my sofa and was laughing so hard during the 'Sister Madly Polka' and then lost it during 'Fall At Your Feet' - luckily, I live on my own and don't after to worry about flatmates being embarrased.
*********************************************

Just finished watching RockWiz....

Isn't it bizarre that when you know someone is no longer with us, you seem to hang on every word, every gesture.

I look away now, and know that tomorrow Paul is being returned to the Earth that spawned this genius, and I hope he is surrounded by all the beautiful things his spirit desired.

***********************************************

R.I.P.

Ruth
"Anybody else just finished watching RocKwiz and can't stop crying?"

Uh huh. Came straight here. Wink

And thanks to maddie1 for sharing that moment.*hugs* I think I might need something like that to move on. It will be awhile.*sighs and hugs new friends who understand*

Keeping an eye on my ABC right now though - thanks Shaani.
Wow - what a cathartic experience. Since posting a few minutes ago the tears have not stopped falling. I have read all your beautiful tributes and memories, and now that I have taken the step and tried to explain how I am feeling my heart feels a little bit lighter.

Thank you all for being here and allowing me to let go some of the pain. I remember seeing the Finn Bros and Seymour Bros. at the Continental in Prahran two nights in a row (let's face it, you can never get enough of a good thing!)and on the second night NF turned to my friend and I and said "Oh, it's like meeting old friends again" as they walked passed us to to the stage. That's how I feel about CH - old friends. Paul, may you find peace and comfort wherever you may be. God bless.
Maddie1..I too felt compelled to visit Elsternwick Park last Thursday. I took my two yr old with me and as he was playing on the equipment I had to hold back the tears. I keep feeling like the world should have stopped by now because of this tragedy, but life has to go on. I believe everything in this world happens for a reason and this is no exception. As my husband says all the time 'life's a journey not a destination'..Paul appeared to have a pretty good journey for the most part, and he's just entered the next phase of his journey..Paul I trust it's a good one...take care..we've all learnt so much from you. xxxx
Finally managed to stop crying. I'm home alone tonight (aside from the pets, how comforting to have a dog who licks the tears from your face) and found I keep coming back in here for comfort. I feel like I've made so many new friends this week and it is so comforting to have all of you out there who truly know and understand how I'm feeling.

I keep thinking how glad I am that Hessie got up on stage with Neil and Tim at the Palais in November (3 days before my 30th birthday, what a great gift) - the almost CH reunion that we've all dreamed of for the last 9 years. Bless them all, what would I do without Neil's voice to comfort me. The soundtrack to my life.

Love you all. Smiler
I wish I could visit the park too.

And I too don't want to let go.

I don't think we will ever truly let go. We'll come to terms with it and handle it better and get on with our lives, but though we will smile and laugh as we listen and watch without shedding a tear and just think, "What a good bloke," there will always be a speck of sadness sitting in the back of our minds.

But we WILL meet again. (You know, for a moment I even considered killing myself, just so I could see him again. It sounds extreme, I know, but I really thought that. Maybe cos my family and I joke about death a lot and it's not such a scary thing for me.)

I think we should have a Paul Hester day. On his birthday. Because we should celebrate his life, and the day he came into this world, not the day he left it.

And thanks for the articles, all.
I keep thinking back to the night I met Paul outside the Palais, I had my Split Enz underpants (I had made them the night before, black applique ENZ symbol on White Undies) with the intention of giving them to Tim...

Thinking back now, I should have shown them to Paul, I have no idea why I didn't take them out and give him a look, I'm sure he would have loved them Frowner Tim never came out, and the undies are sitting in my top drawer...

Now I'll never get the chance to show them to Paul... This one, tiny little 'insignificant' moment is all I can think of... It's so sad Frowner

I'll put up a photo of the undies, if anyone wants to see them Frowner
(oops! I meant to post this here...like I said first time! Confused )
I guess I�ve finally got the courage to post today. (This will be my first post anywhere, sorry in advance for the wordiness.) I have to admit to being a lurker for the past year now. I wanted to thank all the fans who have kept this forum/site going. Thanks in part to you I realized a dream this past year, seeing the Finn Brothers, not once, but twice after 24 years of fanship! Ironic now that some of the credit must go to Paul the Cook, singing �Fruit Salad� as my son and I looked on---I remember calling my husband and relaying what I just saw and reminding him of my 10th anniversary wish---well, after he found this site, found out the guys were touring, it was off to Austin in August with our 2 year old (okay, so the New Zealand part of the anniversary wish fell to the wayside, but hey, maybe our 20th?).

I�ve been especially grateful for the forum and all of the posts this week. Being in the middle of nowhere has been frustrating at a time like this. I learned of the news Monday morning from my husband who found out on the internet. It�s been good to know I am not alone in the loss I�m feeling about a man I did not know, but admired so much. I have to admit there was some small hope in me that someday I�d see CH reunite as they were. Missed an opportunity to see CH open for a headliner I don�t even remember now in Kansas City when I was still in high school---oh the burn when my friend came back with that �Possessions Are Causing Me Suspicion� t-shirt. Managed to see Tim open for 10,000 Maniacs back then, but have always missed Neil because of distance, and on his most recent solo tour, because of being too pregnant!

I guess I just wanted to say that this music has been such a meaningful part of my life. It seems it�s been here all along (I was 10 when I saw The Enz on MTV for the 1st time), the ups and downs, the very best of times, like the birth of my son. My husband, who was sheltered from radio and TV growing up, became a fan the minute I played Woodface for him (that makes him a fan of 14 years now and a real keeper). And now my son is a fan too, every time he hears the guys he says, �Again, again!�

I suppose a lot of the sadness is in the why and how. These past few days I keep looking at my son and thinking of Paul�s two daughters. I try to remember that the darkness of that disease can lead you to believe, somehow, life would be better for the people you love, if somehow, you and the darkness were just gone. I keep thinking that somehow he thought he was doing the best thing for his girls---that the act wasn�t meant to be a selfish one. If only it wasn�t so permanent, if only he didn�t give in, if only he could see the outpouring of admiration now and find a way back�

Thanks again to all the fans and frenz here for letting us newbies share. I�ve really appreciated all the links/info and, of course, all of the great stories and sincere thoughts. It�s brought a lot of comfort to this Kansas girl to know there are so many others out in the world who feel the same admiration. The sheer quality (and quantity) of the posts is a testament to how great these guys are�and sadly, now I have to say about one, were.

Our deepest sympathies go to Paul�s children, family, band mates, friends, and fans at this difficult time. I wanted to thank Paul for the music�for contributing to the soundtrack of my life in such a humorous, exuberant, and skilled way. (And, from the stay at home mom part of me, thanks too for making kids� TV a little more tolerable.) Smiler


May you RIP Paul�

Hoping for much peace and healing to all through the music and the memories�
Isnt it a wonderful feeling...this forum...these words,thoughts,stories,tears and such.
I ..as most of you have visited this site everyday...for comfort and support and to feel needed in some kind of way.
I got the ch cd's out yesterday...and played a select few songs...I NEEDED to hear them...does that make sense..my daughter...who is a drummer...came in and said please dont cry again...but the tears flowed even more..I go to her room and look at her drumkit and picture pauls smiling face staring back at me...a nice image i must say.
Keep the words and thoughts coming everyone...we have lost a "brother"...and we need to grieve.
I have just finished watching Rockwiz and I can't stop crying! I treasured every millisecond that Paul was on camera. It was reassuring to see that even a few weeks ago, he was still as energetic and quick witted as always.

Words cannot describe the overwhelming feeling when he got up on stage to sing.....yes, sing without playing the drums. It was almost as if he'd come full circle and was now where he always belonged, at the front of the stage. I think we all thought he belonged there but it was breathtaking to actually see him there for real....for the last time.

The thing that really got me though was just before the end where he was singing "Don't look back..." and waving goodbye to the crowd...THAT broke my heart...again and really got the tears flowing. Now...they just won't stop.

Do any other Melbournian's feel the need to do something to remember, celebrate and farewell Paul today (Sunday)? I do....I might go to the park but not sure if it's appropriate at the moment....I NEED to do something to deal with these feelings now.....how long until the illusive public memorial?
Hi, I'm another newbie. Something like this really brings out the need to reach out, doesn't it? My thanks too, to all of you posting such love and thoughtfulness.

Finding it hard to articulate such an emotional turmoil. Rockwiz has helped (great to see him) but made it harder too - he's gone - and his last words on the programme were "don't look" (was singing 'Don't Look Back with The Waifs' Donna Simpson). As it's been said, we cling on to everything and the significance of every glance, everything statement, every joke. What an adorable guy!

Still in a state of shock and well, I guess frightened really. Frightened because I'm trying to understand what it means when a such a great gift to our musical experience, such an incredible human being is gone.

Sorry to offend any practicisng Catholics, (I'm fully lapsed myself Smiler ) but the thing with the Pope - means nothing in my world. The tragedy we've all experienced with the loss of Paul - HUGE.

I'm really happy I got to see the Melbourne Palais concert featuring Paul last year.

Haven't gone to Elsternwick park yet, want to tomorrow with my little ones. They love CH too. My 14 month old dances to it like you wouldn't believe! I'm so proud.

I told my 3 yr old in general terms why Mummy was so sad. As his Dad is a drummer too he took the news very seriously, and went to the drumkit to play for me. So in their way the kids are helping be part of the music too.


For me, musicians like Paul, Neil etc are the warm doona around my fragile self. Giving me comfort and happiness. Nothing has ever ever moved me like their music does.


When our own generation's icons go like this, what hope for us mortals to face our daily woes? How can we be brave ourselves? I mean, I just had this unreal expectation that they'd always be around.

Sorry if this is too long, it's just I'm so thrown. The forum has been so comforting to know I'm not alone in my grief. Like life is for other other members, my partner and friends don't share my extreme sadness, so it's great to be able to log on and know we're all in this together. *sigh* Am peparing myself to hold it together to watch the Music max shows ..
Cheers & hugs
RedGirl
This is my first post also, although I have been a 'lurker' since last year.
I was at the Albert Hall concert on Monday... as I'd been staying with my sister, I hadn't seen my email so didn't know what had happened until the concert started... even then, although I realised something dreadful had happened, I didn't find out the details until next morning when I heard it on Radio 2. But one thing... the emotional atmosphere in the Albert Hall that night was phenomenal, and Neil, Tim and Nick performed superbly. How they did it with what they must have been feeling I just cannot imagine.
One more thing. I too have struggled with the 'black dog', I have looked into the abyss and felt something of what Paul must have been feeling. I just pray that he has found the release he so desperately needed. I hope too, that he knows now how much he meant to so many people, how we all loved him and always will.
Just found these two articles from the newspapers:

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2005/04/02/1112302282135.html
quote:
Something so wrong by Peter Ellingsen
April 3, 2005


There was a dark side to Paul Hester that had long troubled his friends, yet no one was prepared for his lonely death last weekend.

Paul Hester was in his element making Crowded House's first album in the US. Unlike Neil Finn, the early-to-bed front-man who tortured himself with worry, Hester found much to amuse himself in the weird characters and opulent recording rituals of 1980s Hollywood. There were parties, pot and personal encounters with rock legends such as Jim Keltner. The drummer, who had played with Elvis Presley and John Lennon, thought the three-piece "Crowdies" sounded a bit like the Beatles, and thanked them for letting him sit in on their record.

For a Glen Waverley boy about to hit the big time, it was about as good as it gets, and Hester, whose jokes had the same magical timing as his music - "It is stupid comparing us to the Beatles. There were four of them. There are only three of us" - drank it in without getting drunk.

He may have shared the same birthday as Elvis, but he did not have the King's liking for excess and trashy display. He did not booze, get lost in the groupie scene or fall for the old trick, money and fame. When he was eight, he wrote in his diary that he wanted to be a famous drummer, but added that he did not want to get into trouble with the police.

His favourite Beatle was Paul, but his quick mind and ironic take on pretension suggested John. Like Lennon, he had talent to burn and the kind of intelligence that cannot ignore the underdog.

It all meant that living in LA was "intense but great - like being in the Partridge Family on acid", Hester later told the band's biographer, Chris Bourke. "We were like kids, it was wonderful." Hester was "mum", the one who cooked and cleaned and did the shopping. And yet, as bassist Nick Seymour told Bourke, there was an edge to the domesticity. "I think he (Paul) has a major chemical imbalance. He's always at extremes."

The tearaway grin that fell from his face wasn?t showbiz, but a handshake into the heart of the crowd."Seymour was not the only one with concerns. Singer Deborah Conway, who had been Hester's partner before he left for LA in 1985, was also aware of a dark side. She and Hester had shared a rambling old five-bedroom house in Rockley Road, South Yarra. She was there the first time he streaked on stage - during a Split Enz concert - and, although she loved the playfulness, she sensed a sadness. Last week, as the world wrestled with Hester's death, Conway agreed with fellow musician Stephen Cummings that their friend evoked comedian Tony Hancock, who killed himself in Sydney in 1968. "The sad clown, not a bad comparison."


No one knows what was going on in Paul Hester's mind when he took his life last weekend. Even his family and closest friends, who were familiar with his depressive moods, thought he was OK. Conway, who saw him two weeks ago, had made firm plans to meet him, as had another Melbourne singer, Sophie Koh. Shaking her head at the event she cannot digest, Conway says she was so shocked at the news that she suspected foul play. Her reaction was complete disbelief, then rationalisation. "I suspect he might not have entirely meant to kill himself," she says. As the shock turned to anger ("How could he do such a thing?"), Conway, like so many others, most of whom never knew Hester, felt numbness, and an ocean of loss.

It is a wave that is engulfing many as the reality of Hester's passing sinks in. He was not just a drummer boy, but a quirky, brilliant communicator who touched thousands. Neil Finn may have been the Crowdies songwriter, but Hessie was its sounding-board. Fans watched for his antics as much as they listened for Finn's words. The tearaway grin that fell from his face wasn't showbiz, but a handshake into the heart of the crowd.

It grasped deep into the psyche, not just because Crowded House was as close as we got to a new Beatles but because Hester was the kind of larrikin Australians embrace. Like Ringo Starr, a drummer he admired, he stayed true to his beginnings. He took the piss, rather than drowned in it, had (just four) serious, rather than serial, relationships, drove an old Holden, and lived in an Edwardian bungalow. Hester swam and sang, and played golf, as well as the fool, and seemed to have survived rock'n'roll with his bank account, and the best years of his life, relatively intact. So why did he walk into Elsternwick Park a week ago and hang himself?

Conway shrugs: "You never know. It is a case-by-case thing." She still wonders whether it could have been a cry for help. "Paul never spoke to me about it (suicide)," she says. He did, however, discuss it with another friend, explaining that he would never go through with it because of his daughters, Sunday, 10, and Olive, 5. "We talked about it," the friend says. "Paul said, 'I love my girls too much. I would never do it.'" Clearly, Bogut was in such despair last Saturday that even this critical concern was somehow either overridden, or put aside.

Melbourne University's Professor Pat McGorry says the trouble with depression is that it can be so bad it erases memories of the good. "You lose the optimism that treatment can help," he says.

McGorry, who heads Orygen, a youth mental health service in the western suburbs, has an inclusive view of depression. He believes it is "extremely complex" and can't be reduced to a simple formula.

Fellow psychiatrist Professor David Copolov, from the Mental Health Research Council, agrees: "No one, to my knowledge, just sees depression as a biological disorder. Real social and emotional factors are involved. You can't say something is entirely psychological or biological, though you can say that the suffering is real."

McGorry says intervention does work for adolescents making the transition to adulthood. He refers to recent research suggesting that the more toxic strains of cannabis now being grown hydroponically can be a predictor for psychotic illness, even suicide, among teenagers. Not smoking dope is a protective measure against mental breakdown, the studies find. No research, however, has been done on adults, and McGorry thinks mid-life crisis is a risk factor for suicide, particularly for men aged in their 40s and 50s.

He says: "It can be a feeling of 'What do I have to live for?' It is an enigma as to why some people kill themselves. Research shows that family history is important."

Was this one of the factors, perhaps? One close friend, referring to the years of therapy Hester went through, says: "It is very personal stuff. What do you do in analysis? You talk about your childhood."

Chris Bourke's book Crowded House: Something So Strong has many references to cannabis-smoking. He records Hester saying how he "completely lost his way" for a week or so when the band first went to the US. "Like dial-a-pizza, top-quality Californian pot would be conveniently delivered by 'the rabbi'," Bourke writes. He quotes Hester's reaction to Jim Keltner: "And Jim leans over and says, 'Can I have a toke on that?' Sure, go ahead."

Dope smoking, of course, is common in society, as well as in bands, and there is no evidence Hester ever got involved with hard drugs. But by the time the band was big, and touring was a chore, Hester was in trouble. He spoke about it to Peter Wilmoth, a former housemate and author of the book Glad All Over: The Countdown Years, in 1996. "The blackness was a huge factor for the boys to overcome," Hester told Wilmoth. "It was there and I was very much responsible for it . . . It is hard for the band to cope with that every day. I was like a frustrated two-year-old unable to express myself. I didn't know how to tell them my heart wasn't in it."

As well, Hester was fed up with the promotional side of performing. Sometimes - like during the 1986 US tour when he signed a poster: "F--- Ronnie (Reagan)" - it was his mischievousness; other times, he was bored with the repetition, or resentful about the huge disparity between the money he and Seymour got, compared with Finn.

"He just got sick of it," Conway says. "Playing second fiddle or whatever, though that was not the way it was. He was the strongest personality onstage. But as the songwriter, Neil got the money. That's why Neil lives in a mansion in Auckland while Paul lived in a little house in Elwood."

In his book, Bourke says that, at times, Hester and Seymour found it difficult to pay their mortgages. "Paul and I were just getting by at home, on the places we'd bought," Bourke quotes Seymour saying. "Paul was under pressure. He used to ask, 'What the f--- am I doing this for?' " Hester became paranoid about touring. He developed what he called a leaving phobia. He told Bourke: "It strung me up, the day before I left, I'd be in depression." He talked of panic attacks and freak-outs, and began to wander off stage to go to the toilet or talk during performances.

Perhaps he was distancing himself from the music, and the comic character he had created. In his book, Bourke records a 1967 school composition in which eight year-old Hester wrote: "I act rather stupid just to impress my friends. I would rather be a quiet little kid who just sat there and did a couple of funny things but not act stupid." This was when he could already play drums and entertain with his antics.

More than 20 years later, he told Bourke: "It was just at the end that I lost my way." What had seemed funny, like coming on stage in a Santa suit, only to strip naked, soon became something more serious.

Bourke records that the other band members became more perturbed by the way Hester would disappear into his hotel room for a "smoky session watching basketball videos". Bourke quotes bassist Seymour: "I thought he'd gone mad. I thought he was allowing the dark Paul to take him over."

They tried to support him. At Eindhoven, in Holland, Bourke says the crowd sang to him Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. It was ironic, because that was his speciality. But something was unravelling. He was drifting. People began to ask what was wrong with him. This was about the time Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain killed himself, an event that, Bourke says, disturbed Hester.

Australian writer Lawrie Zion, who was in the US when Hester finally quit Crowded House in 1994, has written of his friend's state. "Hester, despite his outwardly easygoing manner, had long been uncomfortable with the demands of being in a touring band, however successful," Zion wrote last week.

Afterwards, Hester told the ABC's Andrew Denton that rock'n'roll stardom was not what it was cracked up to be. "I gave up rock'n'roll so I could take up sex, drugs and rock'n'roll," he said.

Jeff Kennett, chairman of the national depression awareness organisation beyondblue, says that Hester's death highlights the need to help sufferers: "Paul's tragic death falls clearly into the category where he had everything to live for yet, internally, he was just bleeding."

While Hester was undoubtedly suffering, he was not unaware of treatment. Friends say he had taken anti-depressants for a time and found them useful, and had had lengthy periods of psychotherapy. "I recommend it to any 30-year-old man," Hester told Bourke. "Once you get to 30, you've got a bit of emotional baggage and I think you owe it to yourself to go - your mates can't help you."

He went once a week to unload his "most outrageous, deadly thoughts". "It was amazing. I had to get it off my chest with a completely independent person. He had no concept of Crowded House, hadn't really heard of us . . . It helped me work a few things out," he told Bourke.

Hester discussed depression and its causes and treatment with close friend John Clifforth. Clifforth, a doctor who met Hester in 1978, says: "It's no secret he was in therapy for a long time. He was interested in men's issues, how men neglect themselves." Clifforth remembers Hester's thoughtfulness, energy and passion for causes, including indigenous culture. "He thought about this stuff. He looked at consumerism and wondered how to make it more genuine. He could whip up people with a vision, hope one week, and the next sit at home screening calls saying he was having a bad day."

Hester did not feel he could make Clifforth's recent 50th birthday. "He just wanted to be alone, recharge his batteries," Clifforth says.

Like other friends, Clifforth was shocked by Hester's suicide. "Paul was like Peter Sellers with his brilliance," he says. "He seemed to be getting very productive. He was very excited with a number of projects. He was like Michael Leunig on speed."

Peter Wilmoth says Hester may have been "the most down-to-earth famous person you could meet", but he was troubled by aspects of success. Conway says Hester had a wonderful sense of the absurd and could handle fame, which seems true, but it is remarkable how many of his close friends liken him to entertainment giants who died prematurely.

Tony Hancock, as has already been noted, killed himself and Who drummer Keith Moon (the person Clifforth says Hester evoked when he first saw him drumming) drank himself to an early grave. Maybe it is that, as Jeff Kennett suggests, creative people and artists suffer a disproportionate amount of depression. But, unlike rock burn-outs, Hester was no narcissist who wanted to live hard, die young and leave a beautiful corpse. Apart from bouts of smoking cannabis, the usual excesses of rock'n'roll simply did not apply.

Could it be, as author William Styron wrote, that we all harbour something he called "darkness visible". Pat McGorry goes back to Freud and the notion of loss as a trigger for mourning, a normal state that, if not dealt with, can fester into depression. "Perhaps there are some who fail to grieve over their mid-life loss," he says. "These are central issues in literature, for writers like Camus." Camus famously wrote that the central, perhaps only, question is, s life worth living? Like Hester, he appreciated the absurd. He argued for an acceptance of reality that includes passion, and the subversion Lawrie Zion says marked Hester's humour.

Stephen Cummings knew Hester and his moods. The two of them, along with good mate and entertainer Brian Nankervis, regularly went for a swim at the St Kilda sea baths. "It was a guys' thing," Cummings says. "We'd swim and talk. Paul could be really moody, really closed up and closed off. Mostly we talked about flip things. I'm four years older than him and he liked to talk groups like (Cummings' band) the Sports."

Cummings feels there is a disconnect between media images and reality that confuses rock stars as well as their fans. "It is an age of grand gestures," he says. "Thank God, I was not that successful, and have to keep working. It helps you integrate into the world. In some ways, Paul didn't have to do that." Cummings recalls Hester really liked one of his songs, Fell From a Great Height, which has the line "something broke inside of me".

Clifforth talks of the way Hester could "turn it on, light up a room". "It was an amazing capacity and he really enjoyed it," he says. "He made others feel it and if he had not been able to, no one would give a ****."

Hester was best man at Clifforth's wedding. They saw each other every week for 25 years. Like the others, he emphasises just how much Hester enjoyed life, and imparted it to those around him. He could laugh at the irony of coming back to Melbourne after making it in the US only to find a sign beside the stage of the Middle Park Hotel reading: "Split House". And when Neil's big brother, Tim Finn, joined the band around 1990, it was Hester who, Bourke records, had the wit to deadpan, "Now we'll have someone to blame if the record stiffs".

Sadness, as Nick Cave notes, has a bad reputation. "We can't live if we are completely impervious to sadness," he has said. American poet Anne Sexton felt "creative people must not avoid the pain they get dealt". It is an idea with a long history. Philosopher Spinoza felt that sadness recoils from desire, and it is desire (for life) that is the real anti-depressant. Nineteenth-century neuroscientist George Gray thought it was a gradual "unlearning of optimism". Now sadness is confused with depression, and thought to be a chemical imbalance in the brain.

But while most scientists have turned away from notions such as soul-loss to describe the numbness that comes with depression, British biologist Dr Lewis Wolpert thinks it is a useful term. "With such distress we are at the very heart of being human," Wolpert writes in his best-selling Malignant Sadness. No one has yet found the cerebral substratum of passion and discontent.

Hester was aware of his moods and the treatment available, as well as good ways to live. As far back as 1989, he could admire a distinctly non-rock'n'roll lifestyle. As Bourke records, he got close to the founder of '60s band the Byrds, Roger McGuinn, describing him as a "clean-living dude who ate almonds and enjoyed playing and travelling with his wife". He told Bourke: "He had this untouchable, happy thing going down."

Mensline Australia is available 24 hours a day on 1300 789 978, Suicide Helpline Victoria on 1300 651 251, Lifeline on 131 114.
-------------------------------------------

and

quote:
Home to farewell Hester
April 3, 2005
The Sun-Herald


The former Crowded House band members cancelled concerts to fly into Australia yesterday for the funeral of drummer Paul Hester.

Bassist Nick Seymour and brothers Neil and Tim Finn flew in from London, still coming to terms with the suicide of their close friend.

In Melbourne today they will attend a small, private funeral for the 46-year-old drummer who hanged himself from a tree in a public park near his home in Elwood in Melbourne last weekend.

A week after his death, friends are still trying to understand what would drive him to leave behind his daughters Sunday, 10, and Olive, 8.

He had split with a girlfriend at the end of last year but remained on good terms with Mardi Sommerfield, the mother of his two daughters.

The next series of cable TV show The Max Sessions, which Hester hosted, will be dedicated to him.
Paul.....what can I say?

Depression does not discriminate.

Depression is sly and sneaky and makes you feel like you are alone in this pain and shouldn't share it with anyone, especially loved ones, as who would want to inflict any such pain or suffering on someone you love?

And the fact that you feel this bad has you thinking that you have become a burden on those around you - even though you cannot even begin to explain to them how deep down in the quagmire you find yourself sinking, trapped.....

Depression hides within you and does not like to be obvious, it is very secretive. It usually waits until you are completely alone before it surfaces, or totally suffocates your 'coping' persona.

Depression convinces you that it is going to keep coming back no matter how hard you work to defeat it, and for some, it is so convincing that you no longer feel you have the strength to fight it. What to do??

Depression defies rationale. It can alter your state of mind to the point where you are totally convinced that your loved ones are honestly going to be better off without you around. Depression blinds you to friends and loved one's attempts to show you they care. It deceives you so well...

Depression is such a personal experience and makes you feel a way that mere words cannot convey. The pain can be so overwhelming. You simply do not want to exist any longer. Depression will hide all the possible pathways out from you, because it wants to claim you once and for all...............a truly silent killer.

Paul, what you have done is to help me put this into words, and for the first time, to be honest with my loved ones as to how pointless it can all seem - and it does not for a moment mean you don't love them with all your heart.

I have never wanted to admit out aloud how bad it feels because I didn't want to hurt their feelings by thinking my love for them isn't strong enough to fight it. I hope this makes some sense.

Anyone outside my family are stunned to hear that I suffer from clinical depression and will rely on medication for the rest of my life, because I always come across as a happy, go-lucky, bubbly kind of person. (Another reason it took sooooo long to diagnose - hidden under a coping mechanism) The medication doesn't 'cure it' - just kind of takes the edge off it, and helps you have some 'normal' days - and hopefully keeps giving you the ability to keep fighting that incidious disease (and it is a disease) called Depression..

I figure you must have been in so much torment and pain, and reached that point of no return, but in doing so, I really hope you found at least a few last minutes of peace knowing that it was coming to an end.

Your legacy will not be forgotten - how could such a talented, clever, funny, special soul like you not touch so many millions (yep, think about it, millions) of lives around the world? That was a given. But in addition, your legacy now includes bringing this 'silent killer' known as Depression to light - and even though a person may not have experienced it, hopefully they will come to understand a little more, how sly and sneaky Depression can be. And for those who know that 'blackness', allow them to come out and talk about it openly, without fear of rejection, and may they know that they do not suffer alone - and in fact someone very close to them may have some insight into what they are going through as well. It affects so many more people than we ever imagined.

I figure that 'clinical depression' is simply a chemical imbalance, and that just like a diabetic who needs insulin, we need medication to correct that imbalance. No one should ever feel guilty about having to take medication if they need it.

When I found out about your decision to end your life here, I was in the middle of watching a M*A*S*H marathon - which ironically has the theme music "Suicide is Painless". I hunted down the lyrics which I found both chilling and comforting at the same time (which is un-nerving in itself).

'Suicide is Painless' by Mike Altman
Through early morning fog I see
visions of the things to be
the pains that are withheld for me
I realize and I can see...

[REFRAIN]:
that suicide is painless
It brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.

I try to find a way to make
all our little joys relate
without that ever-present hate
but now I know that it's too late, and...

[REFRAIN]

The game of life is hard to play
I'm gonna lose it anyway
The losing card I'll someday lay
so this is all I have to say.

[REFRAIN]

The only way to win is cheat
And lay it down before I'm beat
and to another give my seat
for that's the only painless feat.

[REFRAIN]

The sword of time will pierce our skins
It doesn't hurt when it begins
But as it works its way on in
The pain grows stronger...watch it grin, but...

[REFRAIN]

A brave man once requested me
to answer questions that are key
is it to be or not to be
and I replied 'oh why ask me?'

[REFRAIN]

'Cause suicide is painless
it brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.
...and you can do the same thing if you please.

I also remember telling my husband that Neil Finn's songwriting made so much sense to me - which isn't surprising since apparently he has battled his own demons as well. You certainly don't need to understand depression to appreciate his lyrics - but I have a feeling it helps!!

Paul, along with many others who were not privileged enough to have met you in person, I still feel as though I have lost a friend. You will always be remembered and missed badly.

My heartfelt condolences to all those who knew and loved you.

RIP Black and White Boy...free at last!
quote:
Originally posted by Girlscream:
[qb]Isn't it bizarre that when you know someone is no longer with us, you seem to hang on every word, every gesture.[/qb]
*Nods* Exactly. I was listening to their songs throughout the week, and even if a song didn't actually deal with the topic of death, there were always certain lines that just jumped out at me and were heard in a totally different way this time around. And when I was watching some of their videos that I'd had on tape, there were things I noticed this time around that I may not have paid much attention to before. It's very strange, indeed.

quote:
Originally posted by Tanchira:
[qb]I don't think we will ever truly let go. We'll come to terms with it and handle it better and get on with our lives, but though we will smile and laugh as we listen and watch without shedding a tear and just think, "What a good bloke," there will always be a speck of sadness sitting in the back of our minds.[/qb]
Yep. I have this vision of myself months, years down the road hearing "Don't Dream It's Over" on the radio, and I'll sing along like I always do, I'll get to the point where I'll be able to hear that song without crying, but when I hear the song, I'll always have that weak smile of sorts, you know?

quote:
Originally posted by RedGirl:
[qb]I mean, I just had this unreal expectation that they'd always be around.[/qb]
Exactly! Rational me knows celebrities are human, just like everyone else, and they'll go someday, too, but at the same time, it still seems utterly bizarre to me when they do die, it just doesn't feel right. We fans are supposed to go through the life cycle, they're supposed to always be here or something like that. Yeah. Glad I'm not the only one who thinks that way.

quote:
Originally posted by Purpleams:
[qb]Bless them all, what would I do without Neil's voice to comfort me.[/qb]
There was this BBC show that someone had put a link to on the Finn brothers' site's boards recently in which they'd been interviewed, and I was listening to that last night, and it was just what I needed then. They were holding up fairly well considering all that'd gone on this week, and they managed to make me laugh a few times with some of the things they said, and it was just the kind of thing I needed-like, they'll be okay, so I know I will be, too. It was a nice reassurance. I wish I could've seen that Rockwiz show you all are talking about.

Also, ever since getting into this band, I've naturally wanted to visit Australia (and New Zealand, too)...now I'll have another reason for wanting to visit that area of the world-if and when I ever do get that chance, I, too, will stop at that park, and I'll check out the memorial that people have kinda started there, perhaps even leave something there myself.

Angela
Thank you soo much for those excellent articles..fascinating reads...a lot I was really taken in to especially on how the way he delt with just everyday life.
Also makes one realize how artists, no matter who they are or what they do, are not oblivious to the pain we all go through. Just because most of us can look at them and admire them for all they have accomplished~big house, money, fame ect..~does not exclude them to such frailties of the mind!
Thank you so much Redgirl, for the articles, especially the first one. What a great article, so full of insight. I urge everyone to read it.

I also urge everyone to read, if you haven't already, the post by SheWillHaveHerWay, near the top of this page. As someone who suffers from depression, I couldn't have explained it better than she has. Very well said.
Reading through all the messages today, and the lyrics people have been posting, has brought back to me David Bowie's 'Rock & Roll Suicide'. It seems to fit the discussion so well:

"You're too old to lose it, too young to choose it,
And the clock waits so paitently on your song
You walk past the cafe but you don't eat when you've lived too long
You're a rock & roll suicide....

Oh, no, love! You're not alone
you're watching yourself but you're too unfair
You got your head all tangled up but if I could only make you care
Oh no love! You're not alone
No matter what or who you've been
No matter when or where you're seen
All the knives seem to lacerate your brain
I've had my share so I'll help you with the pain
You're not alone."
Dear Paul,

I never knew you personally but with your passing I feel as though I have lost a friend.

You sparked in me a passion for music and you gave so much to so many different people. I hope that where ever you are you can feel the love and respect we all have for you.

Thank you for being you.

Kia kaha,

pea
Thank you SheWillHaveHerWay for your amazing insight into depression. It does help.
I guess the hard thing I have to face when dealing with my grief (and I�ve lost eight friends in the last five years) is that my/our love isn�t powerful enough to help people stay alive.
I battle with that being a selfish perspective � as if it�s up to me (or any of us!) to save people. But, confronted with the alternative, don�t you just want to put your arms around someone in pain and make them better? Still, I do know what it�s like to be exhausted by the stuff in your head.

I�m looking forward to a public tribute too.

Last night in Melbourne was unseasonably hot, with a magical cloudy moon and dramatic winds that sounded like the ocean �
today the rain has come � heavy showers interspersed by bird song �.
oh what a day �.
Anyone else going to the park today to pay respects?

All our love to Paul�s family and friends

Thank you Paul for everything, I hope there�s peace for you now.
On Thursday night this week I attended karaoke at my local as I do every week. The feller running it is a huge CH fan and had been watching FTTW that arvo. Before he got the karaoke started, he played all the CH tracks in the collection in tribute to Paul. Later on, he got up and sang Sister Madly himself and during the instrumental talked about how this wasn';t Paul's favourite song, his favourite song was IT, a really slow and boring song, but Hesto used to come down the front of the stage during this song and muck around and make jokes down the front of stage.

I got up to do DS and as it started I invited any other Paul fans to get up and pay tribute to him with me. So about 5 of us (it was late and the pub was nearly deserted by then) got up and we all sang DS and then WWY together. It was a really nice moment. We looked at each other during the song and it was a really nice feeling of togetherness. Even though we didn't know each other we were sharing this tribute to a man we all admired and respected. And it was more like a celebration than a funeral, even if I did shed a tear.
I woke up this morning and thought I may need to apologise for landing you all with my long post (and my first at that). I cannot tell you how cathartic it was - and Paul is the reason I was able to express myself like that.

Gnomie - I am so sorry to hear about your brother, and if my outpouring helped you to understand your brother just a little bit more, then it was more than worth it! (My eyes are hanging out of my head this morning from tiredness :-) )

Half Full - I had all these thoughts running around in my head, and really felt the need to let Paul know how he had helped me share them with my loved ones. When I read your post, it helped me to actually sit down and write it. I could relate to your post so much, thank you.

Redgirl - to have lost so many friends in such a short time - so heartbreaking to read :-( As powerful as love is, you are right, it is just not strong enough to save another from taking that last step into the abyss. Like you, if I see someone feeling down, I just want to wrap my arms around them and hug them until they feel better - but when I am feeling so down, I don't want to let anyone be touched by the dark, swirling pit that is depression.

Depression is selfish, it doesn't want to share you with anyone else.

Meanwhile, I am going to go and 'share' Paul with all of you on Music MAX.
Hi All, I had to wait for my login to be approved heres my post from yesterday during the jjj tribute . . .

Although I have been reading the forums every day since I heard about Pauls death I didnt think I "deserved" a post of my own here.

I dont have all the albums, Id never been to a concert, I didnt know Paul or any of crowded house personally and i never bought the t-shirt.

Its a bloody hot day here in Adelaide today and after going out this afternoon i had a nap on the couch while I was waiting for the jjj tribute to start. I woke up mid "It's only natural" at about 5.16 and I just started crying It's been 5 songs ...and I'm still crying and it's turned up and yeh those drums sound louder than ever.

After trying to work out why I have been so upset, not being a "real" fan I have realised that It's not about buying the albums or the t-shirts or any of that , its about the fact that I know all of the words, and the fact that they remind me of times, and moments and decades, they are part of me, my exposure to Crowded house has made me MORE me. A previous poster hit the nail on the head when they said it was about being the soundtrack to our Lives....

My first and only crowded house album was purchased when I still got pocket money, and its vinyl and it was $14, and I still have it.

While I had never bought a ticket to a concert I HAD seen Crowded House live, Once at the Grand Prix in Adelaide about a hundred years ago (1987 I was 16).I waded through waist deep,muddy, beer filled,putrid lake water to get to the front of the stage and had a bloody WONDERFUL time, I gashed my foot on some broken glass at the bottom but I didnt care, It was a totally unique and fantastic experience,

I also saw (heard) them again at WOMAD where all I can remember is the chorus from "italian plastic" which I had never heard before or since but it has stuck with me ever since (since i was about three i have always taken a glass of water to bed with me and I remember thinking how nice it would be to have someone that wanted to be my glass of water. silly thought, silly song It doesn't suprise me that Paul wrote it, it just makes it more special)

I am really going to miss the magic that was/is Paul, so many people loved this man and just like me havent realised until now, while I also shed a few tears when I watched the final CH concert on the steps of the Opera House they were nothing like the raw emotion that was tapped today when I really realised it was over, That Paul is gone and everythign is different.

I have told people that Paul has died and they say "oh I heard that" but they dont GET it. I've stopped telling people.

It is so hard to deal with this. I can only Imagine what this time must be like for Paul's close family the people that knew and loved him and I want to take the chance to offer my love to them and acknowledgement of what a wonderful effect Paul has had on my life and to thank them all for sharing him with me.

Wherever you are Paul I hope its better for you because where you have been has made it better for me.

thankyou for giving me somewhere to express my shared grief and offer my thanks

...a friend committed suicide
I could not escape, a plea from the heart
you know what it means to me
All weekend thoughts have been going through my head of Paul funeral..Yesterday was a lovely spring day, the daffodils sprouting up and the birdies chirping. Somewhere in my head I said to myself ..the next time I hear thunder it will be when Pauls journey is over and hes truly at peace. Well, today the heavens have opened and its been raining all day. The gray weather matching all of our emotions. I just put all my kids to bed and sat down at the computer thinking about reading some more posts and I heard a rumble in the distance. I smiled and quietly thanked Paul. Thanks for all the great memories Paul... Rest peacefully in your new mansion in the sky
My Dad introduced me to Split Enz at a very young age, after that I took all of his records into my room and nearly 25 years later I haven't given them back. CH were the soundtrack to my adolescence. Formative years and a formative figure in "Hester the Jester". One sadly missed but remembered with a smile.
These messages - all 25 pages now! have been amazing and a wonderful testament to a wonderful life.
Today, the day of Paul's funeral, I played CH loud and proud for all the neighbours to hear and for the music to drift out into the ether to celebrate the Paul that I knew but never met.
Vale Paulo
I've just been watching the all-day MAX tribute to Hessie. I've been watching the recorded concerts, and I still have this unbearable, gut-churning and sad feeling.
I think of Paul, Neil and Nick as three people that I have known for many years and like I know them so well, like they are three of my greatest mates. I feel so helpless that Paul never knew how much of a musical and comedic genius he was and what an inspirational legend he really was. I never got the chance to meet him but that's what I always wanted him to know. I also feel helpless that I can't console Neil and Nick in their great loss - cheer them up like their music and msuci videos antics cheer me up.

Vale Hessie the great!
also you have nailed it there - it's not about owning albums or whatever it's just that he's gone and everythings different. Anyway you said it better.

and Stella, funny I have been thinking along those lines, our weather turned rough last night, and now for some unexplained reason at 3pm Sunday, the sun has just come out again. Smiler

Thank you everyone posting today - you have brought back the sobs and the howling even, but thankyou all *hugs*

We are all so sad today.

Vale Hessie indeed.
I took my daughter to work with me this morning and all the way(about a 40 minute drive) we just sang at the top of our lungs. I asked her how she knew so many words to the songs and she said" how could i not, thats all you played when i was little"
To me thats a CH moment, we laughed and laughed, me singing out of tune her mucking up the words.
And right there is the legacy that Paul leaves with all of us, the ability to laugh and enjoy the moment as we have all seen him do so many times.
As John Edward says" Appreciate and validate those that are around you today, for you may not get the chance if you dont do it now"
I was just about to start writing my reply when I read AnnieMay's recent post, and I think my reply was almost going to be word for word -
ALSO - as AnnieMay said you 'nailed it' well written, I think we are both on the same 'tram' so to speak and yes Stella, it's also been a fairly bleak ole day here in Melbourne, in same ways I feel it's harder being in the same city as Hessie (also knowing the funeral was today)and I used to only live around the corner from 'the park' makes it all more real. Played 'temple of low men' all day today' and told my father that I loved him, which I cannot remember ever doing...Hessie you are still weaving your magic and will continue to do so...
What unusual weather here today in Melbourne....absolutely 4 seasons in one day! Intermittent showers, sunshine and strong winds! Quite symbolic don't you think?

Feeling rather awkward, I finally went to the park to pay my repsects to my idol of the past 15-20 years. On the drive there, the sky was very black but all of a sudden, a single mesmerising ray of sunshine shone through. It was almost magical - I like to think that at that moment, Paul was laid to rest.

The wind at the park was ferocious at one stage. I could hardly walk, it was that strong. Eventually, I managed to find the exact spot and was suprised by its proximity to the road. It was a very sombre moment.....but somehow I feel so much more at peace with what's happened after finding it. The stark reality clarified my creative imagination and somehow enabled me to move on in my grieving process.

I managed to say what I needed to say and then listened to TOLM one last time before saying "Goodbye Paul.....thank you for everything!" Although I had strong reservations about going there, I'm so very glad I did on the day of his funeral.

I hope that the funeral itself provided Paul's family, Mardi, Sunday, Olive, Kashan, Neil, Nick, Tim, Peter and his closest friends with many happy, zany memories as well as a strong sense of understanding, support and comfort.

Paul is at peace now.....let's celebrate all those magical memories and the amazing life which he led....I'm sure he would want that too! Big Grin
i think paul's funeral is today. i don't know if it is but i've had the feeling it might be. it's taken nearly a week for it to sink in. when i found out last week i was gobsmacked, breathless. it's taken a week. some part of me was saying, you're an adult now, you have greater responsibilities, this is not who you are anymore. you don't care about rockstars who die, or tv stars or movie stars. you're an adult and you must behave and think and feel in an adult fashion. today i said, screw that. this hurts.

today i dragged out my old scrapbook diaries from the year '84 to '87. i dragged out the box with letters and notes to and from highschool friends and there i found this complete love. a love of the time, my friends, my circumstance and the love of the soundtrack to that period and that soundtrack was split enz with paul. the mullanes (a gig with 10 other people cos no-one knew who they were) with paul. crowded house with paul. making us laugh, a photograph of us looking nervous and him making faces at the camera, hugging us because just we were there and had come to see his band, telling us we had made his night, shouting to the street (as he hung out the window of a speeding Tarago) that he'd see us "when youse got no clothes on." my later diary entries annotated with "MASSIVE!!" or "NINNEEEEEEE", or "yeah, neil, that wasn't bad, mate, maaate."

today i dared to review my youth for the first time in 18 years. it was kept in a box in my cupboard and paul sprang out of there like some ADHD demon and grabbed me by the throat and for the first time i cried.

i cried for paul and the possibilities he'd cut off and i cried for my youth. don't mean to sound trite but there ya go. you make friends in your youth with an intensity you will never make again. you come to realise what the world is, and perhaps, if you're lucky, your place in it and the possibilties of it. it's a daunting time. hessie was there. the enz were there. the mullanes (for one night only) and crowded house were there. they became a soundtrack for my late adolescence. i can't convey the fun and laughter and comraderie that i felt with those guys and with my friends. i felt i belonged somewhere. with my friends, with these people who loved this music.

the main memory is laughter. we laughed at the world, at ourselves and hessie laughed with us, caused us to laugh, the world was so absurd but frightening at the same time but at least there was this - laughter, love, comraderie. crowded house provided the voice we needed to reassure us and keep our spirits up.

that has never left. i was talking to my friend today - 20 years after when we first met paul and saw the enz. the absurd way of looking at the world has never left us. i am godmother to her daughter. we look back and realise those years were fuelled by a laughter and an innocence that can never be regained. split enz and the crowdies were the soundtrack and the cause of some of that laughter. such joy. such beautiful feeling. all in the past now. we will always have and share the memories of paul hester and the joy that the enz and the crowdies brought us when were young.

so thanks to everybody, tim, neil, nigel, noel, nick, eddie and peter green (who was hosting the fan club way back when i was in it - '83!!!!! power on you old soldier, you one eyed man!).

the eternal and sweet memories will always remain. nothing can take them away. thanks for letting me get this off my chest.

Gillian
I want to say a big thank you to Tash, Steve and Romony for joining me and my family for Paul's memorial in Brisbane this afternoon. We sat around and shared stories and played CH music and chatted as though we had known each other for years (we had only just met!), but we all had something in common...our desire to celebrate the life of a man who had such an impact on our lives.

Everyone seems to be talking about the weather in Melbourne today, it was raining at my house this morning and I was concerned as we were having our memorial in the park...as I started to pack everything up to take with me, the weather cleared a little...by the time everyone arrived at the park, it was the most beautiful autumn day...maybe Paul turned on the sun for us...who knows?

Thanks again guys.
I thought I was feeling a lot better until last night. I felt so low, thinking about the past few days. I went to bed, CH blasting into my ears on my mp3 player.
I have read these posts every day, despite the pain it causes.
Hubby and I had been arguing over names for our new kittens for weeks but last weekend they came. Hester and Seymour. The tiniest of tributes I know, but my new little black and white cat will make me smile every day with it's crazy antics, just like Paul.

Still hurting with all of you.

Ingrid xxx
I get the feeling there's a lot of us (if not all) who feel that our grief won't ease until this public memorial happens. Someone tell me it's not just me!

Five days of work looming ahead and I still can't stop thinking of Paul. Can't stop being sad. So I think that something needs to be done. Can't go to the park by myself I don't think. Anyone out there who hasn't managed either, PM me and maybe we can arrange something (for anyone like me who is so, so afraid to go).

AnnieMay, when are you in Melbourne?
really interesting feature on hester, depression, the local music scene ...
revealing comments midway thru about the relationship between paul/nick and neil ...


http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2005/04/02/1112302282135.html

There was a dark side to Paul Hester that had long troubled his friends, yet no one was prepared for his lonely death last weekend.

Paul Hester was in his element making Crowded House's first album in the US. Unlike Neil Finn, the early-to-bed front-man who tortured himself with worry, Hester found much to amuse himself in the weird characters and opulent recording rituals of 1980s Hollywood. There were parties, pot and personal encounters with rock legends such as Jim Keltner. The drummer, who had played with Elvis Presley and John Lennon, thought the three-piece "Crowdies" sounded a bit like the Beatles, and thanked them for letting him sit in on their record.

For a Glen Waverley boy about to hit the big time, it was about as good as it gets, and Hester, whose jokes had the same magical timing as his music - "It is stupid comparing us to the Beatles. There were four of them. There are only three of us" - drank it in without getting drunk.

He may have shared the same birthday as Elvis, but he did not have the King's liking for excess and trashy display. He did not booze, get lost in the groupie scene or fall for the old trick, money and fame. When he was eight, he wrote in his diary that he wanted to be a famous drummer, but added that he did not want to get into trouble with the police.

His favourite Beatle was Paul, but his quick mind and ironic take on pretension suggested John. Like Lennon, he had talent to burn and the kind of intelligence that cannot ignore the underdog.

It all meant that living in LA was "intense but great - like being in the Partridge Family on acid", Hester later told the band's biographer, Chris Bourke. "We were like kids, it was wonderful." Hester was "mum", the one who cooked and cleaned and did the shopping. And yet, as bassist Nick Seymour told Bourke, there was an edge to the domesticity. "I think he (Paul) has a major chemical imbalance. He's always at extremes."

The tearaway grin that fell from his face wasn?t showbiz, but a handshake into the heart of the crowd."

Seymour was not the only one with concerns. Singer Deborah Conway, who had been Hester's partner before he left for LA in 1985, was also aware of a dark side. She and Hester had shared a rambling old five-bedroom house in Rockley Road, South Yarra. She was there the first time he streaked on stage - during a Split Enz concert - and, although she loved the playfulness, she sensed a sadness. Last week, as the world wrestled with Hester's death, Conway agreed with fellow musician Stephen Cummings that their friend evoked comedian Tony Hancock, who killed himself in Sydney in 1968. "The sad clown, not a bad comparison."

No one knows what was going on in Paul Hester's mind when he took his life last weekend. Even his family and closest friends, who were familiar with his depressive moods, thought he was OK. Conway, who saw him two weeks ago, had made firm plans to meet him, as had another Melbourne singer, Sophie Koh. Shaking her head at the event she cannot digest, Conway says she was so shocked at the news that she suspected foul play. Her reaction was complete disbelief, then rationalisation. "I suspect he might not have entirely meant to kill himself," she says. As the shock turned to anger ("How could he do such a thing?"), Conway, like so many others, most of whom never knew Hester, felt numbness, and an ocean of loss.

It is a wave that is engulfing many as the reality of Hester's passing sinks in. He was not just a drummer boy, but a quirky, brilliant communicator who touched thousands. Neil Finn may have been the Crowdies songwriter, but Hessie was its sounding-board. Fans watched for his antics as much as they listened for Finn's words. The tearaway grin that fell from his face wasn't showbiz, but a handshake into the heart of the crowd.

It grasped deep into the psyche, not just because Crowded House was as close as we got to a new Beatles but because Hester was the kind of larrikin Australians embrace. Like Ringo Starr, a drummer he admired, he stayed true to his beginnings. He took the piss, rather than drowned in it, had (just four) serious, rather than serial, relationships, drove an old Holden, and lived in an Edwardian bungalow. Hester swam and sang, and played golf, as well as the fool, and seemed to have survived rock'n'roll with his bank account, and the best years of his life, relatively intact. So why did he walk into Elsternwick Park a week ago and hang himself?

Conway shrugs: "You never know. It is a case-by-case thing." She still wonders whether it could have been a cry for help. "Paul never spoke to me about it (suicide)," she says. He did, however, discuss it with another friend, explaining that he would never go through with it because of his daughters, Sunday, 10, and Olive, 5. "We talked about it," the friend says. "Paul said, 'I love my girls too much. I would never do it.'" Clearly, Bogut was in such despair last Saturday that even this critical concern was somehow either overridden, or put aside.

Melbourne University's Professor Pat McGorry says the trouble with depression is that it can be so bad it erases memories of the good. "You lose the optimism that treatment can help," he says.

McGorry, who heads Orygen, a youth mental health service in the western suburbs, has an inclusive view of depression. He believes it is "extremely complex" and can't be reduced to a simple formula.

Fellow psychiatrist Professor David Copolov, from the Mental Health Research Council, agrees: "No one, to my knowledge, just sees depression as a biological disorder. Real social and emotional factors are involved. You can't say something is entirely psychological or biological, though you can say that the suffering is real."

McGorry says intervention does work for adolescents making the transition to adulthood. He refers to recent research suggesting that the more toxic strains of cannabis now being grown hydroponically can be a predictor for psychotic illness, even suicide, among teenagers. Not smoking dope is a protective measure against mental breakdown, the studies find. No research, however, has been done on adults, and McGorry thinks mid-life crisis is a risk factor for suicide, particularly for men aged in their 40s and 50s.

He says: "It can be a feeling of 'What do I have to live for?' It is an enigma as to why some people kill themselves. Research shows that family history is important."

Was this one of the factors, perhaps? One close friend, referring to the years of therapy Hester went through, says: "It is very personal stuff. What do you do in analysis? You talk about your childhood."

Chris Bourke's book Crowded House: Something So Strong has many references to cannabis-smoking. He records Hester saying how he "completely lost his way" for a week or so when the band first went to the US. "Like dial-a-pizza, top-quality Californian pot would be conveniently delivered by 'the rabbi'," Bourke writes. He quotes Hester's reaction to Jim Keltner: "And Jim leans over and says, 'Can I have a toke on that?' Sure, go ahead."

Dope smoking, of course, is common in society, as well as in bands, and there is no evidence Hester ever got involved with hard drugs. But by the time the band was big, and touring was a chore, Hester was in trouble. He spoke about it to Peter Wilmoth, a former housemate and author of the book Glad All Over: The Countdown Years, in 1996. "The blackness was a huge factor for the boys to overcome," Hester told Wilmoth. "It was there and I was very much responsible for it . . . It is hard for the band to cope with that every day. I was like a frustrated two-year-old unable to express myself. I didn't know how to tell them my heart wasn't in it."

As well, Hester was fed up with the promotional side of performing. Sometimes - like during the 1986 US tour when he signed a poster: "F--- Ronnie (Reagan)" - it was his mischievousness; other times, he was bored with the repetition, or resentful about the huge disparity between the money he and Seymour got, compared with Finn.

"He just got sick of it," Conway says. "Playing second fiddle or whatever, though that was not the way it was. He was the strongest personality onstage. But as the songwriter, Neil got the money. That's why Neil lives in a mansion in Auckland while Paul lived in a little house in Elwood."

In his book, Bourke says that, at times, Hester and Seymour found it difficult to pay their mortgages. "Paul and I were just getting by at home, on the places we'd bought," Bourke quotes Seymour saying. "Paul was under pressure. He used to ask, 'What the f--- am I doing this for?' " Hester became paranoid about touring. He developed what he called a leaving phobia. He told Bourke: "It strung me up, the day before I left, I'd be in depression." He talked of panic attacks and freak-outs, and began to wander off stage to go to the toilet or talk during performances.

Perhaps he was distancing himself from the music, and the comic character he had created. In his book, Bourke records a 1967 school composition in which eight year-old Hester wrote: "I act rather stupid just to impress my friends. I would rather be a quiet little kid who just sat there and did a couple of funny things but not act stupid." This was when he could already play drums and entertain with his antics.

More than 20 years later, he told Bourke: "It was just at the end that I lost my way." What had seemed funny, like coming on stage in a Santa suit, only to strip naked, soon became something more serious.

Bourke records that the other band members became more perturbed by the way Hester would disappear into his hotel room for a "smoky session watching basketball videos". Bourke quotes bassist Seymour: "I thought he'd gone mad. I thought he was allowing the dark Paul to take him over."

They tried to support him. At Eindhoven, in Holland, Bourke says the crowd sang to him Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. It was ironic, because that was his speciality. But something was unravelling. He was drifting. People began to ask what was wrong with him. This was about the time Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain killed himself, an event that, Bourke says, disturbed Hester.

Australian writer Lawrie Zion, who was in the US when Hester finally quit Crowded House in 1994, has written of his friend's state. "Hester, despite his outwardly easygoing manner, had long been uncomfortable with the demands of being in a touring band, however successful," Zion wrote last week.

Afterwards, Hester told the ABC's Andrew Denton that rock'n'roll stardom was not what it was cracked up to be. "I gave up rock'n'roll so I could take up sex, drugs and rock'n'roll," he said.

Jeff Kennett, chairman of the national depression awareness organisation beyondblue, says that Hester's death highlights the need to help sufferers: "Paul's tragic death falls clearly into the category where he had everything to live for yet, internally, he was just bleeding."

While Hester was undoubtedly suffering, he was not unaware of treatment. Friends say he had taken anti-depressants for a time and found them useful, and had had lengthy periods of psychotherapy. "I recommend it to any 30-year-old man," Hester told Bourke. "Once you get to 30, you've got a bit of emotional baggage and I think you owe it to yourself to go - your mates can't help you."

He went once a week to unload his "most outrageous, deadly thoughts". "It was amazing. I had to get it off my chest with a completely independent person. He had no concept of Crowded House, hadn't really heard of us . . . It helped me work a few things out," he told Bourke.

Hester discussed depression and its causes and treatment with close friend John Clifforth. Clifforth, a doctor who met Hester in 1978, says: "It's no secret he was in therapy for a long time. He was interested in men's issues, how men neglect themselves." Clifforth remembers Hester's thoughtfulness, energy and passion for causes, including indigenous culture. "He thought about this stuff. He looked at consumerism and wondered how to make it more genuine. He could whip up people with a vision, hope one week, and the next sit at home screening calls saying he was having a bad day."

Hester did not feel he could make Clifforth's recent 50th birthday. "He just wanted to be alone, recharge his batteries," Clifforth says.

Like other friends, Clifforth was shocked by Hester's suicide. "Paul was like Peter Sellers with his brilliance," he says. "He seemed to be getting very productive. He was very excited with a number of projects. He was like Michael Leunig on speed."

Peter Wilmoth says Hester may have been "the most down-to-earth famous person you could meet", but he was troubled by aspects of success. Conway says Hester had a wonderful sense of the absurd and could handle fame, which seems true, but it is remarkable how many of his close friends liken him to entertainment giants who died prematurely.

Tony Hancock, as has already been noted, killed himself and Who drummer Keith Moon (the person Clifforth says Hester evoked when he first saw him drumming) drank himself to an early grave. Maybe it is that, as Jeff Kennett suggests, creative people and artists suffer a disproportionate amount of depression. But, unlike rock burn-outs, Hester was no narcissist who wanted to live hard, die young and leave a beautiful corpse. Apart from bouts of smoking cannabis, the usual excesses of rock'n'roll simply did not apply.

Could it be, as author William Styron wrote, that we all harbour something he called "darkness visible". Pat McGorry goes back to Freud and the notion of loss as a trigger for mourning, a normal state that, if not dealt with, can fester into depression. "Perhaps there are some who fail to grieve over their mid-life loss," he says. "These are central issues in literature, for writers like Camus." Camus famously wrote that the central, perhaps only, question is, s life worth living? Like Hester, he appreciated the absurd. He argued for an acceptance of reality that includes passion, and the subversion Lawrie Zion says marked Hester's humour.

Stephen Cummings knew Hester and his moods. The two of them, along with good mate and entertainer Brian Nankervis, regularly went for a swim at the St Kilda sea baths. "It was a guys' thing," Cummings says. "We'd swim and talk. Paul could be really moody, really closed up and closed off. Mostly we talked about flip things. I'm four years older than him and he liked to talk groups like (Cummings' band) the Sports."

Cummings feels there is a disconnect between media images and reality that confuses rock stars as well as their fans. "It is an age of grand gestures," he says. "Thank God, I was not that successful, and have to keep working. It helps you integrate into the world. In some ways, Paul didn't have to do that." Cummings recalls Hester really liked one of his songs, Fell From a Great Height, which has the line "something broke inside of me".

Clifforth talks of the way Hester could "turn it on, light up a room". "It was an amazing capacity and he really enjoyed it," he says. "He made others feel it and if he had not been able to, no one would give a ****."

Hester was best man at Clifforth's wedding. They saw each other every week for 25 years. Like the others, he emphasises just how much Hester enjoyed life, and imparted it to those around him. He could laugh at the irony of coming back to Melbourne after making it in the US only to find a sign beside the stage of the Middle Park Hotel reading: "Split House". And when Neil's big brother, Tim Finn, joined the band around 1990, it was Hester who, Bourke records, had the wit to deadpan, "Now we'll have someone to blame if the record stiffs".

Sadness, as Nick Cave notes, has a bad reputation. "We can't live if we are completely impervious to sadness," he has said. American poet Anne Sexton felt "creative people must not avoid the pain they get dealt". It is an idea with a long history. Philosopher Spinoza felt that sadness recoils from desire, and it is desire (for life) that is the real anti-depressant. Nineteenth-century neuroscientist George Gray thought it was a gradual "unlearning of optimism". Now sadness is confused with depression, and thought to be a chemical imbalance in the brain.

But while most scientists have turned away from notions such as soul-loss to describe the numbness that comes with depression, British biologist Dr Lewis Wolpert thinks it is a useful term. "With such distress we are at the very heart of being human," Wolpert writes in his best-selling Malignant Sadness. No one has yet found the cerebral substratum of passion and discontent.

Hester was aware of his moods and the treatment available, as well as good ways to live. As far back as 1989, he could admire a distinctly non-rock'n'roll lifestyle. As Bourke records, he got close to the founder of '60s band the Byrds, Roger McGuinn, describing him as a "clean-living dude who ate almonds and enjoyed playing and travelling with his wife". He told Bourke: "He had this untouchable, happy thing going down."
Sorry Annie not til the 26th. Though if there is something "public" this week I might swing things, though I doubt it with my partner overseas and my kids looking like they're getting sick. Frowner

I am with you about needing to do *something* b4 I can move on. I wish I could be there with you. I am starting to feel I might need to visit sooner, somehow.

Let's keep working this out through the PMs - or I'll start another thread when we have a suggestion for place and time.

that offer is for anyone in Melbourne too. It has been suggested (thanks RedGirl) we get together with a few bottles of something heartening, raise a toast etc kids, life, vitality, a nice reminder of the joy that's possible, and the connections made.

*hugs*
Annie
This weekend, I've submerged myself in Hessie tributes on TV and the Radio. How well loved he was and held with such high regard within the local entertainment industry and beyond.

Listening to the Triple M compilation of bits from the Martin/Molloy show with Paul Hester was a hoot. All Comedy Gold! I hope the O/S Hessie fans get, or have gotten, the chance to listen to this (especially you Howard Stern, once you remove your head from up your own arse!), it'll give you a good idea of how good he was on the radio, and how many ancedotes he had to tell.

Mick Molloy sounded a bit choked up at the end of the tribute, but countered the sadness by saying "next time I find myself in a dilemma, I'll ask myself, 'what would Hessie do?' *imagine Molloy stroking his chin and looking skyward with a pensive expression*"

I've restrained myself from bringing up Paul's death with most people I know, lest they think I am mad for being sad about a man I never met. However a friend of mine, who is not a CH fan, bought it up for me. She lives near Elsterwick, and almost felt compelled to visit the park where he took his own life. Though not a CH fan, she said she has been quite affected by his death and, though she is originally from NSW and Sydney, pointed out that he embodied Melbourne as he was kind-of bohemian, a large part of the cultural and artistic community, loved his sports, loved his coffee (he stated as much during a CH concert I attended in 1994 at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl).

My friend also said something else that I thought was really profound, and has been on my mind since his death. If someone who appeared to love life as much as Hessie did and was well loved and highly regarded, what hope do the rest of us have? I guess it shows the depth of character Paul Hester had, it took his death to show everyone that. The whole depression issue is being treated more seriously, with more understanding. It also show how the death of one person can devastate so many.

However, I really hope that he doesn't forever remain a tragic figure, as some of the Australian media is currently portraying him to be, because he really wasn't. Listening to the Marin/Molloy Paul Hester tribute reminded me was a funny, original and cheeky guy he was. That is the way I am determined to remember him as.
"especially you Howard Stern, once you remove your head from up your own arse!), "

AAaw shucks Sharon I have shed many tears this evening at the end of this long and lonely day, but bloody hell if you didn't just help me out of that! Smiler

What an interesting story about your friend. Yes to me Paul absolutely embodied everything that was great about Melbourne. Just parroting you there but I cant think of a better way to describe it. An important part of a very rich and beautiful community is missing.

Miss you Hessiexx
quote:
Originally posted by also:
I have told people that Paul has died and they say "oh I heard that" but they dont GET it. I've stopped telling people.
[/QB]
I completely agree.. It feels like everyone I speak to's worlds should have stopped, and they should be as devastated as I am. Its so hard to understand when people seem unaffected by Paul's tragic passing.
This is my first post also, and Im really grateful for the people that have been members of this wonderful group of fans for years opening up to us newbies, and being so welcoming to our posts.
I never got to see CH live..I was 10 when Paul left the group, but as young as I was, I still loved their music, knew all the words and sung along with my tape player, and grew up to love it even more.
I was glued to Max today before and after work (it was so hard to smile at work today). he was such a talent, always seemed so full of life and his beautiful nature made me laugh and cry simultaneously. I dont know about everyone else, but even though Im in adelaide, I just wish I could've done something to help him. You know, you just personally wish you could've reached out to him and told him it would be ok. I cant begin to imagine what he was dealing with, and how painful it mustve been, but I hope he is ok now, and at peace with himself. What a sweet angel he would make.
Thanks for letting me get that out guys, I think a day of rememberance would be a wonderful tribute to Hessie each year. (although I dont think we'll have a day go by when he's not in our thoughts)
Rest in peace Paul, I hope the pain has gone away for you xx
I can't pretend to write this message to anyone other than Neil, but the witness of others is comforting to me. I saw the brothers in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania a few weeks ago. That Saturday afternoon I had just come from saying goodbye to someone in my own circle who had also decided that they had seen enough of this life. I was struggling as I went into the theater, thinking only of loss and how to manage the grief in the company of Neil and Tim.

The loss was hard on me because it was sorta my job to guide this woman. She had trusted me with her secrets and I had spent hours, okay well years, in conversations asking her to please stay.

So into the theater I go, "knowing full well" that Neil will want us to sing. He picks four lines for us to give back to him. How can one refuse Neil given all the beautiful lines he has given to us, to me. Just four lines he wanted back...

Blood dries up
Like rain, like rain
Fills my cup
Like four seasons in one day.

It is these words that guided me gently back from the land of the dead. Saying the words, singing the words, moved them into me at a cellular level. I was healed by these words but now think, can these same words be fed back to Neil. Can it work that way? How does one heal the healer? So I just keep repeating these words, my mind will repeat them without being willed by my consciousness, and all I want to do is remind Neil that blood does dry up, that cups are slowly refilled and that peace will come.

Sherry
I was suicidal on several occasions.
On one occasion I found myself wandering down circular quay aimlessly, and I followed the beautiful music emenating from the opera house.
It was crowded houses last concert.
After that I realised how many great things there were in the world.
I lived through it and I thank god whenever I remember how down I was.

Thank you crowded house for helping to heal my saddness on that night.

zb
a new obituary from the smh today...

Cheeky larrikin stole the show

By John Clifforth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don't Dream It's Over

Mog xXxXxXx

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

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

Thank you for allowing me the air time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chorus

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

Chorus

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'll never forget you Hessie.

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

Roger
RIP Paul
I've been reading through post after post, and I still haven't gotten through all of this thread, which is quickly approachy 1000 posts......that says a lot. I keep reading posts and thinking "oh, i need to respond to that", but then I find another and another........it's endless. I'm so overwhelmed. One day I'm going to go back and read through every post I've missed and reread the ones I've read already.

We've all felt this loss deeply. Hordes of people are joining frenz and posting for the first time as a result of Paul's death. We all feel the need to rally together, amongst people who understand how we feel.

Here I am, in the Canadian Prairies, surrounded by people who don't even know who he is. There is no park to visit, no program on tv to watch, no radio tribute, no newspaper obituary to read, and nobody to talk to about Paul. Where I live, it's as though he never existed, yet I still feel the void he has left behind.

I don't know a single person irl who can relate to how I feel. Even my hubby seemed almost amused that I was so upset by his death. The reasons it has affected me so are many, and he can't begin to understand. This all happened as my kids were starting spring break, so I've been home with them everyday, not having the time to myself I've wanted, to reflect, remember and grieve. I wish spring break had occurred the week prior or following......the timing was terrible. Now here I am, seemingly an eternity later, posting here, yet again.........and How Will You Go has just begun playing on my stereo. Something so forefront in my mind, and I can't even talk to anyone about it.....that's so unfair. Today I am very thankful for the internet, and for all of you Smiler

Hugs to everyone. Love and Peace to all affected by his death. Paul, I hope you are free at last. You live on, in all of us, always.
This is my first post... been thinking all week about what i would like to say. Been a fan both passing and fanatical since '91 of all things finn, and paul was such an integeral reason for me loving Crowded House.

Sat on the train last night listening to recurring dream and one track from the end Better Be Home Soon comes on, and it tore me up. Flying from London to Cologne on Thursday morning and having no one around me here who understands this loss i cannot wait to be surrounded by other fans infront of tim and neil.

I've only just managed to start listening/watching recordings of CH, feeling sad, angry and confused, but paul still manages to make me smile. my heart goes out to his family and friends, their loss far outweighs mine.

Dreaming of glory, miles above the mountains and plains, free at last.

much love paulo, but not goodbye.
Purpleams, I know I wish there was something more I could do for those guys, too.

quote:
Originally posted by Helend:
[qb] Well...hessie is laughing his butt off at my hubby atm...
Hubby just called me from work...he said ya mate hessie has just had a laugh at me...I asked him why...he hadnt turned on the cd player until about half way to work you see....and as I have been playing ch songs ummm...how will we say this...ummm...rather loudly in the car it started playing a song...full pelt with hessie drummimg madly...hubby said he jumped so high he nearly ran off the road...he said it wasnt till he looked down at the cd player and relized what song was playing...he said he burst out laughing yelling out to hessie..."thanks mate".
I think its fantastic...and sheading another tear or two here thinking of hessie up there pissing himself laughing...he would of loved that. [/qb]
LOL, I can believe that. That's hilarious Big Grin .

Angela
I had Italian Plastic in my head all this morning. *grim smile*

Like someone said before, the drums and that voice in the background sound so much louder now, like Paul's trying to say, "I'm still here!"

I so badly wish I could go down to the park. It would bring me back to earth just to go there. And it'd be really nice to meet some of you frenz. I really wanted to go back to Australia this summer holiday, and I was already devastated that I couldn't...

Here's an article someone posted on the Coldplay.com board, I'm sorry if someone here has already posted it:

Royal Albert Hall: Not quite a Victorian Mourning

28 March, 2005

The Finns came on in Trojan Horse guise - a two-man horse suit. I don't think they would have known what to do without some kind of prop like that. It was an atmosphere of almost desperate foolery - the kind that so often submerges the troubles beneath. The audience mood was sombre and almost subdued at first. But Nick Seymour was given a welcome only matched by the silence of Paul Hester's hat sitting on the snare drum that was his trademark for so many years. A large black hanging linen sheet cut the stage in two. Veiling the back of the stage so as to emphasise the three musicians and snare drum at the front it was more than mere symbolism: it showed us that this show was both a wake and a memorial for Hester.

Then the music began. For the first four songs it was just the Finn brothers and Nick Seymour on stage. There was some awkwardness in the first two songs of this 'pre-set set' - musically and of course emotionally - at the beginning with a kind of wandering in chord and tune before the verses began. The kind of musical wandering that used to occur so often in the middle and at the end of songs of 'high period' Crowded House (pre-94 or thereabouts). Then, it was playful and often formed the basis of ridiculous and of course, ridiculously funny, ad libs. Now, tonight at least, it seemed to be a way for the Finns and Seymour to find an entry into songs that can hold so much grief.

I say 'can', because following Don't Dream It's Over and especially Fall At Your Feet, they moved from being songs of personal individual grief to songs of shared grief, of comfort and solidarity. The shift occurred with the audience becoming as much performers as were the three men on the stage. When Neil and later Tim appealed to the audience to sing what they - possibly - could not and the Hall was drowned with a communal voice of the chorus of Fall At Your Feet, their tension and awkwardness seemed to melt. Four Seasons in One Day followed with a spare and quiet dignity; the metaphoric quality of the lyrics has never been quite so important.

Tim summed up the mood when he said that tonight 'we need to sing together some more'. What he meant was that pain shifted onto music may be dissolved, however briefly. What he didn't say was that this was necessary to get through the sense of bewilderment Paul Hester�s family, friends and fans are experiencing.

It wasn't all heavy and sombre however. Paul's classic - Italian Plastic - followed, mainly in chorus form with affectionate commentary and banter throughout. Neil related how Paul had inadvertently created a gay anthem for Italy by confusing bambino with bambina. It's certainly the kind of legacy Paul would have wanted.

Seymour left the stage and the Finns' full band played throughout the bulk of the main show set. Songs from all periods followed. From the current Finn Brothers album to Enz material such as Dirty Creature and Six Months in a Leaky Boat to several classic Crowded House songs. The full band sound was in contrast to the terrible intimacy of the first set and just couldn�t compete. Which isn�t to say it wasn�t heartfelt � of course it was � and the mood set earlier on continued and deepened.

The first encore continued with the Finns and their band though the second was more special. Nick came back on stage and after some prodding from Neil that 'we're playing it in A you know', on his borrowed bass they launched into Throw Your Arms Around Me. This is a song that has the capacity to unite drunken enemies the Antipodes over and is a common choice for encore. Always powerful, tonight it was wrenching. Singing along to 'And we may never meet again...So shed your skin and let's get started... you will throw your arms around me' had a terrible poignancy. Watching the Finn Brothers play a song written by Nick's brother Mark brought home the close bonds - kinship and friendship - that have been forged and strengthened through this music over the last three decades. When they break, we all feel them.

Nothing in the whole show could have matched the Hunters and Collectors classic for pure emotion. It could only wind down from there on. The Finns next chose an old Enz song, Sweet Dreams, sung in a wistful and understated manner and then ultimately closed with Better Be Home Soon. So many songs tonight took on new and sometimes terrible meanings � the marker of a good lyric � and it is to the Finn Brothers� credit that they chose to pay tribute through the music rather than attempting to form into words the immense grief and loss felt throughout the Hall and indeed throughout the whole Frenz world at this time.

Neil did make one small attempt at summing up the collective grief: ��you know we�re all really f***ed up at the moment��

Understated and perfect.
And yeah, I don't think anything could have been a better closer than Better Be Home Soon. It sounds so fitting now.

Somewhere deep inside, something's got a hold on you
And it's pushing me aside, see it stretch on forever...

And I know I'm right, for the first time in my life
That's why I tell you
You'd better be home soon

Stripping back the coats of lies and deception
Back to nothingness, like a week in the desert

And I know I'm right, for the first time in my life
That's why I tell you
You'd better be home soon

So don't say no
Don't say nothing's wrong
Cos when you get back home
Maybe I'll be gone...

Frowner

It would cause me pain if we were to end it
But I could start again - you can depend on it...


Hmm, no more to say.

Thanks again for all the articles especially the John Clifforth one and the big one with Deb Conway.

Thanks for the story about your husband helen Smiler Very Hessie.

Such a nice coincidence with the weather too, both in Melbourne and Brisbane. Sunday night in Sisaket was cold and windy. I couldn't sleep all night, listening to Crowdies. It was still gloomy in the morning, but got all hot and sunny really quickly. Hmm, not very nice actually lol I would have preferred rain.

half-full, I'm sorry you don't have any frenz around in the physical world. I've heard from many people on this board about their wonderful partners and children who love the music too, and I think they're really lucky. But that's okay - we still have each other Smiler
It has taken some time for us to collect our thoughts and know what to write as to be honest we have been in a daze for the last week. If we have felt like this then we dread to think how Pauls close family and friends must be feeling.

We were at the Albert Hall Concert on Monday 28th March and not having seen any news or newspapers we were unaware before that point of the dreadful news that awaited. We sensed a different atmosphere to normal but hoped we were imagining it. The realisation soon hit home that Paul was no longer with us. We didn't find out the full news until we got home. Thats when it truly hit us. We wish we had known before the concert as we left feeling very deflated and confused. We felt guilty for going in with the intention of enjoying ourselves and obviously were not on the same level as those who knew. Were we the only ones to feel this??????

Neil & Tim put on a great performance in what must have been unbelievably hard circumstances for them. It was great to see Nick again if only it had been in happier times. Neil was obviously struggling but was helped along by Tim.

Thankfully we have managed to get tickets for the rescheduled Portsmouth gig next week. It may sound silly but it will somehow enable us to say goodbye properly surrounded by people who feel the same as us about this tragic loss. We can't believe they are coming back so soon to continue the tour but feel it shows that the relationship they have with their fans is on another level.

Can't believe he's gone, we never got the chance to see him live. We had always hoped that one day the group would reunite. Now that will never be. Our thoughts are with his family and friends

We would just like to say thanks for the memories Paul, you were unique. R.I.P
Hope you've found your peace now xx
'........they come, they come to build a wall between us, we know they won't win'
Good morning, I hate it when people tell me their dreams cause its hard to understand what their saying as it is all mixed up.
But i did have a dream Saturday night though and to me i feel it was fairly straight forward.

I was in a house with Paul just talking about everyday stuff, and someone knocked on the door and told him it was time to go, then all this water started coming in the house, i had a hold of Pauls hand asking him to stay and he looked me in the eye, gave me a kiss on the cheek and said
" It is my time to go now, please let me go, i need to go and i cant stop it".

He then walked out and quietly shut the door.


Maybe this is my sub-concious telling me its ok to let go, as people move on and so do the ones we love when they cross over.

Reading back through posts from 2004 it brings a smile, as this is how things were before any tradgedy hit. The normal things we take for granted.

We all miss him and his memory will live on
Frowner
Easter Monday - wake up to the news, in absolute shock all day, disbelief.
Tuesday, and Wednesday - hoping beyond hope that it is all a mistake and everything is fine
Thursday, and Friday - hoping that it is a sick but forgivable April Fools joke.

All the time knowing it is true, but not able to accept it yet.

Saturday and Sunday - Overdose on all things CH and SE and Paul. Accepting, healing, even manage to smile at his antics.

Monday, and Tuesday - He has been laid to rest, the tears have eased, I have said goodbye, but I still want to make a tribute to Pauls life. So, today I am going out to order my piano. I used to play when I was younger and have wanted to get back into it but I am always too busy or use money for other things. Now I have been inspired. I need to indulge in my love of music and what better way to honour his love of music than to pass it onto my two children. It wasnt his intrument of choice but it was CH who inspired me all those years ago, and it is now Pauls life that has encouraged me to get into it again. I cant wait to turn the stereo up and 'jam'. Thankyou Paul.
Please dont say "Maybe I'm not worth it..."Tanchira, my mind is a very complex place at the moment, and i was watching the Max sessions when i fell asleep, so my mind was on Paul,dreams are complex things, hard to work out.
You will dream of Paul on your own level, even if you dont think you have, keep an open mind.

He comes to everyone through music and laughter.

I lay in bed at night and talk to my dad and mum, hubbie thinks i'm crazy muttering to myself through the night, but it helps i know they hear me, so will Paul give it a try , it helps.
Wink
I had a dream too, one night last week, it didn't feature Paul but a lady that I know. We were all in a house that I did not recognise and we were looking out the window at a big area of trees. I was asking someone where this lady was and she took me downstairs, we got into a car and we drove past the trees. She pointed to one and said, "That was the tree where they found her". And then the lady was in the car with me saying, "I'm fine thanks"....I suppose you could take that any way you wanted, but I like to think it was Paul saying, "I'm fine now, don't worry about me".

I don't usually remember dreams that clearly but when I woke up I thought, Oh...he's ok. It's been a little easier since then.
I have finally come to accept that Paul is no longer with us. My tears have slowly come to an end but thoughts of him continue on. I cannot get the picture of PAul and the tree out of my mind.

I have had a look at my own life and will be making a few majour adjustments which is a good thing I think.

Paul grabbed hold of life and had it by the balls (so too speak) and I think that is a wonderful way to live.

So in memory of Paul I'm going to try to live like that too.

Thanks Paul
I've tried going to bed with Crowded House on repeat on my iPod...didn't work, instead I just couldn't sleep, I had to listen. Oh well.

Tanchira, dont try too hard or your just gunna stress yourself out. Dreams will come when your ready. Just go to sleep as you normally do.

I looked after my dad full time when he was dying, and we spoke of whats in store 4 him, we made a pact that when he finally went he would try and get a yellow rose to me somehow so i knew he was ok. He died on the thurs, come sat night i went to a friends b-day, and when i walked in a friend walked up 2 me with 3 yellow roses(i have 2 bros as well). I just cried, and she didnt realise what she had done, unknowingly passed on my message from dad that he is ok and with those who he loves. She picked them on the thurs he died , said she just felt the urge to pick the yellow ones.

I have sent an email to marketing management at Max channel asking if they may release in the future a tribute dvd to Paul, as a lot of people who wont get to see the images we do here.

I too have re-assessed things around me Kattybabe.
I felt like being stupid at shopping last night(mind you i am 31) and i did, skipping around woolies, singing CH, saying hello to people i dont even know. My Hubbie was laughing so hard he said shopping has never been so much fun.
So thanks Paul for the inspiration.
"Appreciate and validate those around you today, as you may not get the chance later"


Big Grin
Thanks to everyone for the words & connectedness that is found here. It does help.

Half-Full I know what you mean- no park, tv or radio. I wish I were able to go to one of the upcoming concerts but life is too scheduled right now with stuff I can't get out of easily. At least it is finally getting easier to start listening to the music again, and reading the articles provides some understanding.

Just when I gave up on explaining to all the non-Frenz why I have been moping around lately my sister called and reduced me to tears by explaining some of how I was feeling with a pretty good explanation of why. She was with me through my discovery of SE and CH, so she honestly knew and did not judge. It was a huge relief!

Now, if only I could find (and had time to watch) some of those hilarious videos you all keep talking about...until then I will just keep living vicariously through this site.
Thanks again!
Wow nernan that is such a powerful story. I had this dream/presence thing going on when I woke in the middle of the night last week. It was probably my mind just working through things after being filled with thoughts of no-one else but Paul for days, but it was still quite um, discomfiting. I did get this idea though that everything was alright, y'know? After that I've just let this sadness kinda wash over me, knowing that the overwhelming part will pass one day. Anyway your story has comforted me and whether *I* was just dreaming or not, (of course I was) it is helping me move on some.
Mmm, things were initially very upsetting of course, but as time has gone on, the 'humour' is returning... that unmistakable spirit of Hessie... The joy with which he approached his drumming in CH is so clearly audible in every spin of the disc, even on the sadder songs, it's impossible not to feel glad that we had Paul for as long as we did. We're all the better for it Smiler
This is the second and probably last post I'll do in my life. I've been coming here every day since I heard the news and I feel some comfort that others feel the same as I do. I've been thinking of Paul constantly and will miss him forever.

I was in the CH fan club for some eight years and saw them play EVERY TIME they came to town. I have followed the ups and downs in their collective lives for the last 18 years - they are like family to me although I've never been so lucky as to meet any of them.

My heart is heavy and although I will move on from how I feel today, I will never forget.

Goodbye Paul - I give thanks for your life because it made mine a joy!

Raelene

"Many battles are lost"
Thanks to Shaani, Steve and Tash for the "humble gathering between humans" on Sunday arvo down at Roma Street Parklands. It felt really comfortable talking with you guys and it was a really nice opportunity to chat about Paul and sort of see him off. Just one more case of Paul injecting positivity into the world.

This story may be a bit off for some people, but I wanted to share it as I found it to be a little humorous moment in a dark subject. I have found that for the past week, I keep relating things to Paul, everything reminds me of him. This got to the point of the ridiculous on Sunday. I had been eating a banana and I threw the peel into a public garden as I passed. It landed on a branch and hung down from the branch and I immediately thought of Paul. Then I giggled at myself at how silly I was becoming in relating everything to Hesto. Hope that's not too sick or dark.

karenw, whether B&W Boy is about Hessie, Lester or even Michael Jackson has long been the subject of debate amongst CH fans. About the only thing known for sure is that Neil confirmed it's not about Michael Jackson or about racism.
It has been amazing reading these posts here - I posted earlier last week - not understanding why I was so devastated - was and still am a crowdie fan but more than that was a huge Hessie fan - loved him on the Molloy Show and on Hessie's Shed. Have laughed and cried in the last week and been so touched by all the posts I have read here.

I think, for me, one of the reasons it is so hard to deal with is that Hessie was so vibrant and happy and full of life - when I was feeling bleak - he made me laugh - he appeard to 'have it all' - to realise that someone of his calibre can also be suffering made me question all my desires - I thought being financially independent and well known and loved would help me overcome all my issues - obviously it doesn't and that frightens me - I think it frightens all of us.

Thank you all for sharing your grief and memories - it has touched my heart to know that other people are feeling the same.

For all of you that missed the fantastic tribute on MMM last friday - they have kindly posted it on their website -

http://www.mmmelb.com.au/shows/mick/index.php

Take care - each and every one of you - It has been amazing coming in here everyday and feeling the love.

Wen
xxx
quote:
Originally posted by annamoty:
[qb]
Monday, and Tuesday - He has been laid to rest, the tears have eased, I have said goodbye, but I still want to make a tribute to Pauls life. So, today I am going out to order my piano. I used to play when I was younger and have wanted to get back into it but I am always too busy or use money for other things. Now I have been inspired. I need to indulge in my love of music and what better way to honour his love of music than to pass it onto my two children. It wasnt his intrument of choice but it was CH who inspired me all those years ago, and it is now Pauls life that has encouraged me to get into it again. I cant wait to turn the stereo up and 'jam'. Thankyou Paul. [/qb]
I feel exactly the same way annomity. I've been meaning to take up the guitar and piano again for ages. The urge has been strong over the last few months, but Hessie has inspired me.

Thank you Annomity, and thank you Hessie.
I have held off writing in the forum as I have not known what to say. A deep sense of sadness and loss fills me knowing that someone so talented and beautiful as Paul has departed us.

Paul, Neil and Nick have been an influencial and vital part of my life since 1987 at the tender age of 14. Throughout the years their music and humour has always been a deep foundation of truth and inspiration for me. As I was growing up, learning about life and myself, I have always felt a deep sense of familiarity with their music, and as a fan, embraced them as part of my life.

I know it may sound strange, but the loss of Paul is like losing a brother, which I did in March of 1987. The boys have, and will always be a part of my life.

My love goes out to Pauls family and loved ones, and everyone who ever had the pleasure of knowing him. I still cannot believe your gone dear Paul,

Niss xo

'All I ask, is to live each moment free from the last'
cried again but was so good to see it. i was more upset by the rockwiz screening where , as other have said, he didnt seem "himself" i'd much rather remember him with laughter than sorrow even though they are hand in hand tonight.
my heart breaks for Paul and the way he must have been feeling in his last days here on the planet but know he is now free from whatever it was, so mostly it breaks for his daughters, and the people who loved him and for everyone else left here who's life has a big "Hessie hole" the journey they/we stil have to go through to find some way to fit this into their/our lives is a long one.

I am just trying to be greatful for the time Paulo spent with us and acknowledge the difference he made in my life and give thanks in whatever way i can.

Grief is a funny thing it goes bacwards and forwards and has no care for time or circumstance, you just gradually learn to mesh it in with the future you.

dont beat yourself up about feeling like you have *regressed* in your grief , there are no rules and you are among freinds.

Beth
It was so good watching that episode again of Hessie's Shed. It was a sweet reminder of why we love those guys so much. I laughed my head off when Neil was telling the story of the fight him and Paul had in Milan. I'm still laughing. I'm not even sure why I find it so amusing but it was very funny. I, personally at this point feel refreshed and renewed from watching it. Probably because Paul was in his element and that's the way I like to remember him......

The center of attention, center stage with the band he loved, with the people he loved and the people who loved him, running his own show, calling the shots, having an audience and most of all bringing his fans pleasure.
The ultimate entertainer!
Thank you Paul......
It has been really painful. I have read these posts over the days as I am sure so many of you out there have been doing. I have been reading for various reasons, from laughing at all the stories telling of Pauls antics, to crying as I read how he touched so many lives and yet had such a hard time dealing with his own soul.

Growing up is South Africa I can honestly say that there was never a home, pub, restaurant or entertainment venue that failed to have a good supply of Crowded House in their collection. To be honest days relaxing in the open you could be sure that CH would be blaring out of car speakers' somewhere. So I can honestly say that I fell in love with the band, the words that seemed to cut like a knife and then heal like a precious balm. CH was there through all the good times and not so good but the main thing is that they were always there!!!

I went to see the Finn Brothers at RAH on the 30 March 05 with my husband. I was crushed from the moment the Brothers walked on stage. I knew that they were dealing with so much emotion and to be honest the entire place had an energy that was so "giving" to the Brothers, as they gave to us through that dark time. When Nick came on stage I broke down. I sang through my tears and hugged my husband grateful to share the experience with the person I love. It was CH but minus such an impotant element.

I saw CH in South Africa and loved them then as much as I love them now and my one wish was to see them reunite (I was determined to be in that crowded crowd) Now never to be ....or at least never to be the same.

I have found it hard to explain how shocked I was to read about Paul's death. It was on Tuesday 29/03/05 on the grubby tube, making my way to work. It was printed in the Metro (a free newspaper) of his suicide and I felt sick. I just wanted to get off the tube and be ill. Like so many of you I just wanted it to be one of Paul's many)jokes. Sadly that was not the case and as I followed this board I realised that like all of you I have lost and you have lost but at least we have one another.

I could not bring myself to write of my pain but I found the words that best describe how I feel. I apologise to the original author in advance for using his words!

Every suicide gives us a jolt, a shock, that makes us wonder about those last awful days and hours and what might have been. Some entertain savior fantasies while others wonder about last words, last thoughts, etc. I�ve always thought it was worse, somehow, whenever an artist does it. It tore me up when Hunter Thompson shot himself, last month. When you experience a writer or a musician�s art, it happens between your own ears, in your own head. Even if you have never met the person, they have still spent time inside your head, sometimes hours and hours.

It�s tough. You feel cheated. You feel unappreciated. You feel angry. You feel sad. You feel anxious. As with all Good Art, you feel.

It�s hard to resolve a lot of that in ways that make sense, I think. Harder than any other civilian save for Family. You look at video clips and see them smiling and seemingly enjoying themselves and it�s hard to balance that with their passing.



Thank you all so very much for the time you have taken to post here, for allowing me to cry and laugh and heal.

I love you all!

Paul if messages can get to you in your place of peace I just want you to know that I loved watching you perform. You will always remain my favourite musician and entertainer. Thank you for what you and CH gave the world. Luvya
Grief is quite a varying experience at the moment. On Sunday I went to the park and said goodbye to Paul....or so I thought. For the rest of that day, I felt I had achieved some sort of closure knowing exactly where he had been and the sights he had seen. Enormous comfort was taken from the fact that he was finally put to rest that day.

Temporarily,the tears started to slow and listening to the music brought much needed comfort. However, given the reality of the situation, it is very difficult to stop yourself from trying to understand and imagining what he was feeling and thinking in those last hours and minutes. It is these things which bring back tears to my eyes now.

It will take me a long time to move past this...at times, I am still find it hard to believe what's happened but I know that in time, complete acceptance will come.

I remind myself that Paul is finally at peace with himself and the world. It's just so sad to think of a life without him.......everytime I hear that sweet voice it reminds me of what we have lost and the pain he must've gone through. I try to cheer myself up at times like that by listening to my Crowded House Newcastle CD.........the banter at the very end always brings a smile to my face! Big Grin

Paul...you ARE a legend...you will live forever in the hearts and minds of the millions of people around the world that you touched with your talent, charm and comic genius. What will we do without you?

Love you always

NP
xxxx
It was good watching Hessie's Shed - although I nearly lost it when they sang "She Will Have Her Way" as it is a song that has a special significance for me (apart from the fact that Neil actually sang it for me on a live webcast he did from his studio, after my husband requested him too!!) I had never seen Paul sing or play it, but now I have......sigh..

They had us laughing out loud more than a few times (I loved how Neil explained how most shows they had done in the past were so organised and that he told Hessie if he ever got his own show and it wasn't that rehearsed etc, there was a 'tenner' in it for him - then explained further when he rolled up at the studio for this taping, he quickly realised no-one knew what the 'f*#k was going on"!! And he thought to himself, "Hessie did it!!" And then he said that Hessie always said it was all up here (pointing to his head)!! Cracked me up, cause I can so relate to that!!

I have also been amazed how some of you have followed such a similar path with me, as far as the grieving process goes. Having dealt with losing a loved one before, I learnt that everyone has to grieve in their own way (don't let ANYONE try and tell you how to grieve!!) When my husband told me on Saturday night, I was in shock, and remained that way for the best part of a week. I couldn't listen to any CH or Enz stuff (hubby was in the other room watching the impromptu tribute on MAX) but I was simply not ready to do that.

I watched Rockwhiz on the following Saturday night, and it upset me deeply. I could see that the spark had gone from our dear little sprite, Paul. I didn't sleep well that night.

There had been many rumours as to when the funeral would be (kudos to Peter for managing to avoid any media finding out with a red herring or two - brilliant) whether it had taken place on the Friday, or the Saturday, or would be held on the Sunday.

I started watching the Max "Loving Paul Hester" tribute at midnight on the Saturday, and grabbed an hour or two fitful sleep at about 4am. When I woke up, I just stayed in bed watching it. Just before midday (I kid you not) I started to feel really, really, sad and the tears that had been evading me, started to fall - I was stifling the sobs, because I didn't want my son to see me upset (how silly is that??). My hubby wandered in to see me, to find me completely overwhelmed and we just sat together and watched the tribute for the next few hours.

At about 2.30pm (with my eyes stinging like mad from crying so much) I decided I needed to go outside and get my hands into some dirt (gardening is my refuge) and just try and get my head straight. I bought my husband a New Zealand Flax plant just over a year ago and it needed repotting badly. I had gone out the day before and bought a lovely big pot for it. On repotting it, I had to split it, as they kind of multiply - and what did it split into? 3 of course! So, it is now repotted, and our own little memorial to Paul and Crowded House.

When my husband and I first met (you could get a novel out of THAT experience :-) apart from that unmistakable 'chemistry' (or lust LOL) we discovered - we also found that we both loved Crowded House - we knew then we were a perfect match! That was 17 years ago now and we celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary this year. I can't thank my husband enough for staying with me all this time and being there for me when the 'dark, black chasm' threatens to swallow me up!! I couldn't make it without him.

Sorry this post is long again - yes, I tend to be a bit verbose :-( Am working on that ;-) I just want to encourage all of you to grieve in your own special way - whatever makes YOU feel right. For those who are far away and not in the company of others who understand what you are going through, well you just have to come here :-)

We will all be able to share our thoughts and stories about Paul one day soon, and laugh instead of cry. I just hope you all stick around for that, because that sure as hell would have put a smile on his beautiful face!

Paul, you will never be forgotten and thank you for allowing us to share some of your journey with you - even if from an admiring distance.
Am just listening to the Triple J Tribute to Paul for the fourth time today and it still makes me laugh hysterically! The crowdies just had something so special on stage...

Can I just agree with some of the posts here - it does feel a little like I am starting to heal. That I can laugh instead of cry at this tribute means so much to me...

Thank you to everyone on this forum for helping me get through the last few days - I won't forget it... *hugs* to all...
quote:
Originally posted by anything can happen:
[qb] Am just listening to the Triple J Tribute to Paul for the fourth time today and it still makes me laugh hysterically! The crowdies just had something so special on stage...

Can I just agree with some of the posts here - it does feel a little like I am starting to heal. That I can laugh instead of cry at this tribute means so much to me...

Thank you to everyone on this forum for helping me get through the last few days - I won't forget it... *hugs* to all... [/qb]
I totally agree...after the awful news last week I figured that it would be heart-wrenching to listen to CH music/watch videos, esp. live tracks. but I was wrong...I found myself laughing aloud and smiling at Paul's drumming and antics. I listened to the Detroit Rock City fanclub CD last night for the first time ever...I was fortunate to be at that show, back in '91. had forgotten (listening to the CD reminded me) about Paul's comments on the then (and again) NBA champion Detroit Pistons. and his drumming was off the hook!

anyhow, it's good to read others' comments and realize that Paul is managing to make many of us smile despite the sadness. I hope his family and friends are smiling, too.
Don't think this has been posted yet:

Celebration of Hester's dreams
Nui Te Koha
05apr05

PAUL Hester set his boundaries.

"I have outlined two pages in the Melway in red and I'm not moving outside those lines," Hester told the Herald Sun in 1996.

"My life revolves around page 58 and 59 of the Melway. If I can somehow generate all my work from those pages, and somehow get it to the rest of the world, that's the ticket, man."

Late yesterday, Paul Hester's world -- his family and closest friends -- converged near the middle of those street directory references to remember a man and his life.

Hester, 46, former Split Enz and Crowded House drummer, took his own life on March 26. He had a long battle with depression.

Hester was buried at his birth town Blackwood, northwest of Melbourne, on Sunday.

Yesterday, in a memorial service at Ripponlea, Hester's family praised his love and light and cursed his dark spiral and tragic death.

"My most precious memories are sitting in the most boring, cramped dressing rooms at television stations, just amusing each other," former Crowded House frontman Neil Finn said. "The love that sprung up at those times, and the support, I will carry with me forever."

Finn said he truly appreciated Hester's musical chops after the drummer left Crowded House in 1994.

"I never knew how great Paul was for me, how much he gave me, how incredibly important the chemistry was, until much later, when I was trying to show drummer after drummer how to play the brushes properly on Four Seasons In One Day.

"Not one bugger got it," Finn said.

"I realised how professional Paul's groove was and how genetically in synch we were.

"It was an accident, but it was a beautiful one. A fate that drew us all together," he said.

Hester had dreams about pop stardom at age 8. "My ambitions," Hester wrote in his diary in October 1967, "to become a leading drummer in the world, and have a successful pop group." His family and friends yesterday applauded a dream fulfilled.

The young Hester said his faults included a lack of patience. "Also, I act rather stupid just to impress my friends," he wrote. "I would rather be a quiet kid who just sat there, and did a couple of funny things, and not act stupid. But I am blessed with skil," Hester wrote, misspelling the last word.

About 200 people attended Hester's memorial yesterday. Kutcha Edwards sang of his heartbreak in a tune he wrote for Hester.

"All hope is gone," Edwards wrote. "When I need a hand, no one is there."

Anyone with personal problems can call Care Ring on 136 169 or Lifeline on 131 114.
Thank you Peter for your latest diary entry! You have taken away some of the mystery....filled in some blanks I guess you could say! Thanks for sharing those difficult times with us...a very touching read with a few classic chuckles thrown in for good measure!!

Let's hope that we fans can find similar closure soon.........I think we are all limited at the moment in the healing process because we have not had any.....we need to publically acknowledge, celebrate and farewell Paul's life on a larger scale (not just the few people attending the Memorial later today!). What about the thousands of others who need this too? I hope that happens soon...then the healing can REALLY start.

xxx
I still cannot stop thinking about the finality of it all...the world will miss you so much Paul. I'm sure he would have loved everyone gathering on the streets that belonged to him! I can only imagine the sorrowful heavy hearts off all 200 that attended Pauls send off. As we all know from reading these posts ,each of us have our own special ways of dealing with our sorrows. I wish for everyone that loved Paul..happy and sweet memories of a man that was so important to so many.
We love ya Paul...color in the sky for us!
Along with many others, I am deeply saddened by the news of Paul leaving us.
For me, Paul was the real spirit of Crowded House. Anyone who was lucky enough to see him at any of the Crowdie's live shows knows what I'm referring to. The part of the night when Paul would bring his drum forward, was always a highlight. As well as his legendary banter! For me, those shows will never be bettered by anyone. I've always felt that, and I always will.

A potential frontman at the back of the drumkit!

Neil referred to Paul as the most soulful drummer he'd ever worked with. As well as being musically talented, his sense of humour was genius and he was genuinely a great guy.

I hope he has found some peace, and my thoughts go out to his friends and family.

I will never forget the dozens of Crowded House gigs I was lucky enough to witness Paul's genius. The 'lo-lo's at the Town and Country, the mtv's most wanted auditions, the version of Throw Your Arms Around Me adapted for Johnnie Walker on BBC Radio 2. The list is endless and the collection of music and banter is vast.

Thank you Paul for your energy, attitude and inspiration.

Thanks also go out to Peter Green for keeping the fans up-to-date at this sad time. I also pay tribute to Nick for supporting Neil and Tim on stage. It was greatly appreciated by the fans and those on stage at the Royal Albert Hall gigs. I'll also never forget the image of the unaccompanied snare drum at the front of the stage. Very appropriate guys. Paul's magic lives on in our hearts and minds.

"As is once will always be." (N.Finn)

Rich Hodgens,
Stafford, UK
Alita, it's interesting, as many have said, that grief is such a personal thing and that everyone handles it differently. You are deciding to put all your CH stuff away to find closure, whereas, I have done the opposite...I have frantically rushed around my house searching for all my stuff and putting it out so I can see it. I want to have it around me. It's weird, I feel proud of