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Spent yesterday in silent shock. Today tears come quickly. Strange response over someone I saw but never actually met. But perhaps not so strange when one considers all the beautiful emotion experienced over many years at the hands and soul of this artist. It's ironic he provided so much joy to others and yet felt such pain personally, to have ended this way.

I hope somewhere, somehow he can feel all this outpouring of loss and love from "strangers" to whom he gave so much.

We miss you & will always be grateful for your priceless gifts which we'll treasure always.
Had pleasure of meeting him Glasgow early 90s when they literally brought the roof down at the Kings Theatre. Me and my sis standing around after gig when he came out of stage door, he NF and NS stopped and signed Woodface Cd and chatted for a while. Very nice humble not in your face type of guy. Will miss the banter he used to have with NF at their gigs. Sympathy to friends & Family
sheesh! it's been years since I logged on here but on hearing the news had to come by.

I haven't been here in ages because after years of near obsessive CH / NF nerdiness I thought "get a grip man, it's only a band". Still see Neil and Tim live when I can, buy the albums that sort of thing but kinda thought "i'm over it now".

When I heard the news about Paul it really shocked me and made me sad. I guess I found out that they weren't "only a band" and they did (do) mean a lot to me and others.

Glad I wasn't at the Albert Hall Finn Bros shows. Couldn't have coped with that drum/hat on the stage. Too sad.

Hope he's at peace.

Cheers
Conor
In the last three days, I'be been overwhelmed by all of the personal connections folks reported with Paul. At first, I was bummed -- I had my own personal interactions with Paul and was feeling less special to learn that I was part of such a large group. Then I was actually happier to think about how many people share my special feelings towards Paul, and to celebrate what a special guy that made him.

One of my prized possessions is a bootleg recording of a CH concert in 1991 during which I was able to get onstage with the boys and sing -- Italian Plastic. (I gave a copy of this to Neil, but never got the chance to give it to Paul -- who at the time challenged me to send him one of my songs so that he could perform it as poorly as I performed his!) The effort yeilded me a backstage pass that night which is signed by Paul and framed on my wall (that signature was from another show in 1994). Those interactions have always been special to me, and now they are moreso.

This sucks. We each have spent time listening and reminiscing. This LLT lyric jumped out at me: "take time to heal, 'cause I won't be there."

--Craig
(smiling as the sh!t comes down ...)
As a Life member of Frenz I am overwhelmed with the response to Paul's death and the outpouring of love and condolences not only from regular posters but the majority coming from new members, even if it is only to share a story about Paul or to try to come to terms with what has happened.

Folks, don't be ashamed or embarrassed to be here. Your love for Paul has brought you here. Those of you who have already posted---thank you so much for your participation. And for those who haven't posted yet--please step up and tell us your heart. Despite this tragedy there is a beautiful thing happening here.

All of us here have our hands locked in a chain that stretches 'round the world. Show your support for each other and Paul's surviving "family" all over the world.

Anne
Sincere condolences to the girls and Pauls family and friends and fans.
Wherever you are Paul, please know that you are and always will be remembered and in my heart. Thankyou so much for all the music, good times and laughter. You are one of my heroes and i still hope to jam with you one day and give you an almighty big hug so i won't say goodbye, and also because i just can't. Until then may God keep you well. - Pete.
No words can express my feelings of shock, sadness and emptiness.

The music of Crowded House is a real support in my adult life, and helps me to overcome some difficult internal struggle, the search to myself and the meaning of my life in this world. Thanks, Paul, for being a travelcompagnion in this quest.
A little poem, I wrote a couple of years ago:

If you're feeling sad,
See life as a journey.
Remember your friends are your travel compagnions,
Your daily activities the travelling and
Your dreams your destination.

May God give the courage and strength to the family, relatives and friends of Paul.
Your music will live on in our hearts.
May you rest in peace, and hopefully you've found what you were looking for.....always,

Ferry from The Netherlands....
My english is not very good so please forgive me my bad english...

This cant be true or? I mean CH were my first heroes i became a Fan when I was 13 years old..now Im 16 and i cant descibe the feelings which are going through me now...I mean...why?
He was always so funny, happy and everything...

I never thought that i would cry so much for a star..not only a star..a human I always admired, he always seemd like a life loving person...

He will be always in our minds..and hearts..

bye Paul..
A lovely tribute to Paul appeared in today's online Age newspaper:

http://www.theage.com.au/news/Opinion/Vale-Paul-Hester/...9/1111862387248.html

Vale Paul Hester

The sudden death of a celebrated musician stirs powerful emotions, writes Alan Atwood.

I never met him. Didn't know him personally. Yet still the death of Paul Hester, the musician, has hit me harder than I would have expected. I've been trying to work out why. It can't just be that, like a great many people, I have a couple of Crowded House CDs lying around the house.

Perhaps it's because I take the dog for a walk early most mornings in Elsternwick Park - a tranquil place where Hester ended his life on Friday night. He went out with his dogs and never came home. Perhaps it's because I'm just a little bit older than Hester, who was 46. The 40s, it is clear, can be a perilous place for an awful lot of men.

Perhaps it's because I inadvertently witnessed the aftermath to this personal tragedy.

It was around lunchtime on Saturday; we were driving back from the market. Up ahead, on the road next to the park, we saw flashing lights: a police car and an ambulance. We idly wondered why they were there - maybe a kid injured on play equipment. I turned right so as not to get caught up in anything.

Didn't think any more about it until Monday morning. That's when I saw the headline: "Crowded House drummer dies". Forgive me, my initial reaction was that perhaps there was another one. But not Hester. Surely not the guy with the big goofy grin. Not Hessie of the transient yet inspired TV music show Hessie's Shed, which produced some memorable moments, including a reunion with his Crowded House colleagues.

It was him, of course. I had only ever seen one side, the amiable public face, of a middle-aged man as complex as the rest of us.

On Monday night I raised Hester's death with an old mate of mine. He appeared surprised that I was brooding about it. "But he wasn't well," he said. "He was ill. Depressed." He said this as if it explained everything.

I'm not sure it does. Reports I've read and seen suggest that even people who knew him well are stunned that he took this last step.

It reminds us how little we can know someone we might regard as a friend.

For this wasn't a tragic accident, like the death of another former rock star, Shirley Strachan. And I wouldn't presume to speculate about causes. All I'd suggest is that it's well past time to shelve jokes about midlife crises. They're real. And not funny at all.

It's obvious now that there's many people like me, strangers to Hester, who have been moved by his death. A lovely notice in one of yesterday's papers began: "Although I never knew you personally, I still feel deep, deep loss and grief." It came from a woman who described herself as "a lifelong fan and admirer". That's the thing about a medium as powerful and pervasive as music: performers can end up with a lot of fans they never meet. Yet still a personal connection has been forged.

I've just spent some time digging out and flicking through those Crowded House recordings. As I'd suspected, it was Hester who wrote the loopy Italian Plastic on the Woodface CD. Call it a love-song from left field:
"I'll be your piggy in the middle, stick with you till the end."

He also wrote Skin Feeling on Together Alone, released in 1993, his last recording with the band. A couple of lines leap out: "I like kids when they're asleep/ Their little arms around you."

And this: "I'm looking old, I'm feeling young . . . . My second life has just begun."

Now it is over. I can only offer clumsy condolences to his family and friends. Perhaps they have been surprised by the ripples spreading far beyond the lake in Elsternwick Park, where life went on early yesterday morning: a group of guys playing hockey; joggers puffing; dog-walkers with bags and balls.

But maybe those closest to Paul Hester knew all along how many people he touched. For that's a marvellous aspect of music captured in recordings and concerts. Some of the rhythm, the harmonies, and the joy lasts forever.

Alan Attwood is a Melbourne journalist and author.
I have tried to post a comment here several times before now, but I just couldn't find the right words... Perhaps this time?

I've been a fan of anything NF&Co for as long as I can remember... I was lucky enough to be at the Finn Bros concert in Melbourne in November, when Hessie made his surprise appearance. As always, he lit up the stage and together with Neil and Tim we lucky few saw something that the world will now never see again...

My heart goes out to Paul's girls, his family and his friends...

I have tickets to RAHC tomorrow night, if it goes ahead. To Neil, Tim and Nick, you are so brave in your tribute... but know this, we all your fans and friends stand on that stage with you...

Go with our love Paul... we will celebrate you and remember you... with your music you will live on in all our hearts...
I don't know if anyone has posted this already because there's so much information on this site now, but I felt I had to do it anyway..

Band reunites for Hester
By Rachel Kleinman
March 29, 2005 - 10:13AM

Former Crowded House bass player Nick Seymour flew
from Dublin to perform with Neil and Tim Finn in
London last night in honour of drummer Paul Hester,
who committed suicide at the weekend.

The Finn Brothers played on Monday night (London time)
in the first of three scheduled concerts at London's
Royal Albert Hall.

Seymour joined the brothers on stage for four Crowded
House songs at the start of the performance, which was
dedicated to Hester.

A lone snare drum with a hat on top paid poignant
tribute to the 46-year-old Melburnian who died in an
Elsternwick park over the Easter holiday.

The musicians shared several memories about Hester and
Neil Finn told the audience that Hester was the best
drummer he had ever played with.

Seymour then returned to the stage for an emotional
encore.

Neil Finn was reported to have broken down in tears
during the Hunters and Collectors classic Throw Your
Arms Around Me.

An Australian journalist, who was at the concert, told
3AW he had never been to such an emotional gig.

Neil and Tim Finn have cancelled Tuesday and
Wednesday's concerts to fly to Melbourne.

A private funeral is expected to take place for Paul
Hester on Friday.


_________________________________
When I heard the news yesterday I flashed back to when my brother-in-law killed himself several years ago. There was no warning he was going to do it and he left no note to explain. As time went on we started to look back see some of what led up to him doing what he did. Our families have since healed from the loss, but there will always be questions that will never be answered, and we've had to learn to live with that.

I offer my condolences to Paul's family and friends while they try to sort out what happened. You will survive even if it doesn't feel like it right now. And you will have questions that will never be answered, and that's okay too.
I love the fact that this board is here and for what it represents - the love and sadness being felt by so many. I know that at some point I've got to stop coming here cuz I bawl my eyes out every time. It's just not the time yet.

Thank you all so much for all the articles/clips/photos and for the RAH reports from last night. I don't know how they did it.

I hope they've got lots of cymbals to bonk your head on wherever you are, Paul.
Just been Watching the farewell to the world concert again and during hole in the river i cried.Man i can't listen to that song now without thinking of Paul Hester.

and the words Neil says towards the end :

'Its abit emotional for us tonight,feels more a celebration than a funeral does'nt it really'

'thats the way its should be'

Those words he spoke echo true today,We should mourn for Paul but at same time celebrate his life and all he gave to us.

Roger
RIP Paul
I was at the gig last night. The drum and the hat were so moving. How sad that only two of the three members of Crowded House were together on stage. Paul will be sadly missed and now the dream of a reunion (let's face it, many of us wished for) is never gonna happen.

It never occurred to me that Neil and Tim would mcancel the gig, I knew that they would want to be on stage. I hope we gave them a bit of comfort as their music is to us.
Spencer - thanks for sharing your memory of the concert in PNth, NZ(95/96). It was my only live CH experience yet it's there so strong. That was an awesome day and from all the posts I've read - sounds like Paul created many of those for people around the world.He lives on in that...and the music will never die.
Thanks for sharing the forum - I know it provides comfort.
It is very odd. That someone I never met could make such a dint in my heart, just knowing they weren't around anymore.
But there you are.

I don't profess to know how he must have felt, but, having been "there" a few times myself, it makes me upset to think that another living soul feels that way, and though it is little consolation, at least he is free from whatever it was that took him there.

Words seem pretty inconsequential at times like this.

It's just amazing to see so many people feel the same way. xox
The talk of depression reminds me-last night I was lying there trying to get to sleep, and I saw an ad for a site to go to for help with depression, and I was just like, "Aw, hell...". Such great timing, huh? Also, for those of you who've battled depression or know people who've battled it or lost family members/friends to this kind of thing, I send hugs and my deepest condolances to you all. I really hope we can get this issue taken care of, because nobody should have to experience this. Nobody.

quote:
Originally posted by pharmgirl:
[qb]Perhaps it's because I inadvertently witnessed the aftermath to this personal tragedy.

It was around lunchtime on Saturday; we were driving back from the market. Up ahead, on the road next to the park, we saw flashing lights: a police car and an ambulance. We idly wondered why they were there - maybe a kid injured on play equipment. I turned right so as not to get caught up in anything.

Didn't think any more about it until Monday morning. That's when I saw the headline: "Crowded House drummer dies". Forgive me, my initial reaction was that perhaps there was another one. But not Hester. Surely not the guy with the big goofy grin. Not Hessie of the transient yet inspired TV music show Hessie's Shed, which produced some memorable moments, including a reunion with his Crowded House colleagues.

It was him, of course. I had only ever seen one side, the amiable public face, of a middle-aged man as complex as the rest of us.[/qb]
Oh, god...he saw that ambulance...how awful...oh, my god...

quote:
Originally posted by alita:
[qb]My personal irony is that Paul took his life on my #2 son�s birthday. What should be a joyous occasion for me will now always be a sad one too. Talk about Conflicting Emotions�[/qb]
I heard this news on Saturday night here. My dad's birthday was on Sunday. I was doing everything in my power to be happy on that day, but yet my mind was...well, elsewhere.

Also, thanks, suzanne, for posting a report about the show at the RAH last night...man, after reading that, I just want to go find those guys and give them all a big hug...I feel so bad for them. Sounds like it was quite the powerful show.

Angela
Gentle Hum...

I was so sorry to hear the news...
I think a "Gentle Hum" is at its place:

"My wish is for you an end to your sorrow.
If it comes true you'll wake up tomorrow...
This gentle hum has just begun.
This gentle hum will make us one..."

Thanks Neil & Tim for these lyrics. You're both on an European tour right now and I know this must be very, very hard for you. Perhaps you could do "Gentle Hum" as a tribute to Paul... The words are so very appropriate...
To you all please accept the condolences of all the Dutch fans...
Koert.
It is really moving reading the posts from other fans. Paul touched so many peoples lives. I just hope that Paul is remembered for the happiness and joy he brought to peoples lives, rather than the tragic way his life ended.

So sad, there can never be a Crowded House reunion now. But I am sure he was on stage with them in *spirit* last night....
Although I registered on this site last October I kept forgetting to post.After the sad news I woke up to this morning I knew I had to change this.Only a few artists have ever moved me in the way CH have done over the years.Peter Gabriel,REM and very few others.I bought CH 1st album after a great review in Q magazine and have never stopped listening since.And I never will. Frowner


When tomorrow comes
We may not be here at all
Without your whispers and moans
Here you come to carry me home
I'm in the US and I found out about Paul's death on Easter night from a friend via an email with the subject line "Sad News". I was in shock. All alone, on the road with my job in a hotel in Knoxville, Tennessee is a strange, remote place to find oneself when one gets such news. My immediate thoughts were to those he left behind: those he loved and who loved him. How will they cope in the coming weeks? How will they cope after the news reports have quieted down, after the neighbors stop bringing food and after the phone stops ringing with kind offers to help? After everyone else gets back to the reality of their own lives, how will they struggle to resume their own? I thought of Paul's girls and how he will be missed on every one of their birthdays, every holiday, even in the smaller moments in life like when a CH song comes on the radio or when they smell their dad's after shave or see a record of his in the record store. It tears your heart out. My sincerest sympathies to his family and friends.

Of course, my thoughts turned to the music as well. CH have played the soundtrack to so many moments in my life. I've said it before when talking about my other fave band Squeeze but I mean it with CH as well: their music opened the door to the world to me! Years later when I visited Australia and New Zealand, I felt a little part of me had been there before because of their music! I remember listening to them when the only light in my adolescent bedroom was from the glow of the stereo. Their music paints such vivid landscapes-it was a lovely way to spend an hour (or hundred!). I ran a local cable music video show in Ohio in college and CH and Squeeze were my favorite bands.

Through my show, I was able to get backstage at CH gigs with my friends and we formed a friendship with the lovely Crowdies road crew. Paul, Angus, Arlo, Steven, Craig-I've been thinking of you guys! What a privilege it was to be able to see so many soundchecks, so many great shows and to spend so many moments with the CH family. I baked chocolate chip cookies for the band whenever they would come to town and after a while, it became expected. Paul would bound over and say in his funny accent, "Where's the lovely bikkies?". I would not go as far to say that I was super good friends with any of them. I was not. I was merely a fan who would hang out with them with my friends once or twice a year or so when they'd come to town, but it was always such a laugh!

I remember sitting on the side of the stage in Columbus, Ohio at the sound desk and being in awe of witnessing the show from the crew's point of view. I think there are two shows: the one that the band puts on for the audience and the one they do for themselves; after all, it is their job! It was fascinating to see Neil, Nick and Paul interact with each other, their shorthand gestures and knowing looks. And of course, the fun they had.

I specifically remember leaning over to Paul (the sound guy) at the sound desk and saying, 'I'm trying to be so cool and nonchalant sitting here but this is so amazing that I want to sing along and dance!" and he smiled and said in his french accent, "DO IT!" and he scooted back the chair so I could jump up and down. I then started clapping along and singing and I remember the look on Hester's face as he pretended to be shocked that I dared to get up and dance and sing! Then he laughed, nodded his approval and winked at me. I sang a hilariously disastrous version of "In the Lowlands" with them at one show in Cincinnatti and later told them that it was the 'ultimate karaoke'. (which it was!) Nick was always up for conversation. Neil was always lovely though a bit reserved, understandably, but Paul was the first to make me feel welcome and to have a laugh.

I hope it's not deemed inappropriate, but I thought I'd share a joke. I'm sure all of you are familiar with Paul's cheeky sense of humour. I remember one time we asked him how he coped with the loneliness of the road and he chuckled and said, "Amy, you obviously haven't been introduced to the 'lucky sock'." Throughout the rest of the evening, much to the delight of the crew, he repeatedly threatened to get out the 'lucky sock' and make us all touch it. It still makes me laugh. I feel really blessed to have been able to see CH so many times and to be able to tell them how much their music meant to me. (probably losing my dignity in the process!) I always played their videos on my little show and still treasure the CH promotional goodies from the record company. I still have the autographed postcards of the band where Paul drew devil horns and moustaches on Neil and Nick! (they witnessed this and laughed.) I will remember Paul's humour, his warmth and his boundless enthusiasm behind the drums!

I want to say a big thanks for everyone who has posted on the site because it has made me feel connected in a very meaningful way. If I was home in LA, I'd be able to hang out and have a few drinks with my musician pals who are feeling the same way I am. So even though the forum has been gut wrenching to read at times, I think it's a lovely way to express what we're going through (however clumsy but nonetheless heartfelt.) and to know that there are others out there around the world who are going through what I'm going through. It's been amazing to read the lyrics to so many great songs that seem so appropriate. I doubt I'll ever listen to them the same way again. (A bit like when Ringo sang "Photograph" at the Concert for George!)

Sorry to ramble on but after reading so many posts, I felt compelled to put my thoughts down and share my memories with you. I apologize because it's probably not coming out the right way. One of the first songs I thought of upon hearing the news of Paul's death was the Squeeze song "Some Fantastic Place". Chris and Glenn wrote it about their friend who died but even though the song is about a woman, I think the sentiment is very appropriate for Paul. We'll always have his lovely music. And I hope that Paul is in Some Fantastic Place now! xxxx

Some Fantastic Place��
(Difford/Tilbrook)��
She gave to me her tenderness�
Her friendship and her love�
I see her face from time to time�
There in the sky above�
We grew up learning as we went�
What a voyage our life could be�
It took us through a wilderness�
Into the calmest sea�
Her smile could lift me from the pain�
I often found within�
She said some things I won't forget�
She made a few bells ring�
So simple her humility�
Her beauty found in grace�
Today she lives another life�
In some fantastic place�
She showed me how to raise a smile�
Out of a bed of gloom�
And in a garden sanctuary�
A life began to bloom.�
She visualised a world ahead�
And planned how it would be�
She left behind the strongest love�
That lives eternally�
I have the hope that when it's time�
For me to come her way�
That she'll be there to show me round�
Whenever comes that day�
Her love was life and happiness�
And in her steps I trace�
The way to live a better life�
In some fantastic place
I've spent the morning reading everyone's thoughts, and like many people, just knowing that there are others out there who understand how I'm feeling is so comforting. Crowded House has been such a huge part of my life for almost 20 years, and has made me who I am to a great extent--I've met great friends at concerts, I have traveled to places I might never have to see the band, and they exposed me to music and ideas to which I might not have otherwise been exposed--that I do feel like I knew Paul personally. A light has gone out in my life, and my thoughts are with his family & friends, because I realize the light that went out for me is nothing compared to what they have lost.
Every CH song is taking on new meaning. Listening to the live cd with the limited edition of Recurring Dream.

"frost on the window pane
the sound of pouring rain
all make me glad of you
when I am far away
I am always with you"

Frowner

Every song........each and every song......nearly tears my heart out.

OMG.....here comes Hole in the River..... Frowner

I feel like there is so much to say, but I have no words. How very tragic.
Amyglennmovie, that's quite the story...what a lovely bunch of memories you'll have there. These stories are all really nice to read-Paul seemed like such an awesome guy.

I went to a board last night in which Crowded House isn't a band that gets talked about all that much (except by me and perhaps a couple of other people), just 'cause not too many people there have really listened to their music over the years, and I'd noticed that someone had mentioned this news there, too, and the replies I've read since then have all been very respectful and kind. It was just nice to know that it isn't only the fans of this band who are sad to hear the news. I dunno, it just comforted me some.

Angela
quote:
Originally posted by Amyglennmovie:
[qb] How will they cope in the coming weeks? How will they cope after the news reports have quieted down, after the neighbors stop bringing food and after the phone stops ringing with kind offers to help? After everyone else gets back to the reality of their own lives, how will they struggle to resume their own? I thought of Paul's girls and how he will be missed on every one of their birthdays, every holiday, even in the smaller moments in life like when a CH song comes on the radio or when they smell their dad's after shave or see a record of his in the record store. It tears your heart out. My sincerest sympathies to his family and friends.[/qb]
Oh god, this is something I hadn't even thought of. I'm sitting at my desk at work, trying to think about something else so I don't start crying.

I have so much enjoyed everyone's posts and stories. This whole thing is so surreal, and I was just thinking to myself, "This isn't normal. This is not what usually gets discussed here." I just can't believe he's gone. One of the Crowdies is gone.

My god.
quote:
Originally posted by Crowdieman:
[qb] One lyric that is really tearing me at the moment is from the Finns song 'Won't give in'

'even if time is just a flicker of light
and we all have to die alone'

Just makes me think of how Paul was a so alone with no one beside him when he died in that park.


Roger
RIP Paul [/qb]
Ive thought about that too. And what his last moments must have been like. What he must have been thinking. It's a distrubing place to go in your mind. Frowner

What his loved ones must be going through. I can only imagine.... Frowner
I am trying to organise a gathering on Sunday afternoon in Brisbane. I'm thinking maybe a BYO picnic or something and I was considering maybe "kids Space" at Chermside. Wear your CH shirts or badges or anything you may have or want to bring, swap stories, have a laugh, in true "Paul" spirit. Play some music etc. Could people please contact me either on this forum or private message to let me know if there is interest in this idea? Or if anyone has a better idea? I really feel I need to do this and thought maybe others felt the same.
I`ve looked for some nice words to say..
but still find it hard. It`s weird that the death of someone you never knew personal can touch you in a way I never thought it would.

Great respect to Neil, Tim, Nick and Peter who find time for us "Frenz" to sing their most emotional songs on stage, find time to send us e-mails with news. While they have to handle with their own grief over Paul`s death. Thank you guys !

I look back at paul as a nice warm funny man with a big smile on his face while he was on stage. Never knew about the other side. A guy who was a big part of the music i start to love when i was young girl and still love today.
Thank you for all the nice and good moments with CH.
Rest In Peace Paulo.

Wish all the love and strength in the world for Mardi and the 2 little girls Paul leaves behind, Peter, Neil, Tim, Nick, other family and friends for the next dark days.


Love

Elizabeth

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