The drummer from Crowded House was found dead in a park in Melbourne over the week-end. Apparently he committed suicide. C.H. is one of my top musical influences, and many of the songs I have written were molded by their song styles. You know that period in your life, in your teens and 20′s, when you latch onto a band: wear its badges, hang its posters on the wall, put its stickers on everything, and wear the same concert t-shirt everyday without wash until it’s soo dirty that you can’t tell what the band on the front is, which means it’s time to wash the shirt. OK I never was a “badges, posters, stickers and t-shirts” kind of guy (thank you Mark Knopler for the phrase), but I did play the first C.H. LP to death (bad choice of words and yes I’m that old).
A typical “Paul Hester” moment:
Joan Rivers: How did you decide on the name Crowded House?
Paul Hester: It was the only one we could spell.
What is it about drummers and their sense of humor (think Ringo, Jeff Porcaro, Prarie Prince from the Tubes)? C.H. put on one of the funniest shows I’ve seen. Part of that fun was watching Paul Hester jump from the stage to follow two young “lasses” into the bathroom while the other two band mates were left stranded on stage. Paul came back with the trash can from the women’s bathroom and dumped it on the stage floor. Neil Finn, the ring-leader of C.H. said: “Pretty zany Paul!”. This is my Paul Hester memory.
My best friend in San Diego, Paul a.k.a. “Puppy-Cat”, is going to be devastated. As much as I am a C.H. fan, he is ten fold. When I go down to visit, we spend hours doing nothing but sing to the Crowded House CD, Woodface, while driving the San Diego freeways. He does the Neil Finn vocals and I do the Tim Finn bits.
Anyway, I hope that Paul Hester is now in a place where his demons can’t follow.