Disappear – INXS

INXS -Garry Gary Beers, Andrew Farriss, Jon Farriss, Tim Farriss, Kirk Pengilly, Ciaran Gribbin, and Michael Hutchence

Year: 1989
Artists: INXS
Album: X
Other Hits: Need You Tonight, Suicide Blonde, Original Sin

I saw INXS, (pronounced as in-excess) performed live a few years back with their front man J.D. Fortune in Singapore and they are brilliant it would have been a greater experience if Michael Hutchence was still the front man of the band, no offense to J.D.

This Australian rock/pop band started off in their high school back in 1977, Farris brothers – Tim (lead guitar), Andrew (keyboards), and Jon (drums) formed the ‘Farris Brothers’ consisting of Gary Beers on bass guitar, Geoff Kennelly on Drums, Michael Hutchence on lead vocals and Kirk Pengilly on guitar and saxophone. The manager of Midnight Oil (beds are burning), Gary Morris offered the band a work as support to Midnight Oil, He advised that a member of the Oils crew had come up with a new name and suggested they change it to INXS. The name INXS was inspired by English band XTC and Australian jam makers IXL. As per Morris:

A commercial for a brand of jam called IXL. Their ad featured a guy who said, ‘I excel in all I do.’ I’d recently seen the English band XTC when they toured Australia, and I loved their name: XTC – Ecstasy. In that moment, I put all those thoughts together. The name needed to be letters, but make a word. I put the IXL jam commercial together with XTC and the concept of a band that was inaccessible and I had it: INXS” –

In the morning of 22 November 1997, Hutchence, aged 37, was found dead in Room 524 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Double Bay, Sydney. The demised caused by a suicide while depressed and under the influence of drugs and alcohol. INXS did not perform publicly for a year.

INXS decided to continue without Hutchence and back in 2005 INXS took their search for a lead singer to Rock Star: INXS, a reality TV show on CBS. The winner was Canadian singer J.D. Fortune –I loved that show and  I was routing for Marty Casey and who can forget the encore performance of Jordis Unga’s – The Man Who Sold the World- this  made me appreciate this old David Bowie song.

I remember liking this band back in 1988 when I heard ‘Need You Tonight’ lead singer-songwriter was still Michael Hutchence, once dated Kylie Minogue.  He co-wrote almost all of INXS’s songs with Andrew Farris who has attributed his own success as a songwriter to Hutchence’s “genius”. There are many individuals that worked with other individual and became unstoppable i.e.  Lennon and McCartney, or Simon and Garfunkel in INXS case, ‘Disappear’ would have never happened if musical fate had not paired some unforgettable musicians – the band’s seventh and last top 10 single, written by Jon Farris and Michael Hutchence while they were living together in Hong Kong in 1989. This song made sense to me while watching an episode of The Simpsons… if you have a huge crush on someone the world seems to disappear.

3 responses to “Disappear – INXS

  1. In Oct ’83 Michael Hutchence and I found a review of A Chorus Line by Frank Rich of The New York Times. “The only sad thing about a great night in the theater is its EVANESCENCE. When it’s over, it’s over. You can remember the performance forever, of course. But you can’t re-create that VIRGIN SENSATION – that almost numbing exhilaration – of witnessing something NEW and different and exciting in the theater FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME.” The article not only inspired me to write the song Like A Virgin for Madonna, but New Sensation for INXS and to name a band Evanescence. It is the meaning of the word Evanescence (to fade away/disappear) that inspired me to write the song Disappear for INXS. I met Hutch in June of ’83 and it didn’t take long to fall for him while I made up songs tailored just to his voice. Kylie and Hutch were not a couple, but he was trying to help promote her career. Nice post tho!!


    • Hi Amy,

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