Hutchence, Farriss, inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame
Last night, INXS’s main songwriting team, Michael Hutchence and Andrew Farriss, were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
It was part of the Australian Songwriters Association (ASA)’s sold-out National Songwriting Awards, held at the Orion Theatre in Campsie, NSW.
ASA Chairman Denny Burgess talked about the “absolute rapport” the long time friends as they worked on song – one which was obvious when Noiseworks frontman Jon Stevens, who briefly fronted INXS after Hutchence’s death, performed two of their songs.
Michael’s sister Tina flew over from the United States, where she lives, to pick up the award. “This is an award Michael would have really appreciated,” she said. “He was so proud of being Australian.”
The Hutchence-Farriss partnership began at Davidson High School, first when Farriss stopped bullies from harassing Michael in the playground, and later extended to getting him to join as singer of his band Doctor Dolphin.
The pair co-wrote INXS’s first hit Just Keep Walking, which Hutchence said was the first time he heard something he wrote on the radio, let alone the fact that kids were singing it the streets.
They followed it up with The One Thing, Don’t Change, What You Need, Devil Inside, Need You Tonight, Never Tear Us Apart, Suicide Blonde, Original Sin and globally successful albums as Shabooh Shoobah, Listen Like Thieves and Kick.
Their mix of rock and funk created waves in America, and INXS became one of the first white rock bands to have African-American fans coming to their shows.
As of June 2015, INXS have sold over 45 million records worldwide.
Hutchence died on November 22, 1997. Fans are lobbying to have a statue of him erected at the new CIC entertainment complex. Two documentaries are currently being made about him, with his final, as yet unreleased, recordings to see light of day next month with the Hutchence family’s blessings.
Farriss is the artist in residence at the Australian National University.
This morning, Tim Farriss and Kirk Pengilly turned radio stars when Southern Cross Austereo rebranded its regional stations under the Triple M name. They present a one-hour show from 9am to 29 regional stations until December 23, playing their favourite tracks and relating INXS anecdotes. Earlier this year, the network’s regional listeners voted INXS as one of the “Greatest Artists of All Time.”