INXS manager, Chris Murphy, passes away
INXS’s longtime manager Chris “CM” Murphy, who managed the band from 1979 until 1995 and again in the 2000s, has died at his home in Sydney.
Following a battle with Mantle Cell Lymphoma Murphy passed away at age 66. He was surrounded by his family at his beloved Ballina property “Sugar Beach Ranch”.
A representative for Murphy Petrol Group shared the news:
“It is with great sadness that Caroline Murphy and family confirm that Christopher (CM) Mark Murphy, chairman of Murphy Petrol Group has today passed away peacefully at his beloved Ballina property ‘Sugar Beach Ranch’ surrounded by his family. CM celebrated an illustrious career over 40 years and made an incredible impact on the global music and entertainment industry. Best known for taking his ‘band of brothers’ INXS to worldwide stardom, CM Murphy influenced the lives of many around the globe with his endless passion and drive. He will be greatly missed.”
INXS’ Andrew Farriss, Tim Farriss, Jon Farriss, Garry Beers and Kirk Pengilly also made a statement today:
“It is with great sadness that the remaining members of INXS mourn the passing of our brother, Chris Murphy. Without Chris’s vision, passion and hard work, the INXS story would be totally different. Chris’s star burned very bright and we celebrate a life well lived and send all our love to his family.”
Before he began managing INXS in 1979, Murphy worked at his father’s theatrical booking agency, Mark Murphy & Associates. He then went into management under the wing of Gary Morris, whose past clients included Midnight Oil and INXS, he launched MMA Management.
Murphy’s deal for INXS with US label Atco and later Atlantic is widely regarded as having played a major role in the band’s breakout success. Murphy was considered a master marketer, and not only through his work with INXS. He also managed the group Models during the 1980s, Max Q (the short-lived 1989 collaboration between Hutchence and Ollie Olsen), and local country group The Buckleys.
Sarah, Lachlan and Molly Buckley said:
“Chris has been our guardian angel from the day we met him and he will continue to be for the rest of our lives. As with everyone who was so blessed to have known him — the strength, passion, guidance and love he ignites is forever lasting. We are so grateful to have walked this earth with him, our best friend, greatest champion and mentor. His spirit and light will forever live within and around us.”
Murphy’s entrepreneurial spirit also saw him launch independent label rooART in 1988, previously home to Crash Politics, The Hummingbirds, Ratcat, You Am I, Wendy Matthews and The Screaming Jets.
Following a 10-year hiatus, Murphy launched Petrol Electric Records in 2001 and signed INXS to the label seven years later. He later launched Murphy Rights Management in 2014.
Murphy’s most recent project was a retirement community for musicians and music industry professionals in New South Wales.
“There’s a lot of people who are getting older. And, what are these people going to do?,” he said in 2019. “They’ve been working in a very creative industry all of their lives; what are you going to do now that you don’t have a job? Sit in a quiet retirement village with people you don’t know or share common interests? … People in retirement villages, as we speak, they’re the people who built this bloody country. The tradesmen, all sorts of people who lived through an era where you had to really work.”
Murphy is survived by his wife Caroline; children Stevey, Jeri, Jack, Louis and Charlie; and grandchildren Asher, Samantha, Bella, Axel, Harley and Reuben; his Mother Janice; and sisters Charne and Tanya.
The family have requested that instead of flowers, trees be gifted “to create an everlasting and ever-growing memorial at Chris’ beloved Ballina property.” For information, contact [email protected].
This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.