Speaking with Music Feeds ahead of The Cult’s forthcoming Aussie tour in support of their 10th studio album Hidden City, Ian Astbury makes a point to bring up the mounting social media push to have a bronze statue commissioned and placed in Hutchence’s home city, in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of his death.
“Yes, we should build the statue of Michael Hutchence,” Astbury says out of the blue, describing the late Aussie icon as “an intimate friend”.
“I saw him a week before he passed away and yeah, that was a tough one, because we used to run together and hang out together,” Astbury says.
“He was such a beautiful person, such an incredibly, incredibly sensitive, generous… badass,” he laughs. “He was incredibly charismatic, there wasn’t a single woman he didn’t turn the head of.”
At this point, Astbury seems to slip into a wistful reverie, adding, “Yeah… It was electric being around Michael.”
When prompted about whether he has any particularly vivid memories of Hutchence that stand out above the rest, Astbury says, “Oh yeah,” and begins laughing hysterically.
“Oh man, I think the first time we got together we went back to his hotel room, and we had a tea party after [INXS had] played with Queen [at Wembley Stadium in 1986]. I think we kind of got in trouble because the bathroom door ended up out the window,” he chuckles.
“Yeah, it got pretty trashy. But it was all in good spirits. That’s the thing about [Michael], it was never malicious, it was always well-mannered chaos.”
Astbury guarantees that Hutchence was definitely not one of those “dick” rockstars you hear about all the time and see portrayed in the movies.
“He was just a gentleman, an absolute gentleman,” The Cult singer says. “But then again, a lot of the real ones that you encounter are, because they come from humble backgrounds… or they come from places where it’s kind of gauche to blow your trumpet, you know? (puts on an American cowboy voice) ‘I’m the greatest ever!’ It’s like, well, let the people decide.”
Despite this, Astbury is still a huge fan of serial self-promoter Kanye West, and you can read all about why that is — and much more — when our full chat with Astbury gets posted online tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the #AStatueForMichaelHutchence Twitter campaign continues to gather momentum, with a user claiming to be Hutchence’s grand-nephew writing a statement about the cause, which has since been tweeted by Hutchence’s grandmother and half-sister, Tina.
A collection of 15 unheard tracks that Hutchence recorded before he died is also set to be released next year, with the first snippet of a track called Kik It emerging a few months back.
‘INXS The Musical’ is also set to premiere in Australia in 2017, while a new Michael Hutchence documentary is also set to be released.
Watch: INXS – ‘Need You Tonight’