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To mark the 20th anniversary of Michael Hutchence’s death, music journalist Toby Cresswell, the founding author of Rolling Stone Australia, has written a new book on the INXS frontman.  
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Creswell interviewed friends and associates of Hutchence, to help understand how a insecure vocalist from Sydney’s northern suburbs became a famous rock star, before tragically dying alone in his Sydney hotel room on the eve of an INXS tour.
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Toby chats to The Starfish about his book, Shine Like It Does.
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What made you want to write this book?
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Some of the previous books on Michael were good and others terrible but for this book i wanted to talk about the work more than the narrative of his life or the tabloid bits.
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What will we learn about the man that we don’t already know?
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Something about his working methods, his commitment to his work, his desire to be Nick Cave. Thanks.
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What were you surprised to learn about Michael Hutchence during the research for this book?
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I’ve sort of been doing this research since 1985 so I wasn’t that surprised about things. I was surprised about Chris Thomas talking about Andrew and Michael in the studio. I was surprised at how important family was to him and the desire to heal family.
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Was it an enjoyable process writing the book?
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Yeah. No. Yeah.
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Your book has come out around the same time as the Seven documentary on him –  coincidence? Was the doco an accurate depiction of the man, do you think?
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Didn’t see it. Doubt it. As I understand, they didn’t have use of much INXS music, and if you take the music away, it’s not an interesting story. 
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How do you think the new album of Michael’s songs will be received? 
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Inevitably, when people die in these sort of circumstances, people whom they once  trusted pillage the archives with ever decreasing results. I don’t think Michael regarded any of this music as finished so it’s very thoughtless and will not improve Michael’s reputation.
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You managed to persuade Michael’s close friend and ex girlfriend Michelle Bennett to talk, which was a real exclusive, how did you get to do that?
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I’ve known Michelle Bennett since the mid -80s, we have friends in common and she trusted me I guess. 
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If he were alive today, what do you think he’d be doing? Would he still be with Paula Yates?
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If he were alive he would probably be making music on his own, with INXS and acting.

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Three words to describe Michael Hutchence?
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Creative, gentle, curious.

Shine Like It Does (Echo) is in book stores now.

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