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  • Cherié Summers

Michael Hutchence Leaves his Mark on me.

In 1983, MTV came into my home. I was thrilled! I'd always loved music, but MTV was a new invention, that put faces to the radio and introduced new music much more quickly than our local DJs did.

One of the first bands I "saw" was INXS in their video for, "The One Thing". Immediately, my eyes were drawn to their enigmatic lead singer, Michael Hutchence. He slithered sexily all over the screen, eye fucking the TV audience, while the other band members partook in a food orgy with attractive models (and kitties). Every time the camera went away from Michael, there was something inside of me saying, "Wait go back!." Michael's innate sensuality drew me in and the very sexy, danceable tune made me rush out and buy Shabooh, Shoobah.

The next video I saw was "Don't Change" and while Michael didn't disappoint, I looked past him and noticed this gorgeous guy playing drums. When the camera zoomed in for a quick cut of John Farriss' amazing smile (2:44 in the video), well, I knew who my favorite in the band would be.

But that didn't stop me from loving Michael as well as Tim, Kirk, Andrew, and Gary. While Michael got most of the attention from the press, nothing could take away from the fact that this was a tight knit band of brothers, doing something they were passionate about. When their album KICK brought them to the pinnacle of their career, I was happy, but also a tiny bit jealous since now I had to share my love for them with an even bigger audience.

As the band got older, and their albums sold less, my love for them never wavered. I followed the band as much as I could on MTV and it was there that I learned the tragic news. On November 22, 1997, Michael was gone. I didn't care about the sordid details. All I knew was the lead singer of my favorite band was gone. And what was worse...Jon, Tim, Kirk, Andrew, and Gary had lost their brother. My heart ached for them, his family, and all his fans. Especially for those like me, who had never gotten the pleasure of seeing him perform live.

This past summer, I dreamed of Michael. In the dream, I was at a grocery store, looked up and he was there. He started a conversation with me (I can't remember the details) but then he faded away, because after all, it was only his spirit. When I woke up, I thought to myself, "Now that would make a good story." Flash forward to November. The 20th anniversary of his death. (Has it really been that long?) Things began clicking inside me. I can write this book. A paranormal romance about a rock superstar who comes back as a ghost. And just like that...I began writing.

I'm excited about this new venture. With Michael as my muse, I have created a very sensual main character by the name of Caesar Blue. He's a rock star who passed away at 28 in a freak accident while vacationing with his bandmates. On the 20th anniversary of his death, he returns to this world and into the life of a woman on the verge of 40, who has stopped enjoying all life has to offer. He will change her world and that of his former bandmate, Johnnie Vega, who blames himself for his best friend's death.

Recently, I was listening to interviews with INXS and they spoke of the signs they receive from Michael... signs that he is with them. I got goosebumps, because when I'm writing I feel his presence as well.

Michael was an artist, so full of life. You see it in his photos and hear it in his music. He was a poet and a romantic. He left his mark on the hearts of so many. And back in1983, it was my heart he captured...and for that I will always be grateful.

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