Grave of Paul Hester drummer for the bands, Split Enz and Crowded House died sadly in 2005, age 46 years. (Photo 2016 courtesy Margot Hitchcock).
Paul Hester and his drum sticks as used to put on his headstone. Photo Paul-Hester-Farewell-to-the-World-1996-Crowded-House. Photo by Christine Jane.
Grave of Paul Hester and his mother Elizabeth (Anne) Hester who died 2002. (Photo 2016 courtesy Margot Hitchcock).
Hester was the older of two children. At an early age, he was encouraged by his mother, Anne, to learn to play drums, as she was a jazz drummer. Hester attempted various jobs before starting a musical career. Some of his early bands in the late 1970s, which gigged around the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, included: Thunder (possibly his first performance band) 1976–1977 and then Edges 1977–78. In 1980 he co-founded a Melbourne-based band called Cheks (renamed Deckchairs Overboard when they moved to Sydney in 1982).
Split Enz and Crowded House – When Split Enz disbanded in December, Hester and Neil Finn decided to start a new group.
Crowded House –
Initially, the new band formed by Hester and Neil Finn was named “The Mullanes” and then underwent a few name changes. They recruited Nick Seymour to play bass guitar and Craig Hooper on guitar, Hooper left as they secured a recording contract with Capitol Records in the US. However, Capitol disliked the name and the band changed to Crowded House to record their debut eponymous album, Crowded House in 1986. Other records by Crowded House with Hester are: Temple of Low Men (1988), Woodface (1991), Together Alone (1993), and the Best-of collection Recurring Dream (1996).
By 1993 Hester was frustrated by the demands of his career and suffered a phobia about leaving to go on tour. On his return to Australia that year he started to see a psychiatrist.
Hester had two daughters with photographer Mardi Sommerfield; they lived in the suburb of Elwood in Melbourne.
He remained with Crowded House until 1994, when the pressure of touring and the birth of his first daughter made him want to stay home, rather than remain on the road. Hester left mid-way through a 1994 tour of America, forcing the band to recruit British drummer Peter Jones for the rest of the tour. Hester performed with Crowded House at the band’s farewell concert on the steps of the Sydney Opera House in 1996.
On 26 March 2005, aged 46, Hester committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree in a park near his Elwood home. He had split from the mother of his two daughters Olive and Sunday (aged 4 and 10 at the time). It was known to family and close friends that he had been suffering from depression for a number of years, and he was known for his extreme mood swings.
Hester was buried at Blackwood in the high-country region of Victoria. His life was commemorated at the 2005 Aria Awards, with Neil Finn singing the staple Crowded House anthem solo “Better Be Home Soon” along with a mini-biography and footage from his life and achievements.
Acknowledging Paul’s long links with Elwood, in October 2005, the local Port Phillip Council agreed to name a path alongside the Elwood Canal after him, Paul Hester Walk. More recently Hester Street in Officer was named after him. info courtesy of – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Hester )
To hear the music of Crowded House with Paul Hester – see Youtube –
Crowded House – Don’t Dream It’s Over Live (HQ) – see Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I52eefwAKDE
Crowded House – Don’t Dream It’s Over. A very emotional last song from their farewell tour. So sad, Paul Hester is in tears. One of the best songs ever written.