Crowded House drummer found dead

Monday, March 28, 2005

Paul Hester, drummer for the popular 1980s band "Crowded House", was found dead in a Melbourne park Saturday.

An ambulance service spokeswoman told the Sydney Morning Herald that ambulance officers arrived at Elsternwick Park on Saturday afternoon. They reported Hester had "attempted suicide" and suffered "strangulation". The 46-year-old-father-of-two was last seen walking his two dogs in the popular suburban park near his home on Friday evening.

Hester had a history with bouts of depression, but seemed to be coping well following eight years of therapy. Friends told the The Daily Telegraph, however, that he suffered a recent turmoil in his love life. Firstly, there was the end of his romance with long-time partner and mother of his two daughters, and then a parting last December with New Zealand singer Kashan, whom he planned to wed in May. There appeared to be no indication he was distressed when he left the house to walk his dogs.

Hester, from Melbourne, Australia, was a founding member of the internationally popular group Crowded House. Previously, he was in the band "Split Enz" with Crowded House leader Neil Finn during the early 1980s. He quit Crowded House in 1994, two years before the band broke up, and became a television personality in Australia with his own prime-time show, then working mostly as a freelance drummer [e.g. for Tarmac Adam]. He had his own music chat show, Hessie's Shed, on Australian TV in the late 1990s, and also had a recurring role as Paul the Cook on the children's program The Wiggles. He also hosted the successful Australian cable music channel MAX's Sessions series.