Sunday, March 27, 2005

Holy shit, another drummer!

MELBOURNE, Australia (Reuters) -- Drummer Paul Hester from the New Zealand bands Split Enz and Crowded House has been found dead in a park in the southern Australian city of Melbourne, apparently after committing suicide, a fan Web site says.

Australian police on Monday confirmed the body of a man in his 40s was found in Elsternwick Park near Hester's Melbourne home. Police said the death was not suspicious, but they would not release the man's name.

"I am devastated. I have lost one of my best mates," former Crowded House singer Neil Finn told Sydney's The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Hester, 46, failed to return home from walking his two dogs on Saturday night, said the newspaper on Monday.

The Web site,, said "...Paul Hester of Split Enz, Crowded House, Largest Living Things, and many other great projects, has taken his own life."

"It is not a hoax or a rumor. At this point, it has been confirmed though we have no other details at this time."

Hester played in several Melbourne bands before joining New Zealand band Split Enz in 1983.

He and Neil Finn formed Crowded House with bassist Nick Seymour in 1985. Hester quit Crowded House in 1994.

Finn, along with brother Tim, is on tour in Britain.

"I was a big fan and liked him enormously," Australian entertainment reporter Richard Wilkins, who worked with Hester during his Crowded House days, said.

"He was really well respected. He was a great drummer and a great singer and a great band member," Wilkins said.