Doors-mania, or even more succinctly, Morrison-mania, is here to stay.
Already with the release of Oliver Stone's "The Doors" movie, and the film's subsequent soundtrack release, this country is rediscovering its infatuation with deceased Doors lead singer Jim Morrison.However, perhaps the most compelling Morrison maniac is INXS lead singer Michael Hut-chence, who these days resembles nothing less than the reincarnation of the Lizard King.
With his rock-star pout, silk shirt and Beatle boots, as well as hair tumbling to his shoulders in tangled waves, the 30-plus Aussie prowls dimly lit stages like Morrison without the self-destructive tendencies.
However, offstage Hutchence quickly dons spectacles and takes on a shy persona more like a nerdy college student than a rock icon.
"He's about the only guy I know who can make a real expensive suit look shabby," says guitarist Tim Farriss, one of three brothers in the band.
Originally, the group formed in 1977 at the behest of Tim Farriss and guitarist/saxophonist Kirk Pengilly. Hutchence himself didn't join the band until keyboardist Andrew Farriss, his best friend, asked him to try out.
"Andrew sort of shoved the microphone in my hands and said, `Sing, boy!' " said Hutchence, who now combines with Andrew to write most of the band's songs. "I was just Andrew's friend with a microphone in my hands for many, many years. I didn't take it seriously, and I'd probably be going insane by now if I had, because I really didn't like my voice all that much."
The band, which also includes bassist Garry Bary Beers and drummer Jon Farriss, quietly self-financed its own videos and albums before hitting the big time with its 1985 "Listen Like Thieves" release. That album paved the way for the 1987 mega-hit "Kick," which contained the singles "Need You Tonight," "Devil Inside" and "New Sensation."
For its latest release, 1990's "X," Hutchence has revealed a bit more of himself, especially with the biting "Who Pays the Price" - a stinging indictment for energy-wasting American consumers.
"I think we got a little personal on the last album," Hutchence says. "It's pretty courageous writing about `I' all the time. I have respect for artists who do that, but it's very hard for me."
That's not to say the band has abandoned its hit-machine formula for the new LP - especially in light of such singles as "Suicide Blonde," which INXS is playing to sell-out audiences across the world. In fact, a show at New Jersey's Brendan Byrne Arena had the band playing its hits for more than two hours.
Utah audiences will get their chance to see the band in action Sunday, March 31, at the Salt Palace.
"After a two-year break, we really want to show people we're back," Beers promises.
Opening the show will be Scottish quartet the Soup Dragons, who seem to be starting their own late '60s revival with their psychedelic cover of the Rolling Stones' "I'm Free" and their "Lovegod" CD, one of alternative rock's stongest selling releases during 1990.
Tickets for the concert, which starts at 7:30 p.m., are $19 ($20 the day of show) and are available at all Smith'sTix outlets and the Salt Palace box office. The show is a United Concerts production.