The grieving wife of visionary INXS manager Chris Murphy has paid tribute to the ‘meteor of a man’ who died aged 68 just days after he was diagnosed with cancer.
The legendary music manager, who helped steer INXS to global success, was surrounded by family when he died at home in Ballina, northern NSW, on Saturday.
Caroline Paidasch-Murphy described her late husband as ‘exhausting, tireless and irreplaceable’ on Sunday, admitting that she ‘isn’t sure what [she] will do without him’.
‘I’ve lost my best friend and never felt more alone,’ she wrote alongside an old, grainy photograph of Murphy sitting in an empty theatre.
Murphy was diagnosed before Christmas with a fast-moving cancer called mantle cell lymphoma which affects the white blood cells.
Caroline Paidasch-Murphy described her late husband Chris Murphy as ‘exhausting, tireless and irreplaceable’ on Sunday, admitting that she ‘isn’t sure what [she] will do without him’
The legendary music manager, who helped steer INXS to global success, was surrounded by family when he died at home in Ballina, northern NSW , on Saturday
‘I’ve lost my best friend and never felt more alone,’ she wrote alongside an old, grainy photograph of Murphy sitting in an empty theatre
In spite of his long and illustrious career alongside rock stars in the music industry, friends have remembered Murphy as a family man at heart.
One friend told Daily Mail Australia Murphy had many loves throughout his life and in his later years, met and married Caroline.
They were ‘blissfully happy together’, the friend said, however their love was cut short too soon.
‘This meteor of a personality was exhausting, tireless, amazing, irreplaceable, incredibly funny and I’m not sure what I’m going to do without him,’ Caroline admitted.
Murphy is credited for launching the careers of the INXS bandmates, encouraging them to look beyond Australia and promote themselves to an international market.
Daily Mail Australia managing director, a former publisher of music industry bible Rolling Stone Australia, Peter Holder said it was a great loss to the industry.
Tim Farriss, Jon Farriss, Kirk Pengilly, Chris Murphy and Andrew Farriss with INXS’ award for its The Very Best album achieving six times platinum sales in 2016
Talented music manager Chris Murphy, pictured in 2017, helped INXS to global stardom. Mr Murphy died at home in Ballina on Saturday, surrounded by family, after a battle with cancer
In spite of his long and illustrious career alongside rock stars in the music industry, friends have remembered Murphy as a family man at heart
‘Chris was a very clever operator, a marketing maverick – and there is no way INXS would have been as big as they were had it not been for his vision which extended well beyond Australian borders.’
Mr Holder said he had known Murphy through his work at Rolling Stone.
‘He could be ruthless and relentless – without apology – but he was loyal and terribly funny. I will miss his manic giggle,’ he said on Saturday.
Over a career spanning 40 years, he made an enormous impact on the global music and entertainment industry, also becoming a record-label owner and TV producer.
Murphy was born in 1954 and grew up in Sydney’s inner city suburb of Darlinghurst.
His father, Mark Murphy had run a theatrical booking agency called Mark Murphy & Associates.
INXS music manager Chris Murphy pictured with his wife Caroline on the Gold Coast in 2018. The pair are said to have been ‘blissfully happy’ together
Left to right: Andrew Farriss, Chris ‘CM’ Murphy and Garry Gary Beers pictured in 2017 at the launch of the INXS Kick 30-year anniversary in Sydney. CM was intensely proud of the band
INXS pictured in 1990 including original frontman Michael Hutchence (centre, coloured shirt)
When Mark died in 1969, his 16-year-old son, nicknamed ‘CM’, took over the business alongside his mother, renaming it Murphy Media Academy (MMA) and pivoting it to book tours for rock acts.
He pioneered a contract called the ‘door deal’ which gives more earnings to artists by guaranteeing them a percentage of the cover charge.
Murphy took on INXS as manager from 1979 to 1995, and again in the 2000s, guiding the famous band to international stardom in their early break-through years.
The band first started with Andrew, Tim, and Jon Farriss, and their first ever name was ‘The Farriss Brothers’.
In 1978 three more members joined: charismatic frontman Michael Hutchence, bass player Garry Gary Beers and saxophonist Kirk Pengilly.
Murphy guided them all through their early years, with their debut album INXS in 1980 which spawned their first Australian Top 40 hit in ‘Just Keep Walking’.
Chris Murphy pictured with his wife Caroline zipping about on a quad bike at their Sugar Bay Ranch home in Ballina, northern NSW
Chris ‘CM’ Murphy was a talented music manager but he also cared for his artists making sure they got a fair deal. He was an entrepreneur and owned a record label and was a TV producer
When the ambitious Murphy first took them on, he told them it was only on the basis that they would do it internationally, as he told the documentary Mystify: Michael Hutchence.
They became one of the most successful bands Australia has ever produced, their name and their hits still echo round the world.
On Saturday, Tim, Jon and Andrew Farriss, Kirk Pengilly and Garry Beers all paid tribute to Murphy.
‘It is with great sadness that the remaining members of INXS mourn the passing of our brother, Chris Murphy,’ they said in a joint statement.
‘Without Chris’s vision, passion and hard work, the INXS story would be totally different.’
Murphy is survived by his wife Caroline; children Stevey, Jeri, Jack, Louis and Charlie; and grandchildren Asher, Samantha, Bella, Axel, Harley and Reuben; his mother Janice; and sisters Charne and Tanya.
INXS in 1988 at the height of their fame, after releasing the album Kick which went platinum six times in the U.S. and spawned four Top Ten U.S. singles. Clockwise from top left: Michael Hutchence, Andrew Farriss, Tim Farriss, Garry Gary Beers, Kirk Pengilly and Jon Farriss
INXS pictured in 2005 with new lead singer JD Fortune (centre left), who replaced charismatic front-man Michael Hutchence who died unexpectedly in 1997