from sky to fire
This is a great article. But Burnett should've said "I attemped that he'd be gone six weeks ago..."
Originally Posted by CdnINXSFan
What a piece of work Burnett is.
J.D. looks ahead to life of the famous
CanWest News Service
September 22, 2005
J.D. Fortune on the finale where he was named INXS's new lead singer. (AP/CBS, Monty Brinton)
TORONTO -- Less than 24 hours after his big win on the reality show Rock Star: INXS, Nova Scotian J.D Fortune already had a metaphor ready to describe his newly acquired celebrity.
"As far as being famous, I think fame is like honey on a knife. It tastes sweet at first but if you lick too much, you just might end up cutting your tongue. So, you just try to maintain a cool head about yourself," he said on Wednesday, during a a phone interview from Los Angeles.
On Tuesday night Australian rockers INXS decided Fortune, who beat 14 other contestants, was the right guy to front the band.
Along with the fame will likely come the temptations of sex, women, drugs and alcohol.
Fortune, who has openly discussed his past drug habits in his online blog, said he won't be swayed too easily.
"I've been in bands where there has been all that. And I've been through that stage in my life. I'm sure that the guys in INXS have also been exposed to that. But this is about making music," he says.
Fortune, who was born in Ontario, credits his five brothers for keeping him grounded.
He'll look to them to answer his questions because Fortune is all too aware he has a tough act to follow.
"Michael (Hutchence) is a light that will never die. And we, as fans, honour that. And as a band, honour that," he said.
Hutchence, INXS's original frontman, hanged himself in 1997.
Fortune doesn't want to replace Hutchence's legacy, but he says the band is "not finished their journey and I'm just along with them."
And to those who call him another 15-minute pre-fab wonder, Fortune pointed out the differences between his show and its competitors.
"American Idol is a star based on what they are telling you a star is. It is fame based on that, talent based on that. This is a band that has been there -- they have been one of the biggest bands on the planet. And for them to mentor us into this, they are nurturing us into this position as opposed to another show that is trying to weed out people and say: 'You're terrible, You're terrible.' "
INXS, and their newest member, will launch a concert tour that begins in the U.S. in January.
A special encore presentation of Rock Star: INXS featuring J.D.'s victory will be broadcast this Sunday at 5 p.m. on Prime.
-- National Post
© CanWest News Service 2005
Mig too good for INXS
September 23, 2005
MIG Ayesa, Australia's only contender in the competition to reclaim the lead role in INXS, yesterday vowed to return to rock 'n' roll, saying it was only his lack of a bad boy image that kept him from claiming Michael Hutchence's former role.
Ayesa, who made it to the top three in the reality TV audition show, said INXS's new lead singer JD Fortune was selected for his destructive streak something Ayesa said was not his style.
"I think they were looking for a bad boy which was something they made very clear," he said.
"Everything that JD did that was a bit unfair or a bit risque or a bit 'dude, that's really out of line', INXS said, 'That's fantastic'.
"Every time I thought he would be pulled up he was congratulated."
Ayesa said that bad boy image could "definitely" backfire on the rock band as JD could be a difficult man to live with, but he also wished INXS well with their upcoming tour and album.
The Philippines-born perennially nice guy, whom host Dave Navaro labelled "a born entertainer", was arguably the most popular rocker with the viewing public.
Ayesa was the only contestant to make it through all but one elimination round by viewer votes something he plans to capitalise on in future.
While he came to the show after successful stints in stage musicals, including the Queen musical We Will Rock You, his future plans are solely on the concert stage.
"I will be a rock star all my life," he said.
"I only did theatre to support my rock star habit recording, hiring musicians and paying for equipment."
Ayesa and many of the other 14 Rockstar: INXS contestants are likely to find work in the music industry quickly, with the show hailed a worldwide success.
The Rockstar: INXS final was the most watched program on Australian pay-TV on Wednesday with almost 500,000 viewers.
September 22, 2005
INXS singer a 'rags-to-riches' story
By BILL HARRIS - Toronto Sun
J.D. Fortune still carries a photo with him that was taken at a Toronto Sun party almost a decade ago.
Fortune, the new lead singer for veteran rock band INXS, was performing as an Elvis Presley impersonator at the Sun's 25th anniversary bash. Among the attendees was boxing legend George Chuvalo, and the two posed for a picture together.
"George Chuvalo is someone who overcame a rough life," Fortune said yesterday. "I found him very inspiring."
Fortune, who has been living in Oakville but originally is from New Glasgow, N.S., earned his new job with his victory on the TV reality series Rock Star: INXS, which wrapped up on Tuesday.
The singer, who turned 32 earlier this month, was in a recording studio in Los Angeles last night, working on the new INXS album. The group will begin a world tour early in 2006.
"I would love to play the Air Canada Centre," Fortune said. "There are going to be a lot of Canadian dates."
Fortune has paid his dues to get to where he is, struggling to get his singing voice heard. He clearly remembers what a former manager once said to him.
"He said I could skate, but I wasn't good enough for the NHL," Fortune recalled.
The manager in question, by the way, was Canadian Idol judge Zack Werner.
"Zack used to be partners with a manager I once had, and we never really saw eye-to-eye," Fortune said. "I don't think Zack thought I had much talent. But I'm not into gloating. That's digression, not progression. And progression is what it's all about as we're in here right now recording this awesome album."
J.D. Fortune sounds like a stage name. Well, it is ... but it isn't.
Fortune, whose real name is Jason Dean Bennison, adopted his performance monicker from his mom's side of the family.
"My parents split up when I was young and I decided Fortune was who I am, because my mom raised me," J.D. said.
J.D.'s grandmother, Joan Fortune, couldn't be more proud.
"I've known something like this was coming since J.D. was 4 years old," said Joan Fortune, on the phone from Nova Scotia. "He was into everything, from break-dancing to Michael Jackson moon-walking."
According to Dave Gunning, one of J.D.'s high school buddies, Fortune deserves to finally have some financial security.
"J.D. is someone I was pretty worried about," said Gunning, who played guitar on Fortune's original demo tape for Rock Star: INXS. "He had to use my cellphone to call L.A. back when he was first getting involved in this.
"This is a rags-to-riches story. But he always was the type of guy who, if he had $5 in his pocket, he spent it on his friends. He's very close to his mom (Sandra) and his sister (Sarah) and now he has the means to do something financially for them."
Sometimes that side of J.D. was lost on the show, according to one of his cousins, April MacInnis.
"They depicted J.D. as the bad boy," she said. "But that's not the J.D. we know. He's a nice guy.
"He's a Canadian kid."
Fortune certainly is proud of his Canadian roots.
"Please make sure you thank the readers of the Toronto Sun, and all the people in Toronto -- without them, none of this could have been possible," Fortune said.
Viewers who missed Fortune's crowning moment on Rock Star: INXS can catch an encore presentation on Sunday (Prime, 5 p.m.)
Thanks so much for that, Sweetpea. I always knew Zack Werner was an eejit of the first order. I love the grandma quote, for her modern music goes from Michael Jackson all the way to ... Michael Jackson. Sounds about like my mum. It's nice to hear he's got friends back home, belies the edit a little.
Hey sweetpea, Did you get that article off the post I made on MiG's thread ? Interesting comment, isn't it? I made my views clear on that thread
Originally Posted by sweetpea
Nice article about JD. As I suspected, a lot of this "bad boy" nonsense was just in the editing. I am sure he appreciates every single minute of this opportunity. I wish him all the best.
Refreshing to me that someone like Marty, but not others who shall remain nameless, can walk away from this experience with grace.
Well ! Marty got the support act gig. He's willing to settle for second best, that's his prerogative
'Rock Star: INXS' Claims Its Fortune
Not sure if this article from Zap2it was already posted here somewhere.
'Rock Star: INXS' Claims Its Fortune
(Tuesday, September 20 08:00 PM)
By Brill Bundy
LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) In 1997, when news spread that INXS frontman Michael Hutchence had died, J.D. Fortune was hanging out with friends in a pool hall.
"They were playing 'Elegantly Wasted' and they had video monitors up," the 32-year-old Canadian recalls. "It was sort of like an empty feeling; it was totally a vacuum of, 'Oh, wow, what's going to happen to the band?'"
The singer found out on Tuesday (Sept. 20) when he beat 14 other contestants and was invited by the Australian group to join their band. Before embarking on CBS' televised "Rock Star: INXS" search, the surviving members -- brothers Andrew, Jon and Tim Ferris, Garry Beers and Kirk Pengilly -- had availed themselves of Terence Trent D'Arby, Suze DeMarchi, Jimmy Barnes and Jon Stevens' services in the intervening years.
Not that Fortune was a sure thing.
"Oh, I've had doubts throughout the whole thing," he laughs. "My personal life and who I am as a person was flashed across a TV screen for two-and-a-half months, so there's no flies on me. Everybody knows who I am, and what I'm like, and what I stand for."
This includes an incident early on where he asserted that unlike the others who were just learning INXS' catalog of songs he already knew them because he loves them, a couple of cases of unpreparedness and a not particularly well-received performance of "Suspicious Minds" from the former Elvis impersonator.
"At that point it was totally about just doing the task at hand and letting the chips fall where they may," Fortune says. "It wasn't about trying to impress INXS; it was just about trying to get my s*** together."
Dave Navarro, who was one of the show's hosts and often served as a conduit between the band and contestants, was often the person to question Fortune's choices.
"I support anything INXS chooses to do with their career," says the guitarist who has played with Jane's Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, about the show's outcome. "J.D.'s got something that's very charismatic and he's obviously a talented vocalist.
"I'm personally very excited to see Marty [Casey] move on because I think he's a dynamic performer."
A consistently strong contestant with a great capacity for absorbing and incorporating INXS' feedback into his performances, Casey entered the finale a fan favorite who had only been in the Bottom Three once. He also distinguished himself by being one of the most gracious runner-ups in reality show history -- smiling broadly and enthusiastically enjoying the mini-concert the new INXS threw immediately following the finale.
"I just wanted J.D.'s moment to not be anything about my sadness," Casey says. "I didn't want to be down. It was a great moment in his life, so I wanted to respect that moment and give him his spot in the sun."
The Real Story Behind a Real Turnaround
From the NY Times, an article about RockStar INXS going from potential summer flop to ratings respectability, and how they got the rights to use all those great songs.
The Real Story Behind a Real Turnaround
By DEBORAH STARR SEIBEL
Published: September 20, 2005
CBS's "Rock Star: INXS" rocked its way into ratings respectability: Top 10 in Nielsen's prized 18-to-49 demographic, the show finished a strong second in its time slot last week, with six million viewers. As the reality contest heads for its finale tonight, a show initially considered a major summer disappointment - and potential embarrassment to the reality producer Mark Burnett (whose credits include "Survivor" and "The Apprentice") - is sounding the right notes. Those working on the show say the reason for the turnaround is the music.
During the show's run, the 15 contestants - now winnowed down to three - have been covering some of the greatest anthems in rock history, including John Lennon's "Imagine," Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and Pink Floyd's "Money."
Many of these songs have never been made available to prime-time shows or commercials, with the occasional exception of a telethon performance for disaster relief. Even Fox's "American Idol," consistently one of the most-watched television programs in the country (last season it boasted two finalists who billed themselves as rockers), hasn't been able to use most of the songs now playing on "Rock Star."
How did "Rock Star" - intended to find a new lead singer to replace Michael Hutchence (who died in 1997) - pull off what "Idol" couldn't?
"It's the William Hung factor," said the "Rock Star" executive producer David Goffin, in an interview at the show's Hollywood Hills mansion after a recent taping. Mr. Goffin is referring to the best-known "Idol" reject from the tens of thousands of truly awful singers who attempt to make the final cut.
Mr. Goffin is in a unique position to examine the differences between the shows because he served as supervising producer on "Idol" for its first three seasons. (A spokesman for he "Idol" executive producer, Nigel Lythgoe, said Mr. Lythgoe did not have time to comment.)
To Mr. Goffin one reason "Idol" is a hit - the showcasing of self-deluded singers during the audition process - is the very thing that prevents it from getting the kind of cooperation it needs from the music industry. "From a music standpoint," he said, "the musicians who write these great songs either a) feel bad for the people who butcher these songs, and/or b) don't want their music to be associated with people who could potentially sing it very badly."
Which is why the long shadow of "Idol" hung over "Rock Star" for months when the show's producers first lobbied for music clearances. The process began a year ago with personal meetings involving Mr. Goffin; the creator of "Rock Star," Mr. Burnett; the show's music clearance supervisor, Jill Meyers; and music industry executives. "They were really skeptical," Mr. Goffin said. "Mark being there helped a lot, because he doesn't want to ruin his reputation. And Jill has contacts in the industry that go pretty deep. But it wasn't like they said, 'Oh, O.K., here's our music.' We had to prove that this was not going to be a William Hung-esque show."
The producers presented record company executives with a promotional tape that they said showcased the contest's more serious nature. INXS has three multiplatinum albums (one selling at least a million copies is called a platinum) and four platinum albums to its credit. "We've written literally hundreds of songs since Michael's death," said the INXS lead guitarist, Tim Farriss. "We really need a singer." The show, from the beginning, was limited to talented and mostly professional singers. An added selling point was that Dave Navarro, lead guitarist from Jane's Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, had been chosen as host. But even that wasn't enough, Mr. Goffin said. "It really came down to how we were going to treat the music," he said.
Mr. Goffin said that basic issue of trust was overcome, slowly, with help from outside singers and songwriters who wanted to support INXS. "The Doors, very early on, said yes," he said. The Doors also lost their own original lead singer, Jim Morrison, in 1971, officially from heart failure. "When we got the Doors, I believe we obtained legitimacy," Mr. Goffin said. "There was a snowball effect."
The contestants seem impressed by the music available to them. The Canadian rocker Suzie McNeil, one of the final four, said she had an anxiety attack after grabbing "Bohemian Rhapsody." "It made me face all my insecurities," she said. "I didn't know if I was good enough to sing the song."
"A lot of our peers are watching this show and have cleared some incredible music," Mr. Farriss of INXS said. "Some of them have rung up and said, 'That was so good, what else would you like?' "
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