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Andrew Farriss

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Birthplace:   Cottesloe, Western Australia, Australia
Andrew Charles Farriss is a rock musician (born 27 March 1959 in Perth, Western Australia, Australia), best known as the keyboardist and key composer for the Australian band INXS. Farriss first met INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence at Davidson High School after breaking up a fight between Hutchence and another student. The two eventually became friends, but it would be a long time before Hutchence joined Andrew's band, which would become INXS. Farriss is credited solely with keyboards on the band's earliest albums, but by 1984's The Swing, he was listed as playing guitar, as well. On stage, he also plays harmonica and various hand-held percussion instruments. While INXS' early albums credit the band as songwriters, by their third album, Shabooh Shoobah, the team of Farriss as composer and Hutchence as lyricist was well-established. While there were some INXS songs written by other members of the group, or by Farriss alone, it was this combination that brought INXS the majority of their international success in the 1980s and 1990s. In fact, Farriss co-wrote all of the band's top-40 hits in the US, except for "Disappear," which was written by Hutchence with Farriss' younger brother Jon, who is the band's drummer. Despite extensive writing, recording and touring commitments with INXS, Farriss collaborated with many other Australian artists in a songwriting or production capacity. His most significant early collaboration was with Jenny Morris, a New Zealand singer who had sung back-up vocals on INXS' 1984 hit album, The Swing. Farriss has also co-written and produced with the Australian Aboriginal band Yothu Yindi and Australian country singer Tania Kernaghan. In 2005, INXS launched a reality TV show, Rock Star: INXS, a world-wide search for a new lead singer. While all of INXS knew it would be impossible to replace Michael Hutchence, who committed suicide in 1997, they wished to carry on bringing their music to the world. Farriss was often seen as introverted compared to his band mates and he appeared shy to offer criticism to contestants. Canadian J.D. Fortune was the eventual winner, and the band's first album with Fortune, Switch, was released in late 2005. Andrew met his wife, Shelley Blanks, in 1987; they were married on 22 April 1989. The couple have three children: Grace, Josephine and Matthew. Andrew later wrote the song By My Side with Kirk Pengilly as a tribute to his wife. In the book "Story to Story" Farriss describes his dislike of touring and being away for his family.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet INXS: Switch
  • Actor
2006
No Score Yet I'm Only Looking: The Best of INXS
  • Actor
2004

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