JON STEVENS:
JON STEVENS: "They said, 'You are about to drop dead. Your main left artery is 99 per cent blocked.' ” Contributed

PODCAST: Rock 'n' roll legend's near-death experience

JON Stevens was still in high school when he first had a top 10 single, which caused a lot of unwanted attention from NZ bullies.

He left school early, which was a probably a good thing because his brother Frankie said Jon was "a cheeky little s---" growing up.

The Noiseworks frontman filled the significant hole for INXS when their lead singer and his good mate, Michael Hutchence, took his life.

He had some great years with the band before he quit, claiming their manager was "the worst in the world".

LISTEN: Get the full chat with Jon Stevens here:

Matt Collins:

The youngest of 11 kids. What are some of your fondest memories of being part of such a big family?

 

Jon Stevens:

The freedom to roam. The doors were unlocked, we would eat our breakfast and then we would be gone all day. We would be in the paddocks, we'd be in the river, on the mountains, catching trout, digging up things. It was a free upbringing. You couldn't do that these days.

 

MC:

Your brother Frank said you were a "cheeky little s---" growing up. Is there any truth to that?

 

JS:

Oh yeah, for sure. I got expelled when I was 14.

 

MC:

What did you do?

 

JS:

Well the teachers used to bash you back in those days. They used to have the right to bash you. Give you the cane or the belt. It was complete assault. So I got taken out and caned for something I didn't do. He wanted to give me more and I said, 'No mate. That's the end of it. If you touch me again I am going to knock you out.' So I got expelled for threatening a teacher.

 

MC:

What happened after school?

 

JS:

I had a job the next day.

 

MC:

It wasn't long after that, when you were 15, and sadly your father passed away from a heart attack. That's very young. Was that a tough time for you?

 

JS:

Yeah it was. I have inherited the heart issues along with my siblings. But nowadays people are aware of it and technology has advanced.

 

MC:

Was that a wake-up for you to keep an eye on your health and your heart?

 

JS:

Back then, no. I was 15. I just did what 15-year-olds do, I hung out with my mates and got on with it.

 

MC:

You had your own heart issues in 2009.

 

JS:

Yeah, that's when I had my very first proper check-up. I passed every test the doctor put me through and just as a precaution he sent me for a MRI scan. I got a phone call 20 minutes later from the cardiologist. He said, 'Get to emergency immediately.' So I went to hospital and they said, 'You are about to drop dead. Your main left artery is 99 per cent blocked.'

 

MC:

And you had no idea?

 

JS:

I was a bit tired but I had been on the road performing. So I didn't think too much if it.

 

MC:

What would Jon Stevens today say to the teenager who was about to embark on this remarkable musical career?

 

JS:

Well, he hung in there. There were many times I thought about doing something else.

 

MC:

Really?

 

JS:

Yeah, as a young man starting out you don't know which way you're going. You're trying to do stuff and nothing is really working. It's like anything, you've just got to go through the fire. I would say to him, just keep going. Which I have.

 

MC:

As well as the frontman for Noiseworks, you replaced Michael Hutchence in INXS and maybe replaced is the wrong word to use. But did the INXS fans resent you when you became the frontman?

 

JS:

No, it was the exact opposite. Everybody thought it was the right fit. Everyone that saw us play said it made sense.

 

MC:

Michael Hutchence was a mate of yours, was that a tough time for you?

 

JS:

Yeah, I had lost a brother the same way only a few months before.

 

MC:

You left INXS in 2003, claiming the creativity was too low. Explain that to me.

 

JS:

Well, they had the worst manager in the world.

LISTEN: Get the full chat with Jon Stevens here:

South Burnett


A message of thanks signed from the island

premium_icon A message of thanks signed from the island

How an island boy was taught to communicate for the first time

Police thanked after bakery thieves cop jail time

premium_icon Police thanked after bakery thieves cop jail time

Constable Scott McLean was quick off the mark when he caught the culprits who had...

Properties to go under the hammer to recoup rates

premium_icon Properties to go under the hammer to recoup rates

Council plans to sell off land to recoup unpaid rates.