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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

September 20, 2005

Before I kick off the Tuesday Timeline for today, I want to wish my nephew Josh a very happy 16th birthday!  I wish I could have found something awesome that happened in 2000, but September 20 was sort of a slow day that year (aside from one interesting tidbit).  But let's have a look at what happened on that day before we get to the main feature!

1187 - Saladin begins the Siege of Jerusalem

1697 - The Nine Years' War is officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Ryswick

1835 - The Ragamuffin War begins

1848 - The American Association for the Advancement of Science is created

1863 - The Battle of Chikamauga ends during the American Civil War

1881 - Following the death of President James Garfield, Chester A. Arthur is sworn in to become the new President of the United States

1893 - Charles Duryea and his brother take the first American-made gas powered automobile out for a test run

1920 - Animator/producer Jay Ward (d. 1989) is born in San Francisco, California

1924 - Singer Gogi Grant (d. 2016) is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1929 - Actress Anne Meara (d. 2015) is born in Brooklyn, New York

1946 - The Cannes Film Festival debuts

1948 - Styx member John Panozzo (d. 1996) is born in Chicago, Illinois

1969 - The Archies single "Sugar Sugar" reaches #1 on the Billboard charts

1971 - Hurricane Olivia (previously named Hurricane Irene) becomes the first hurricane to cross from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean

1973 - In the Battle of the Sexes tennis match held at the Houston Astrodome, Billie Jean King wins over Bobby Riggs; that same day, singer Jim Croce is killed in a plane crash at just 30 years of age

1982 - Players of the National Football League go on strike; the strike lasts for 57 days

1984 - 22 people lose their lives after a suicide bomber detonates himself outside of the American embassy in Beirut, Lebanon

2000 - The UK's MI6 Secret Intelligence Service building is attacked using a Russian built RPG-22 anti-tank missile

2008 - A dump truck that is filled with explosives detonates outside of a hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan - 54 die, 266 injured

2011 - The United States military ceases its "Don't ask, don't tell" policy

2014 - Actress/singer Polly Bergen dies at the age of 84

And for celebrity birthdays, we have the following famous faces blowing out one extra candle on their cakes; Sophia Loren, Jeremy Child, Laurie Spiegel, Pete Coors, Jude Deveraux, Chuck Panozzo, Anthony Denison, Joanna Cameron, Guy Lafleur, Betsy Brantley, Peter Scolari, Gary Cole, Alannah Currie, Michael Hurst, Deborah Roberts, Randy Bradbury, Kristen Johnston, Gunnar and Matthew Nelson, Leah Pinsent, Ben Shepherd, Michelle Visage, Tim Rogers, Asia Argento, The-Dream, Joanie Dodds, Brian Joubert, and Phillip Phillips.

Okay, so what date are we going back in time to this week?

Let's try eleven years ago today to September 20, 2005.

Now, in order to begin this tale off right, I thought I'd go ahead and look even further back in time.  Right around the time that this single was first released...

SONG:  Need You Tonight
ALBUM:  Kick
DATE RELEASED:  September 23, 1987

Although the band formed in Australia in the year 1977, this song was the one that helped make INXS a household name all over the world.  And to this day, it has been a staple in bars, clubs, and radio stations - likely helped by the fact that the song was featured in the 2000 film "Coyote Ugly". 

INXS was made up of Michael Hutchence, Garry Gary Beers, Kirk Pengilly, and Andrew, Jon, and Tim Farriss, and over the twenty years that the original INXS lineup were together, they released ten albums, had dozens of singles charting in North America, Europe, and their native Australia, and sold millions of albums.  And everyone certainly has their favourite INXS songs.

(I'm partial to "Suicide Blonde" and "Elegantly Wasted" myself.)

Tragically, in November 1997, Michael Hutchence was found dead in a Sydney hotel room.  He was just 37 years of age at the time.  And for nearly a year after his death, the surviving members of INXS refused to perform any concerts.

Beginning in late 1998/early 1999, the band did try touring once more with rotating lead singers taking over (one being Terence Trent D'Arby of "Wishing Well" fame).  In 2002, it appeared as though a new lead singer was found in Jon Stevens, who had played with the band off and on since 1999.  But before the group could get together to record a new album, Stevens departed the group, and once more, INXS was left without a lead singer.

Which prompted the lads of INXS to try something quite daring.  Considering the them success of reality television show "American Idol", the surviving members of the band thought it to be a great way to find a new lead singer.  At the time, it had been eight years since Hutchence had passed on, and the band figured that it was time to bust back onto the music scene.

With assistance from reality show producer Mark Burnett (he's the guy that brought us "Survivor" and "The Apprentice"), the television show "Rock Star: INXS" was born, and it debuted on CBS during the summer of 2005.

Fifteen musicians were brought in from all over the world to compete for the chance to become the new lead singer of INXS.  Dave Navarro and Brooke Burke hosted the program and the five surviving members of INXS served as the judges and were responsible for eliminating contestants each week.  The viewers at home could help out by voting for their favourite performers and the bottom three each week would sing for the chance to remain in the competition, but ultimately it was the band's final decision.

I remember watching the whole series from beginning to end (it aired the same night that "Big Brother 6" did, so I watched it sort of by habit), and the one thing that I will say is that the band had a really tough choice to make.  All fifteen competitors were brilliant performers and any one of them could have won.  As for who I was rooting for, I admit that Jordis Unga and Suzie McNeil were high on my like list (and in the case of McNeil, she's done quite well with a solo career up here in Canada, even singing the theme song for the 2010 Winter Olympics which were held in Vancouver).

By the end of the competition - which was aired on September 20, 2005 (I told you I would eventually get to this date) - only three contestants remained.  There was MiG Ayasa, a 35-year-old Philippines born Australian performer, Marty Casey, a 32-year-old real estate appraiser from Chicago, Illinois, and J.D. Fortune, a 32-year-old Canadian whose claim to fame was that he once lived in his car.  But all three performers were very talented and it had to be one of the toughest decisions that the members of INXS had to make.

When the contest was at a close, the band decided that J.D. Fortune would take over as the lead singer of INXS, and from that moment forward, J.D. Fortune became the newest member of the band.

So, what made Fortune stand out among all the rest?  Well, he certainly had the drive to make it far in the competition and wasn't above trying new styles of music to get himself further in the show.  He also had his eye on the prize from day one, and while some of the other contestants clashed with him based on this, Fortune refused to let it trip him up, and he continued to stay week after week.

But perhaps the one moment where we knew he was going to be a contender was during the week in which eight contestants remained.  Andrew Farriss had given the contestants a challenge where they would divide into two groups of four and compose their own songs as a group.  For some reason, Fortune had opted to compose his own lyrics without the aid of his group.  It was a risky move on Fortune's part, not only because he caused hard feelings between himself and his teammates, but that move almost got him eliminated from the show as the members of INXS worried about whether or not Fortune could be a team player.

At least, he was on the chopping block until he had the chance to perform the very song he wrote.  And that song became so popular on the show that it became no surprise that when Fortune became the lead singer of INXS that this song would be the first new single that INXS had released in eight years!

SONG:  Pretty Vegas
ALBUM:  Switch
DATE RELEASED:  November 29, 2005

Okay, mind you #37 isn't the best position to have your song peak at - but it did become a #1 hit in Canada and peaked within the Top 10 in Australia, solidifying the fact that INXS was indeed back and ready to tear up the charts once more.

Well, at least they did for a few years anyway.

Whether it was from the stress of touring or adjusting to a brand new lifestyle, it's really not known.  What is known is that four years after joining INXS, J.D. Fortune had been battling an addiction to cocaine and he claimed that the band had kicked him out because of it - allegations that the band's manager would deny.  And although Fortune toured with INXS in shows all around the world over the next two years, he reportedly found out in August 2011 that he had been kicked out of the band from the band's website, and by September 2011, J.D. Fortune had been replaced by Ciaran Gribbin who toured with the band until late 2012 when the band called it a day and played their last concert.  As of this writing, J.D. Fortune has tried to make a go on it with a solo career, but so far nothing has been set in stone, and as of August of this year, he's reportedly moved back to Canada.

But eleven years ago, J.D. Fortune could look back and realize that he was the frontman for INXS.  At least he can always admit to that, even though the road to success took a severe detour.

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