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- Posted on Jan 10th 2011 11:30AM by Steve Baltin
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images
Like many before him, Fortune fell victim to the rock 'n' roll lifestyle. "If you went, 'Hey, here's the keys to a legendary rock band, we want you to drive it for a little while,' anybody in their right mind [would] go, 'Rock 'n' roll, man! This is great,'" he tells Spinner.
"But when you start driving too fast, you realize, 'Holy s---, I can run out of gas if I'm pushing the pedal to the metal all the time.'"
But now the band is ready to move on, as is Fortune. "I feel like the detour was the whole 'Rock Star: INXS' show, the touring, all that pressure, all the expectations," he says. "That was the detour that took the focus away from where we needed to be as a band in INXS, and where I needed to be as an individual."
And joining a band via a TV show is, well, as surreal as you'd expect. "You've got people that, it's strange, instead of quoting the songs they're quoting what Tim Farriss said on the TV show or what Dave Navarro said or what I said. And instead of holding up posters that say, 'INXS, 'I Need You Tonight,'' they're holding up posters that say, 'INXS, CBS, Sunday night, 7:30PM,'" he says. "It's strange s---, man."
As a result of those expectations, despite the time he spent touring with INXS after 'Switch,' it's only now that he and the band are getting to know each other.
"Because we were forced together so quickly from that television show, we didn't have time to just hang out as mates," he says. "What's been happening now is because we don't have the urgency that the 'Switch' record had on it -- we went to 33 countries in 22 months or something like that -- we had a chance to breathe and look at it.
"We both came to this sort of really happy understanding. Like when we played the Vancouver Olympics, it all sort of culminated together and became a very Zen moment where we looked at each other and went, 'We're a f---ing band. This sounds great.'"
But before he and INXS could reconcile, Fortune had to deal with his own demons. "I just set out to straighten my life out, to be honest with you," he says. "I concentrated on one thing and one thing only, and that's getting back into the arena I was in when INXS was at its peak, when we were on tour a couple of years ago."
As he told 'Entertainment Tonight Canada' in an interview in 2009, he was homeless, taking the camera crew to his car and saying, "This is Chateau J.D. Fortune right now," and he also told the show he'd been free of cocaine for two years. Asked how bad the drugs had gotten he admitted, "It got as bad as it needed to for me to numb out the fact that I knew this was going to come to a screeching halt."
That prophecy came true when Fortune claims he was dismissed from the band via a handshake in a Hong Kong airport. But all of that is under the bridge, as Andrew Farris tells Spinner, "We're really pleased to have him on board and he's really pleased to be on board."
Now older, humbler and grateful for the second chance he's getting, Fortune credits a lot of people with helping him get back to INXS. "My mother was a huge supporter, obviously, my sister, and now to have the respect from the guys in the band," he says. "I'm prouder of the people that supported me than I am of myself. I have to live in this skin, they don't. My hat's off to INXS and my hat's off to my family."