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Crowded House drummer found dead

The drummer from 1980s Australian rock band Crowded House hanged himself in a park in southern Australia, an emergency services spokeswoman said Monday.
/ Source: msnbc.com news services

The drummer from 1980s Australian rock band Crowded House hanged himself in a park in southern Australia, an emergency services spokeswoman said Monday.

Paul Hester, 46, went missing on Friday. His body was found Saturday in a park near his home in the southern city of Melbourne, said Metropolitan Ambulance Service spokeswoman Liraje Memishi.

“I am devastated. I have lost one of my best mates,” former Crowded House singer Neil Finn told Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Hester, 46, failed to return home from walking his two dogs on Saturday night, said the newspaper on Monday.

The band’s Web site, frenz.com, said “...Paul Hester of Split Enz, Crowded House, Largest Living Things, and many other great projects, has taken his own life.”

“It is not a hoax or a rumor. At this point, it has been confirmed though we have no other details at this time.”

Hester played in several Melbourne bands before joining New Zealand band Split Enz in 1983. He and Neil Finn formed Crowded House with bassist Nick Seymour in 1985. Hester quit Crowded House in 1994.

Finn, along with brother Tim, is on tour in Britain.

“I was a big fan and liked him enormously,” said Australian entertainment reporter Richard Wilkins who worked with Hester during his Crowded House days.

“He was really well respected. He was a great drummer and a great singer and a great band member,” said Wilkins.