Over a 25 year friendship and a writing partnership that spanned 20 years, together they wrote and performed with the other members of INXS some powerful music that is still heard in motion pictures, on commercials, in clubs and on the radio today.

At the age of 15 Michael and his mother left for California. He has said that with the breakup of his parents' marriage he felt that she needed someone and it pained him to think of her alone. He and his mother joined his sister Tina, and her son Brent in a house in Studio City. While his mother continued her work in motion pictures, Michael enrolled into North Hollywood High where he found the student population and instructor/student relationship liberating. He was quite
introspective and began to write poetry with a passion. He continued to visit his mother on sets and soaked in the down to earth basics of movie making which possibly helped him later on when it came time to make videos with INXS.

Michael and his mother returned to Australia where he continued his friendship with Andrew who was seriously edging toward a career in the music industry. With Andrews' band ‘Doctor Dolphin' together, there was no place apart from vocals for Michael who did not play an instrument. Gary Beers was playing bass guitar in this first band. Slowly Michael began to expose his poetry to Andrew who was already an accomplished musician.

All three Farriss brothers played an instrument. Eldest brother Tim, a guitar player was already performing in a band with Kirk Pengilly. Youngest brother Jon was learning the drums. They eventually formed the line-up that would endure for more than 20 years. After some rehearsals in the Farriss or Hutchence garage, they debuted their band the ‘Farriss Brothers' on August 16, 1977 – Tim's 20th birthday and the day Elvis Presley passed away.

The day after Michael completed high school, he and Kirk Pengilly drove across the Nullabour Plains to join the Farriss family and Gary Beers in Perth to give their dream of becoming a band a chance.

After a tough ride in and around Perth, playing covers the band made their way back to Sydney.
By this time Michael was getting his stage legs. He had a presence that only a select few performers exhibit; a certain something that was a combination of his natural charisma and instinct. The band was spotted by Garry Morris the manager of Midnight Oil who, was too busy to manage them himself but called another manager who was searching for a band. Not only did they get a manager, they changed their name at the same time. Their stage persona was so excessive it seemed appropriate that they should call themselves ‘INXS'.

Chris Murphy's managerial savvy combined with the musical talent of INXS members, with Michael as front man took them to international stardom.

Chris, no stranger himself to hard work, had Michael working on his craft constantly. Gig after gig on the road 300 days out of the first year was very humbling. Michael never forgot those days of sharing one order of fish and chips between two people and one hotel room for 6.

That same year 1980, they released their first two singles ‘We Are The Vegetables' and‘Simple Simon' and began work on their first album-music by Andrew and lyrics by Michael.