Tim Farriss admitted he'd dreamed of emulating the success of "good friends" Queen, who took on Adam Lambert in 2011.
It was a big day for INXS's injured lead guitarist, who has broken down after telling a court the rock band will likely not tour again.
Tim Farriss, 64, is suing the owners of Sydney boat Omega for more than $1.2 million in damages after his ring finger was severed in an accident in 2015.
While his brother and bandmate John Farriss made comments in 2012 suggesting the band had "very likely" performed its last show, the guitarist told the NSW Supreme Court he'd not stopped playing and believed the band could have continued.
He denied the band "retired" in 2012, saying it ceased to perform live.
Asked if the band will ever tour again, Farriss said: "Not now."
"I don't think the band would ever tour without me," he said before breaking down.
The court has been told the guitarist's reattached ring finger is "useless" and composing is no longer possible.
Minutes earlier and after reluctance that his comments could hurt feelings and cause offence, Farriss said he'd considered replacing frontman Ciaran Gribbin with a more well-known singer after 2012.
Gribbin was the third singer the band had used since the 1997 death of founding member Michael Hutchence and was a better singer than predecessor JD Fortune, Farriss said.
But he was even less well-known and the guitarist dreamed of emulating the success of "good friends" Queen, which has collaborated with American singer Adam Lambert since 2011.
"I had a vision of us getting a singer of great notoriety, it occurred to me to find someone much like Queen with Adam Lambert," he said.
INXS has "other avenues we could have tried" but "as it turns out, I didn't get that opportunity", Farriss said.
In documents, he claims INXS would have toured three times between the accident and now, and another three times in the near future.
That would have netted him about $1.1 million after allowing for tax and vicissitudes, his expert says.
Farriss is also claiming $90,580 in past and future medical expenses and an undefined sum for pain, suffering, depression and other non-economic losses.
But the six-tour assertion was not backed by any admissible evidence, the defendants say.
They point to the band members' ages, waning success since Hutchence's death and a second accounting expert's estimate that Farriss's income from two post-2015 tours could have been as low as $93,000 after tax and vicissitudes.
Omega's owners, John and Jill Axford, and a Sydney boat rental company also deny liability for the accident.
The musician and experienced boater's evidence about the incident was "frankly, bizarre and unbelievable" and in fact, Farriss was at fault, the court has been told.
Farriss says the equipment on the 34-foot vessel malfunctioned and, as he attempted to fix it, his left hand was somehow caught by the chain and trapped between it and another part.
He only placed his hands near the chain "because I had to" to fix kinks.
"It was a scary device and I kept as far from it except where I found it was absolutely necessary," he said on Tuesday.
He denies he accidentally stepping on foot-operated buttons that move the anchor chain up and down.
The only other person on Omega at the time of the accident in Akuna Bay - Beth Farriss - told the court her husband was complaining the anchor chain was twisted and then started leaning over the bow.
She heard a "thunk" before he turned and remarked: "It's taken my finger!"
"That moment looking down is burnt into my brain," she said on Tuesday.
The hearing continues.
© AAP 2021