Entertainment Music Founding Skyhooks guitarist Peter Starkie dies in ‘stupid ladder accident’

Founding Skyhooks guitarist Peter Starkie dies in ‘stupid ladder accident’

peter starkie skyhooks dead
Peter Starkie, left, was one of Skyhooks' founding members. Photo: Facebook
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One of the founders of Australian rock band Skyhooks, guitarist Peter Starkie, has died aged 72.

His brother Bob Starkie, also a member of the band, said Mr Starkie died “in one of those stupid ladder accidents”.

In 1973, Peter Starkie helped launch the band that would go on to record hits such as Living in the 70s, Ego is Not a Dirty Word, Horror Movie and Jukebox in Siberia.

Skyhooks became a mainstay of Australian music through the 1970s and 80s, making household names of guitarist Red Symons and singer Shirley Strachan in the process.

Peter Starkie was working towards a science degree at Melbourne University when he joined Greg Macainsh, Peter Inglis, Steve Hill and Freddie Strauks in launching the band.

Bob Starkie said his brother had continued to play music with Inglis in recent years.

“Apart from being a fabulous guitarist he was a brother who I looked up to,” he posted on the band’s Facebook page.

Peter Starkie had two daughters and a step-daughter and spent the past 20 years living “happily inseparable” with his partner Dianna, Bob Starkie said.

Born in Sydney in 1948, he moved regularly with his family due to their father’s career in the air force and called Woomera, Melbourne, Canberra and London home at various times.

Bob Starkie said his brother started guitar lessons during the family’s four years in London during the early 1960s, and by the time he returned to Melbourne he was “ahead of the game”.

“Living in England was a game changer for Peter. They were exciting times with the emergence of the Beatles and Rolling Stones,” Bob Starkie recalled.

“Quite honestly this is just a f–king tragedy especially for Dianna and the girls [and in lockdown!].”