Skyhooks guitarist Peter Starkie dies in tragic ladder accident

·Lifestyle Editor
·3-min read

Peter Starkie, the original guitarist of the Australian band Skyhooks has died at the age of 72.

“It's with sadness that we have to post that one of the original Skyhooks- Peter Starkie has passed away,” an official statement on the band’s Facebook page read.

Skyhooks band
Peter Starkie, the original guitarist of the Australian band Skyhooks has died at the age of 72. Photo: Facebook/Steve Hill

“A tragic accident on Sunday led to his death. Our thoughts and condolences go out to Bob and family during this sad time.”

Skyhooks were one of the biggest rock bands in the country during the 1970s, with hits like ‘Livin' in the 70's’, ‘You Just Like Me Cause I'm Good in Bed’ and ‘Balwyn Calling’.

Peter’s brother, Bob, took to his own Facebook account to write: “Very sad to deliver the news that my brother Peter has tragically died in one of those stupid ladder accidents.

“Peter George Starkie was born in Sydney in 1948, he was only 72 when he took the dive and had plenty of life ahead of him.”

Bob went on to detail Peter’s life, saying that living in London from 1961 to 1963 was a “game changer for Peter”.

“They were exciting times with the emergence of the Beatles and Rolling Stones. Peter started guitar lessons and when we returned to Melbourne He was ahead of the game.”

Skyhooks performing on stage
Peter's brother, Bob, wrote: "Quite honestly this is just a f****g tragedy." Photo: Facebook/Bob Starkie

Peter started a band with Dave Flat at Glen Waverley called ‘The Kingbees’ and soon added a talented singer from Altona, called Joe Camilleri to the mix.

“That combination with Joe and Dave went on to become ‘Lip Arthur and The Double Decker Bros.’ It was during this period of time Peter was instrumental in me starting to play guitar when he bought me one for Christmas one year. (only because he couldn’t stand me playing the drums)”`Bob continued.

“When Greg Macainsh was formulating his idea for Skyhooks, It was Dave Flett who recommended Peter as guitarist. So along with Peter Inglis, Steve Hill, Freddie Strauks and Greg thus was born The Skyhooks first line-up.”

Bob said that aside from being a “fabulous” guitarist, Peter was “a brother who I looked up to.”

“He went on to father three wonderful daughters. A step daughter Alice and Ruby and Stella to Mother Carmel. Cousins to my daughters Indiana and Arabella.

“For the last twenty odd years he has lived happily inseparable with partner Dianna. (Probably because she was the only one who would laugh hysterically at his somewhat dry jokes.)

“Quite honestly this is just a f****g tragedy especially for Dianna and the girls. (and in lockdown!)”

He finished by telling his followers to count their blessings.

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