A statement at the Skyhooks Facebook page reads, « It’s with sadness that we have to post that one of the original Skyhooks- Peter Starkie has passed away (age 72). A tragic accident on Sunday led to his death. Our thoughts and condolences go out to Bob and family during this sad time. »
Starkie’s brother Bob, who replaced him in the band, wrote in a separate post on Facebook that his brother « tragically died in one of those stupid ladder accidents ».
Peter Starkie left the band before its stunning first two albums took the Australian music industry by storm.
The band soared to lofty height from the mid-70s when Bob Starkie, Red Symons and frontman Graeme « Shirley » Strachan and in 2011, the Skyhooks album Living in the 70s was added to the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia’s Sounds of Australia registry.
« 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.
« We spent a fine family life together up until our early twenties. We lived in many different locations growing up and shared many formative experiences. My first memories of Peter was when we were living on the Woomera Rocket range in 1955. Our father was in the Airforce and his job took us too many different locations. After Woomera it was Melbourne.Then Canberra in 1959. Then London from 1961 to 1963. Then back to Melbourne where after attending Glen Waverly High and then Melbourne High peter finished a Science degree at Melbourne University (along with Red Symons)
« Living in England 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. At Glen Waverley he hooked up with the talented Dave Flett and started a band. « The Kingbees ». Not long after they met a talented singer from Altona, Joe Camilleri which rounded up a stunning line-up. Peter was still finishing school and starting Uni. 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).
« 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. Peter has maintained his love of guitar. He has playedsemi regularly with Paul Madigan ( for which he should have received a medal) and has maintained a constant playing relationship with Peter Inglis juggling the Sydney Melbourne tyranny of distance.
« Apart from being a fabulous guitarist he 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**king tragedy especially for Dianna and the girls. (and in lockdown!)
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