The Skyhooks curse: Peter Starkie death latest in tragedy series of events


The death of Skyhooks guitarist Peter Starkie is the newest in a sequence of tragic activities to befall what was a single of the largest rock bands to at any time appear from Australia.

Starkie, 72, died on Sunday soon after falling off a ladder at his house in Victoria, what his brother and fellow Skyhooks member Bob describing it as a ‘stupid’ accident.

The father-of-3 was 1 of the first users of the ARIA Corridor of Fame band, which were Australia’s favourite band in the 1970s. 

But Starkie’s demise is just the most up-to-date in a line of tragedies to rock the band, with previous sidekicks Steve Hill dying of liver most cancers in 2005 and Graeme Strachan in a helicopter crash in 2001.

Their most famous member, Pink Symons, also dropped his son Samuel immediately after a long fight with most cancers, and much more just lately endured a critical brain damage following a drop at his dwelling.

Renowned for remaining a glam rock band of the 1970s, Skyhooks appealed to a new age of tunes admirers with lyrics that related to lifestyle for the duration of that period.

The loss of life of former Skyhooks guitarist Peter Starkie is the most recent in a sequence of tragic gatherings to rock what was 1 of the largest Australian bands of the 1970s

Former Skyhooks singer Peter Starkie (right) died on Sunday after falling from a ladder at his home. His death is the latest in a string of tragedies to rock the famous 1970s Australian band

Former Skyhooks singer Peter Starkie (ideal) died on Sunday following falling from a ladder at his home. His death is the newest in a string of tragedies to rock the renowned 1970s Australian band

They shot straight to the best of the charts with their debut album Dwelling in the 70s, which was introduced in Oct 1974. 

Considerably less than a year later on, in July 1975, the band also achieved variety just one with their album Moi Is Not a Filthy Word, which bundled hits these types of as All My Good friends Are Acquiring Married. 

The band fashioned in suburban Melbourne in 1973, with Hill, Peter Starkie, Peter Inglis, Imants ‘Freddie’ Strauks and Greg Macainsh comprising the initial line up.

Inside months the group had been signed to a offer by Michael Gudinski, just after some encouragement from previous Daddy Amazing frontman Ross Wilson.

Peter Starkie still left the team in August 1973 and was replaced by his brother Bob, with Purple Symons having above from Inglis on guitar and vocals.

They swiftly gathered a large adhering to in Melbourne, but put in a bad performance at a local festival in early 1974 which ultimately resulted in a adjust of direct singer.

That identical yr they transformed guide singer from Hill to Strachan and unveiled a leading rating album, Residing In The 70s with hits including Horror Motion picture.

More than the decades to stick to they unveiled several chart topping tracks, and adhering to their domestic achievement flew to the United States to deal with the global current market.

Possessing grow to be 1 of the major bands in Australia, the initial symptoms of a break up arrived in 1977 when Symons still left the team.

They officially split in 1980 soon after blended reviews of their new album which led to them getting out an advert in a newspaper that read through ‘Why You should not You All Get F***ed’ – the title of 1 of their music.

The band would reform on a number of events above the 15 several years to follow, prior to ending their affiliation in 1992. 

'Freddie' Strauks, 'Shirley' Strachan, Red Symons and Bob 'Bongo' Starkie during an interview in 1976

‘Freddie’ Strauks, ‘Shirley’ Strachan, Red Symons and Bob ‘Bongo’ Starkie throughout an interview in 1976

The band were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1992 after achieving multiple number one albums and top rating singles (Pictured are several of the band's members in their typical lairish outfits)

The band were inducted into the ARIA Corridor of Fame in 1992 immediately after acquiring multiple amount one particular albums and major rating singles (Pictured are quite a few of the band’s associates in their usual lairish outfits)

The band's lead singer Graeme 'Shirley' Strachan died in a helicopter crash in 2001

The band’s direct singer Graeme ‘Shirley’ Strachan died in a helicopter crash in 2001

Surfers gather in the water above Noose where 'Shirley's' ashes were scattered into the ocean

Surfers acquire in the h2o previously mentioned Noose wherever ‘Shirley’s’ ashes were being scattered into the ocean

Tragedy first hit the team just a several decades later when Symons’ then four-calendar year-previous son Samuel was identified with cancer.


1976: The band splits up soon after a spate of quantity one albums. Even with trying to get the band back again alongside one another on a amount of instances, they never access their lofty heights

1995: Pink Symons’ son Samuel is diagnosed with cancer 

2001: Graeme ‘Shirley’ Strachan dies in a helicopter crash in rural Queensland

2005: The bands very first singer Steve Hill dies just after a extensive struggle with liver cancer

2017: Purple Symons suffers a serious brain personal injury after falling and hitting his head on a footpath

2018: Symons’ son Samuel dies at age 27 after battling most cancers for additional than two decades 

He would battle the disease for 23 a long time, ahead of dying in 2018.

His father paid out an emotional tribute to his son on Melbourne radio station 3AW.

‘Samuel, I have normally liked you. I will often like you. I shall always have you,’ he stated on-air. 

The Skyhooks’ curse continued when Strachan died following the helicopter he was solo-flying crashed in regional Queensland on August 29, 2001.

A write-up-crash report by the Australian Transport Basic safety Bureau observed Strachan unsuccessful to just take the winds close to a mountain selection into account as he flew.

More undesirable news struck the group in 2005, when Hill died following a lengthy fight with liver cancer. 

Symons himself then battled significant overall health challenges when he fell and hit his head on a concrete footpath in July 2017.

The then ABC Melbourne breakfast host experienced a significant mind personal injury and afterwards that identical yr left the station, following his deal was no renewed.

A calendar year before his slide he had break up with spouse of 25 yrs Elly.

He final calendar year admitted that he carries on to ‘cry each individual day’ immediately after dropping his son, his job and his relationship. 

‘I even now cry each individual day about that,’ Symons instructed Superior Weekend of his son’s tragic dying.

‘In the conclusion, with his recent… let’s say the word, death… what I clung to was just the idea of telling him that I cherished him.

The band's most famous member Red Symons lost his son Samuel (right) after a 23-year long battle with cancer in 2018

The band’s most well known member Crimson Symons misplaced his son Samuel (suitable) following a 23-12 months prolonged struggle with cancer in 2018 

Steve Hill (centre) was the original singer in the band, but died after a battle with liver cancer in 2005

Steve Hill (centre) was the initial singer in the band, but died right after a fight with liver most cancers in 2005 

‘He went out with grace and dignity. He was in a very good spot with good individuals and I you should not think he went out with pain or anxiety.’

The most current tragic dying of Peter Starkie led to the psychological tribute from his brother, who shared the news on the Skyhooks Fb page.

‘Very sad to produce the news that my brother Peter has tragically died in a single of those people silly ladder incidents,’

‘Peter George Starkie was born in Sydney in 1948, he was only 72 when he took the dive and experienced a good deal of lifetime in advance of him.

‘Apart from becoming a fantastic guitarist he was a brother who I appeared up to. He went on to father a few fantastic daughters. A phase daughter Alice. and Ruby and Stella.

‘For the final twenty odd many years he has lived happily inseparable with companion Dianna.’