Pengilly in 2011
4 July 1958|
Kew, Victoria, Australia
|Genres||Rock, New wave|
|Instruments||Guitar, saxophone, keyboards, flute, percussions, vocals|
|Website||Kirk Pengilly from the INXS website|
Their first band Guinness, formed in 1971, was a high school band in which Pengilly was the principal songwriter and lead singer. The band included American David Stewart on pedal-steel guitar and Malcolm Walker on drums, and was named after bass player Steve Spencer's dog. Guinness played a style of music inspired by bands like Yes, Pink Floyd, Emerson Lake and Palmer and Gentle Giant on one hand, and country rockers like Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Buffett on the other. Mixing country rock and the concert style of rock music worked well for a while, and the band enjoyed some success on Sydney's Northern Beaches and Sydney city venues like Chequers, Frenchs and others. But the music was not really commercial and the band struggled to gain a steady following. In late 1976, the group disbanded when David Stewart returned to America. Malcolm played in the club scene with a number of bands, while Steven embarked upon a career as a sound technician in the UK.
As principal backing vocalist, saxophonist and guitarist, he contributes to a great deal of the music that INXS release. He has written, produced and performed numerous b-sides. Pengilly was also the creator of the rare Happy Christmas record sent to early 1980s fanclub members in Australia and the United States. His main instrument though is the guitar. "My eldest brother, Mark, gave me a beat up acoustic guitar when I was about nine and I taught myself playing along to records,"[This quote needs a citation] Pengilly recalls. His position also sees him as the key publicity spokesperson, a role he does not take lightly. Pengilly also holds the distinction of being the band's archivist, faithfully logging daily entries in diaries that date back to the beginning of INXS.
In 1982 Pengilly became involved in a one-off EP project with the band, The Igniters. The following year he, Andrew Farriss and Garry Gary Beers worked together on the 12" release of "Flaming Hands" / "Cast My Love". In 1987, Pengilly appeared in the music video "You're Gonna Get Hurt", released by Australian singer Jenny Morris, unrecognizable without his trademark glasses.
When the band was on a break during 1989, Pengilly along with Tim Farriss produced an album for local Sydney band, Crash Politics. He played saxophone for Richard Clapton on his Distant Thunder album in 1993, and has also been a session guitarist for Shona Laing and saxophonist for Martin Plaza. His production efforts include an album for his brother Drew's band, Coo, in 1999 and in 2002, Pengilly co-wrote and co-produced the album Still in Bed by Hughie Murray.
In December 2016 Pengilly and his wife Layne became Brand Ambassadors for the online health and wellness market-place Inner Origin.
Pengilly has one daughter, April Rose Pengilly (who is now an actor and model), born in 1988, with his ex-girlfriend Karen Hutchinson. Hutchinson and Pengilly were together for ten years, in which time she toured with the band. In December 1993, Pengilly married singer Deni Hines. The marriage lasted ten months, and the two parted ways in early 1995. Hines sang backing vocals on INXS' "Not Enough Time". Pengilly was once engaged to freelance DJ Louise Hegarty; the relationship lasted for seven years.
He is married to former world women's champion pro surfer, Layne Beachley. They were married at their South Coast home in New South Wales in a private ceremony on 10 October 2010. They currently live on the northern beaches of Sydney. In May 2007, Pengilly became an ambassador of The Eye Foundation.
- Bozza, Anthony; INXS (2005). INXS Story to Story: The Official Autobiography. Atria Books. p. 5. ISBN 0-7432-8403-8.
- St John, Ed; INXS (1992). INXS: The Official Inside Story of a Band on the Road. Mandarin. p. 8. ISBN 1-86330-207-7.
- Bozza, Anthony; INXS (2005). INXS Story to Story: The Official Autobiography. Atria Books. p. 6. ISBN 0-7432-8403-8.
- Bozza, Anthony; INXS (2005). INXS Story to Story: The Official Autobiography. Atria Books. p. 8. ISBN 0-7432-8403-8.
- INXS.com Kirk Pengilly Bio Archived 3 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- St John, Ed; INXS (1992). INXS: The Official Inside Story of a Band on the Road. Mandarin. p. 9. ISBN 1-86330-207-7.
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