Description: Guitarist, Saxophonist, Composer, Australia

Known For: Member of the rock group INXS.

Instruments: Guitar, Saxophone

Music Styles: Rock

Location: VIC, Australia

Date Born: 4th July 1958
Location Born: Kew, Victoria, Australia

Web Site: Incomplete list songs composed by Kirk Pengilly (ASCAP)

Other Links: See below:



Kirk Pengilly

Kirk Pengilly (born 4 July 1958, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) is an Australian musician, best known as a member of the Australian rock group INXS. Kirk plays saxophone, guitar and also performs as a backing vocalist.

Pengilly moved to Sydney in 1966, and became best friends with fellow band member Tim Farriss with whom he attended Forest High School.

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.

But when The Farriss Brothers formed in 1977, Pengilly gave up the main vocalist responsibilities to Michael Hutchence.


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,” 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.

Other projects

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.

Pengilly starred in the first series of Celebrity MasterChef Australia and progressed to the finals where he came second to Olympic swimmer Eamon Sullivan.

Private life

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 currently married to former world women’s champion pro surfer, Layne Beachley. They were married at their South Coast home in NSW in a private ceremony on 10 October 2010 at 10 am. They currently live on the northern beaches of Sydney. In May 2007, Pengilly became an ambassador of The Eye Foundation.


  1. ^ Bozza, Anthony; INXS (2005). INXS Story to Story: The Official Autobiography. Atria Books. p. 5. ISBN 0-7432-8403-8.
  2. Jump up ^ St John, Ed; INXS (1992). INXS: The Official Inside Story of a Band on the Road. Mandarin. p. 8. ISBN 1-86330-207-7.
  3. Jump up ^ Bozza, Anthony; INXS (2005). INXS Story to Story: The Official Autobiography. Atria Books. p. 6. ISBN 0-7432-8403-8.
  4. Jump up ^ Bozza, Anthony; INXS (2005). INXS Story to Story: The Official Autobiography. Atria Books. p. 8. ISBN 0-7432-8403-8.
  5. ^ Jump up to: a b c d INXS.com Kirk Pengilly Bio

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  6. Jump up ^ St John, Ed; INXS (1992). INXS: The Official Inside Story of a Band on the Road. Mandarin. p. 9. ISBN 1-86330-207-7.