Kirk Pengilly was born in Kew, Victoria on July 4th 1958. At the age of 8, he and his family relocated to Cottage Point, a remote “weekender” village nestled in the middle of the Kuringai Chase National Park on the outskirts of Sydney. With no electricity and a 10km dirt road to civilization, Kirk’s early years were spent either outdoors or teaching himself guitar.
In 1971 while at high school Kirk started a friendship with Tim Farriss. They formed a garage band, Guiness, in which Kirk was the principal songwriter and lead singer. In 1976, Guinness disbanded and less than a year later, The Farriss Brothers was born. Michael Hutchence and Kirk shared lead vocals for a short time but, as Michael didn’t play an instrument, it made sense for Kirk to step down and concentrate on guitar.
Thirty years on and Kirk has had a definitive place in INXS, being principal backing vocalist, saxophonist and guitarist. Apart from his co-writes with Michael on a number of INXS albums, he has written, produced and performed numerous “B-side singles” and most recently, co wrote the song ‘Like It Or Not’, which appears on the band’s most recent release, ‘Switch’.
Kirk has been one of the key publicity spokespersons for INXS and also holds the distinction of being the band’s archivist, faithfully logging daily entries in diaries that date back to the beginning of INXS. He was heavily involved in the bands recent and only authorised biographical book, ‘Story To Story’, in which he wrote the book’s forward.