Peter Starkie, a founding member of Australian rock band Skyhooks, has died after falling from a ladder.
The 72-year-old passed away on Sunday, with his brother Bob Starkie sharing the heartbreaking news in a Facebook post.
“My brother Peter has tragically died in one of those stupid ladder accidents,” he wrote. “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.”
Skyhooks shot to fame in the mid-70s, with hits including ‘Horror Movie’, ‘Women In Uniform’ and ‘All My Friends Are Getting Married’.
The band featured Greg Macainsh, Immants ‘Freddie’ Strauks, Red Symons and Graeme ‘Shirley’ Strachan. When Peter left in 1973, his brother Bob replaced him.
They stopped performing regularly following the death of lead singer Graeme ‘Shirley’ Strachan, who died in a helicopter accident in Queensland in 2001.
“For the last twenty odd years he has lived happily inseparable with partner Dianna,” Bob said of his brother in his tribute. “(Probably because she was the only one who would laugh hysterically at his somewhat dry jokes.)
‘”Quite honestly this is just a f—ing tragedy especially for Dianna and the girls (and in lockdown). So one and all, as my mother would say, ‘count your blessing’.”
As well as his partner Dianna, Peter leaves behind three daughters: Alice, Ruby and Stella.
Read Bob’s full obituary for Peter here:
“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 played semi-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 stepdaughter 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—ing tragedy especially for Dianna and the girls. (and in lockdown!)
“So one and all, as my mother would say-“count your Blessings”
While the Covid-19 pandemic continues to be a matter of concern, looks like ‘Love and Hip Hop’ star Alexis Skyy isn’t sure if she wants to give up partying with her pals just yet. The 26-year-old recently posted her ‘party’ stories on Instagram and within no time she was slammed by the internet.
Skyy recently posted an Instagram story where she was seen smoking a pipe and grooving while someone was holding her neck. In no time, the video was shared multiple times and several internet users slammed her for not adhering to social distancing. Some netizens also pointed out that Skyy’s behavior was particularly disturbing because she has a 2-year-old daughter, Alaiya Grace Maxwell, at home. @TheShadeRoom, which is Instagram’s third most engaged profile, posted her video and said, “Verified #PressPlay: #AlexisSky looking like she’s got them summertime boo’d up vibes going on. Harpo who dat mannnn?!” and the comment section was full of scathing comments.
One user slammed her saying, “So nobody but me scared to get corona and infect my family?!!!” to which several people replied saying, “They don’t care about no one except they self!” and some even called her selfish and said, “People are weird and selfish.” Talking about Skyy’s 2-year old daughter, one user said, “And her child is probably high risk. She’d need at least 14 days of quarantine before she goes around that child.” And another user said, “Especially her little daughter who has health issues already.”
Some netizens even talked about the ‘mystery man’ in the video and said, “She always got someone holding her neck like sis we don’t care lol.” Pointing out to the hands holding her by the neck, one Twitter user jokingly said, “Corona. His name is Corona.”
Skyy was born in New York City and grew up in Wyandanch. She is known for her work in ‘Love and Hip Hop: New York (2010)’, ‘Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood (2014)’ and Animaniacs (2020). In 2014, Skyy gained a lot of media attention for dating rapper Fetty Wap. After dating for two years, the couple parted ways in 2016. In October 2017, Skyy announced her pregnancy with Wap’s child. On January 2018, she gave birth to a three-month premature baby and the infant even underwent surgery for hydrocephalus.
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In Antebellum, a woman tries to escape a slave plantation in the present day. Photo: Matt Kennedy/Lionsgate
The movie Antebellum opens with an intricate tracking shot that winds through a southern slave plantation. It’s late afternoon, and the light slanting through the trees is as golden as the dress worn by a young girl picking flowers by the white-pillared main house. It’s an aggressively bucolic tableau meant to recall Gone With the Wind, complete with enslaved people bustling around the grounds alongside Confederate soldiers. Then the camera finds its way into a clearing, where an escape attempt is being viciously thwarted. A woman’s desperate sprint toward the tree line is presented in extravagant slow motion, capturing every panicked contortion of her face as she’s dragged to the ground and murdered. The violence is filmed with the same uncanny lushness as everything that has come before, seemingly to emphasize the horror that has always been at the heart of plantation nostalgia. The effect ends up being the opposite — an indulgence in the brutality of the moment, which the film has arranged to unfold during the aesthetically pleasing glow of magic hour.
For members of the media, Antebellum begins with a message from filmmakers Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz, priming the audience for what it is about to watch. Introductions to early screenings are not unheard of — work on something in a relative vacuum for months, and the vulnerability of finally putting it in front of strangers can prompt one to all sorts of last-minute efforts to reel in viewers. Antebellum, starring Janelle Monáe, had been building buzz since late 2019 with mysterious trailers that touted its connection to Get Out, with which it shares a pair of producers. The film had been slated for theaters before the pandemic pushed it to VOD, but Bush and Renz wanted to talk about more than just the scuppered big-screen release of their directorial debut. In the video, they bluntly proclaim their ambitions in making Antebellum, which were no less than to construct “the movie of and for this moment.”
Few directors rush to position their work as didactic, but Bush and Renz, who come from a background of advertising and PSAs, describe Antebellum as “medicine” tucked away in entertainment. It would, they hoped, start “a national dialogue around this country’s Lost Cause, the original sin of America,” and “illuminate some of those truths and confront them head-on, so that we can really move toward an actual healing.” It is a remarkable statement, especially given what a genuine disaster Antebellum is, so clumsy about the racial history it insists it wants to clarify and so inept in the basic mechanics of being a thriller that it verges on laughable. To frame a movie this way, before a single second of it has played, is such an act of unprompted hubris it’s almost endearing — and timely, though not in the way its filmmakers wanted. In the gap between the reality of Antebellum and its creators’ ambitions, there’s a sense that relevance has become a branding exercise as much as something that’s earned with the actual stuff of a film.
It’s the same feeling that arises when watching Jon Stewart’s Irresistible, a political satire about a mayoral race in a small town in Wisconsin — “the great now-swing state,” Steve Carell trumpets in the trailer — that becomes the focus of national attention after a former Marine goes viral for speaking up on behalf of immigrants in his community. The most telling scene plays over the end credits, when Stewart speaks with former U.S. Federal Election Commission chairman Trevor Potter. Calling it an interview is too generous — Potter is there to confirm that the plot’s pivotal campaign-finance scam is possible, but he’s not delivering the sound bites Stewart wants, so Stewart delivers them himself off-camera, leaving Potter to nod along and then affirm what he’s saying. It’s not unlike the preface Bush and Renz give to Antebellum — supplemental material meant to insist the accompanying film has a point it doesn’t manage to make during its run time.
That’s more than can be said for The Hunt, a movie that generated reams of heated coverage despite being about nothing in particular. The Blumhouse production centers on people who’ve been kidnapped to be tracked and killed for sport, and it became a big story after news leaked that the chosen prey are referred to by a character onscreen as “deplorables.” That rich liberals are the villains didn’t matter — The Hunt was the focus of a furious right-wing media cycle and some presidential tweets, all for a film that ultimately shrugs and declares both sides of the aisle bad. Its gestures toward pertinence amount to set dressing — literally, in the case of the photo of a character carrying a tiki torch at a march. When the film finally came to theaters in the spring, its studio tried to capitalize on the scandal with the tagline “The most talked about movie of the year is one that no one’s actually seen.” Lockdown cut its promotional cycle short before anyone could assess whether its efforts to treat all attention as good attention worked out.
From left: Jon Stewart’s political satire Irresistible is about a mayoral race in a right-wing town. Photo: Daniel McFadden/Focus FeaturesIn The Hunt, liberal elites kidnap and kill alt-right Americans for sport. Photo: Universal Pictures
From top: Jon Stewart’s political satire Irresistible is about a mayoral race in a right-wing town. Photo: Daniel McFadden/Focus FeaturesIn The Hunt, … From top: Jon Stewart’s political satire Irresistible is about a mayoral race in a right-wing town. Photo: Daniel McFadden/Focus FeaturesIn The Hunt, liberal elites kidnap and kill alt-right Americans for sport. Photo: Universal Pictures
Antebellum’s desire to say something about how we live now becomes clear only after its twist is revealed some 40 minutes in. There’s no way to discuss the film without spoiling it — the revelation doubles as the premise, which is that the plantation on which Monáe’s character, Veronica, is being held is one that exists not during the Civil War era but in the present day. Veronica is an author and high-profile academic who gives talks on intersectionality and argues on cable news, and she’s become the prize trafficking victim taken by a group of cosplaying white supremacists who like to pretend the 1860s never ended. That these reenactors have managed to keep a sizable group of captives secret and, apparently, complacent is a fact that the audience is just meant to accept. The film keeps the workings of its evil organization as vague as possible, which would be less maddening if it didn’t invite the audience to constantly wonder how it functions.
Antebellum sees itself as being in conversation with Gone With the Wind, even using some of the same camera lenses. But while it clearly wants to interrogate the role that 1939 movie has played in the romanticization of the antebellum South, it never figures out how to do it beyond giving everything the sheen of a perfume ad. As a condemnation of unreckoned-with history, it sheds no light on the psychology of its racist villains, formless cartoons who waver between seeming incredibly well connected and bumblingly ridiculous. As an exploration of the horrors of slavery, it’s a grotesque misfire — the contrivances of its present-day setting, and the film’s inexorable focus on rape, end up inadvertently portraying the monstrous institution as though it were a summer camp for incels. Even if Antebellum weren’t part of a long line of features dedicated to this historical atrocity, it’s never evident what the directors feel they’re bringing to the subject matter that other films have failed to.
Antebellum isn’t “the next Get Out,” though it clearly would like to bring Jordan Peele’s hit to mind. But it’s an indirect testament to how good Get Out is and how deftly it weaves together biting social commentary and genre structures. In comparison, these recent films linger in the vicinity of subjects like racism and political divides without actually making any points about them. They feel meaning-adjacent, or maybe just like products for an age of social media that has made headlines more important than the articles attached to them. Film isn’t a limber medium, and it isn’t the most innately responsive of formats, not with the time it takes for a feature to be written, funded, shot, and assembled. And yet we often want it to be, out of a desire to lend a sense of urgency to what we’re watching, developing more and more of a tendency — as moviegoers and as people who cover movies—to project timeliness onto things that might have been scripted years ago. It’s with a certain amount of serendipity, for …instance, that Antebellum arrives alongside renewed conversations about Gone With the Wind.
Criticism of GWTW’s whitewashing of slavery stretches back to its inception, but in June, after it turned up on the newly launched HBO Max, John Ridley wrote an op-ed in the L.A. Times. He requested the film be taken down until it could be given some kind of context. The streaming service acceded, adding a video prologue featuring TCM host Jacqueline Stewart. She talks about the film’s incredible popularity, its long history of being protested, how its Black cast members were unable to attend the premiere, and the complicated nature of its place in movie history. As responses to GWTW go, it was more prosaic than the stylized whole of Antebellum but also a lot more precise in its observations. It didn’t start the conversation, but it added to it — something that’s always going to be easier when you actually have something to say.
*This article appears in the September 14, 2020, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!