INXS' Kirk Pengilly Set to Auction Instruments

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Kirk Pengilly and Michael Hutchence of INXS at the Park West Inn in Chicago on April 29, 1983. 

Guitars used by Kirk Pengilly in a slew of classic INXS albums, from The Swing through to Welcome to Wherever You Are, will go under the hammer next month in Australia.    

Sotheby’s Australia will auction Pengilly’s private collection, which includes acoustic and electric guitars, saxophones, mics and effects pedals used in some of the Aussie new wave legends’ best known recordings from the ‘80s and ‘90s.    

Among the treasures listed for sale is an Ernie Ball Music Man guitar, given to Pengilly by Steve Lukather from Toto, and a Fender L-Series "Candy Apple Red" Stratocaster, the artist’s “favorite guitar in the collection” which he used on various recordings from the 1990 album onwards.    

The “exceptional sale of Australian music history,” notes Sotheby’s, comprises rare guitars and a selection of the working instruments used in studio recordings such as The Swing, Listen Like Thieves, X, Welcome to Wherever You Are, Kick and concert tours associated with those recordings.   

Also up for grabs is a Gibson Les Paul which Pengilly used in the sessions for 1992’s Welcome to Wherever You Are, a No. 1 album in the U.K., and a Gibson ES-335 “Cherry” electric guitar once owned by David Byrne of Talking Heads.

The collection will be exhibited in Sydney for a week from March 15 with the auction commencing March 21 at the city’s InterContinental hotel.

Pengilly, who is married to the retired surfing champion Layne Beachley, co-founded INXS in 1977 and was a key member of the group as it scaled the summit of the rock world with six U.K. Top 10 albums and five U.S. Top 20 albums, a BRIT Award (in 1991 for best international group) and, in 2001, induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame. The band's journey was tragically derailed by the 1997 death of lead singer Michael Hutchence, at the age of just 37, though the surviving members have reunited on various occasions with replacement singers. Pengilly has battled his own health problems and in 2015 revealed he had undergone surgery to combat prostate cancer.

Check out Pengilly's collection here.