The Null Device

RIP Chrissy Amphlett

Sad news: Christina Amphlett, frontwoman of post-punk rock band The Divinyls, inspiration to many, first crush to many more and arguably the archetypal Australian Rock Chick, has died in New York, aged 53. The Divinyls are best known outside of Australia for I Touch Myself, though in their career had many more hits, including Pleasure And Pain, Back To The Wall and Science Fiction, through the 1980s and until their generation was displaced by the JJJ Grunge Revolution (many of whose key players, like Adalita from Magic Dirt, were inspired by her).

It's fair to say that Amphlett lived the lifestyle. Born in industrial Geelong, she left home in her teens and spent time busking in Europe, at one point being imprisoned for three months for singing in the streets; she was born at the right time to be there when punk broke, and her artistic career embodied its values—aggressively forward, unapologetically raunchy and cuttingly honest, expressing both toughness and vulnerability; her voice certainly did.

Amphlett was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2006 and breast cancer in 2010; had it only been one of the two, she'd probably had more of a chance, but apparently the MS made radiotherapy impossible.

There is more coverage, including quotes from other musicians who knew her, here

There are 2 comments on "RIP Chrissy Amphlett":

Posted by: Greg Mon Apr 22 13:51:04 2013

It's interesting that Amphlett was the right age for punk, had a somewhat punk attitude and look, and the Divinyls sounded a bit punk, but they were definitely in the other camp, "Oz rock". The members played in other Oz Rock bands and if you look at their videos you see distinctly non-punk hair, moves and clothes.

Posted by: acb Mon Apr 22 15:11:15 2013

I imagine it all got subsumed into “new wave”; the Divinyls had that sort of feel about them, probably due to the 1980s zeitgeist; I'd place them alongside, say, the Models rather than AC/DC or Barnesy.