There's More To Divinyls Than Touching
POSTED ON 12/14/2005 | PERMALINK |0 Comments | BOOKMARK

The Divinyls' Christina Amphlett is the most dynamic live female performer Australia has ever produced, let alone sent out into the world. With the help of an ever changing Divinyls lineup, Amphlett and guitarist Mark McEntee have created a legacy of powerful pop records.

In 1991, the Divinyls stirred up a storm with the song "I Touch Myself" and a video with a tied-up Amphlett back in fishnets. The ensuring controversy helped make the song a huge hit around the world: number one in Australia, Top Ten in America. By now there was no pretence of a "group" and the Divinyls' duo toured on the back of their hit with the help of session musicians.

But there's more to the band's story than just one song.

After running away from home to follow her favorite group, at 14 Amphlett joined her first band in Melbourne. In 1971 she turned up in Sydney as one of the featured singers in One Ton Gypsy, an ambitious country rock band.

Amphlett later joined a church choir, purely to develop the upper register of her voice. During one performance at the Sydney Opera House, her stool fell over and became tangled up in her microphone chord. Watching her drag the stool across the stage while continuing to sing was Mark McEntee, so enamoured by her performance he decided he had to meet this girl. The meeting would stretch into a decades long collaboration.

In 1980, they had only just started performing live when the group was spotted by film director Ken Cameron who was looking for a group to appear in his film Monkey Grip. Cameron immediately created a role for Amphlett in his film and asked the band to do the soundtrack. The soundtrack spawned the top ten single, Boys In A Town.

The group has changed over the years, with a number of musicians (including members of Air Suppy and Hoodoo Gurus) surrounding the core of McEntee and Amphlett. The duo continues to exist, but hasn't worked together in recent years. That might have something to do with a lack of record distribution in the U.S.. Amphlett's songwriting skills, however, have reached the shores due to collaborations with the likes of Chrissie Hynde and Cyndi Lauper.

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