It has been pointed out that it took 30 years to get from The Beatles’ “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” to Nine-Inch Nails’ “I Want To Fuck You Like An Animal.” Toward the end of that period came the Divinyls’ “I Touch Myself,” sung by the late and groundbreaking Christina “Chrissy” Amphlett.
Australia native Amphlett, 53, died in New York on Sunday from complications of breast cancer and multiple sclerosis. But she was still receiving kudos for her distinctive voice and raunchy style before health problems set in around 2007. Like fellow Aussie Angus Young of AC/DC, Amphlett made effective use of a school uniform. Unlike Young, she inspired impure thoughts.
With her 90’s porn star build and attitude, Amphlett seemed a genuine and unaffected sexual adventurer where contemporary Madonna made it look like a marketing tool.
Already famous in Australia through much of the 1980s, it was the 1991 hit “I Touch Myself” that brought Amphlett and the Divinyls international fame.
While “I Touch Myself” seems tame by today’s standards, it set the stage for similarly unabashed performers like Li’l Kim, Christina Aguilera, and Rihanna, each of whom repeatedly touches herself onstage.
In addition to her work with the Divinyls, Amphlett was a stage actress in Australia, performing with Russell Crowe in the musical “Blood Brothers.” She also played Judy Garland in Australian versions of the eventual Hugh Jackman Broadway hit “The Boy from Oz.”
Amphlett is survived by her husband, drummer Charley Drayton.
Previously on Porn Valley Observed: Anastasia Blue, 1980-2008