When I think about this song, I (redacted for the chilluns)

February 7, 2011 at 12:47 pm (Whatever happened to ...?) (, , )

Everybody’s heard of The Divinyls, even if it takes them several tries to spell their name right. They had that one big hit in 1991, you know the one: I Touch Myself.

And who could resist themselves, in such a cute little outfit!

And then, like so many one-hit wonders, we kind of forgot they existed. And sure, when we stop to think about it, we feel a little guilty. “How could I forget the masturbation song band?” we say. “What is this world coming to?” And then we knock back a shot of whiskey and shake our heads sadly.

Thanks for getting me through the tough times, whiskey.

So, before I get much drunker, let’s learn more about The Divinyls!

First off, they were an Australian band, which I didn’t realize. I guess I thought they were European, like, Scandinavian or something. I’d feel worse about not knowing that, but, hell, up until a few minutes ago, I forgot the band existed, so in the grand scheme of things, no one cares I didn’t know their origins. Formed in 1980, the five-member band went through a variety of lineup changes, but always included  vocalist Christina Amphlett and guitarist Mark McEntee. (And yes, if you’re wondering, I did copy and paste their names directly out of wikipedia because I am that lazy.)

But then I had to remember their names for an image search, so boo to hard work.

Another thing I didn’t know about The Divinyls is that they had four Top Ten albums in Australia (like, what? Were the box jellyfish their biggest fans or something? Maybe the Cassowarys?), and one of their songs was named one of the Top 30 Australian songs of all time. That and the box jellyfish make me feel bad for Australia, but then again, they did have Hugh Jackman before we stole him for Hollywood, so I guess it’s fair.

In your face, Australia! We've got him now!

After making it big in America, The Divinyls released one more album in 1996 before breaking up.

By then, they could barely stand to be photographed on the street together.

So what they been up to since then? Well Amphlett went on to pursue a stage career, and even played Dorothy Garland in The Boy from Oz, a role for which she earned critical acclaim and was nominated for something called the Helpmann Award, which I am hoping my Aussie readers will tell me what the hell it is. (Or my theater readers will laugh at me for thinking it’s exclusively Australian.) (Sadly for her, when the show made its Broadway debut, she was replaced by some other actress I’ve never heard of.) McEntee’s biggest claim to fame in the years following the breakup is owning a clothing label in Perth called Wheels and Doll Baby, which makes it official that there are no good names for anything left, yuck.

Clothes are cute, though.

The band reformed in the late 00s after earning some musical honor, released a single in 2007, but did not release a whole album. At last notice, Amphlett said the Divinyls were “finished” and that she had a band in New York. On a related note, while she never had dreams of being a professional trampoline athlete, she did sing on the streets and was imprisoned in Spain for three months for doing so.

Because Spain hates musicians, that's why.

Now, back to the drinking.

Whiskey: My midday pick-me-up.



  1. Travis said,

    I love that album. Every song is pretty damn great IMHO. I tried listening to their earlier stuff… not even nearly as good as anything on the “masturbation” album. I always wondered what happened there. They also had a song on the soundtrack for the original BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER movie.

    • lokifire said,

      Hee, the “masturbation” album.

  2. dangerousmeredith said,

    As an Aussie I can tell you that yes! the Divinyls were very popular in their day. Personally ‘I touch myself’ is my least favourite song of theirs – I think some of their other stuff is much better (and no, I am not a box jellyfish).

    As far as I know the Helpmann awards are uniquely Australian. They are awards for the live performance industry in Australia, and are named after Sire Robert Helpmann who was a well known Aussie ballet dancer and choreographer a few decades ago. He was basically one of the people who helped Australia develop a cultural life back in the day when no one down here thought we had any.

    • lokifire said,

      Dangerousmeredith, you are better than Google.

  3. Rob said,

    Never paid any attention to them back in the 80s and 90s, but recently rediscovered them. Damn, what a voice Christina had, in addition to her other, ahem, attributes.

    • lokifire said,

      You’re talking about her songwriting skills, right?

  4. Tam Eldridge said,

    They could write a killer rock hook. She was vixen and could really sing with her smoky voice! Saw them in St. Louis with the Psychedelic Furs. Just a fantastic live show by both bands.

  5. Josh said,

    Never a one-hit wonder band in my book, and their earlier stuff like Boys In Town, Pleasure and Pain, Ring Me Up, etc. were great! Sorry most of America missed out, I didn’t.

    • Josh said,

      and R.I.P., Chrissy. She passed away in April.

      • lokifire said,

        I saw that! How sad. She had a gorgeous voice, and seemed like a really interesting person.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: