A Dedication to Chrissy Amphlett

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A Dedication to Chrissy Amphlett

Chrissy Amphlett is a legend for many, and it would be hard to find an Australian who says otherwise. She owned the stage like no other and unfortunately her time of doing so was cut short. Honouring her memory in two shows is Michael Stangel.
Hi Michael, thanks for taking the time to chat with Forte, how are you and what are you up to at the moment?
My pleasure guys. Dave Stevens and myself have been flat out at RHR Music heading into the silly season after a long and cold winter. We have been performing and creating shows that we have been presenting in Geelong and Melbourne that have had a great response so far.
So this is the second sort of “tribute” show you’ve done after you recently did one for Jimi Hendrix, do you get quite nostalgic about the legends of the music scene that unfortunately aren’t around today?
This is the third show we have put on this year , Hendrix, Oasis and now Chrissy Amphlett. The concept really started from an initiative that Dave created when he was running Pure Pop Records in St Kilda called The Summer of Classic Albums.
He put on a series of shows featuring artists that played at his venue to celebrate milestones in their careers, things like anniversaries of album releases, deaths or anything that was monumental in the artists career to give true meaning to the show. We did this with the Hendrix night on the 45th anniversary of Jimi’s passing and also with the Oasis show celebrating the 20th year since the release of (What’s The Story) Morning Glory.
This time around it’s for Chrissy Amphlett, how important was her music and talent to you?
Chrissy is arguably the most significant rock artist to hail from Geelong (male or female), her fame and reputation is world wide.
The idea started while Dave and I were sitting in the office brain storming as we often do. I was flicking through my play list and played “Boys in Town”, we both love that song. I would like to say it was my idea but I truly can’t remember.
As Chrissy went to the same high school as Dave and I we thought why not put on a show that included Belmont High school ex students. We got our contact list out and started making calls. The first to come on board was Angie Hilton a great old mate of mine who has gone on to have a florishing TV career, she was in right from the get go. From there we spoke to some of the lads from Geelong’s own Glitter gang who were a year older than us in High school. Grant Whitside and Roger Pedretti jumped at the opportunity.
After a while Dave was talking to a friend about our idea who offered to put us in contact with MS Limited who loved the concept and were keen to get involved to help spread awareness about MS and offered to send people to the performances to accept donations and speakers to come to Chrissy’s old high school to talk about MS and build awareness in the youth. We have tried to get as many old alumni involved as possible from the artwork guy , Matt Broughton to the photographer, Dean Beatup. Chrissy is Geelong’s greatest daughter and deserves to have her legacy celebrated each year.
What do you think was the thing that made Chrissy so iconic in the industry?
She was loved for her honesty, integrity and non compliance to accept convention, she was strong willed and by all reports, not really an academic but had street smarts that led her to become, at one stage, one of the most recognised artists in Western culture, especially when the Divinyls conquered the United States.
It is funny when you think about Chrissy’s legend compared to the reality, a lot of people think of Chrissy being this huge sex goddess who would perform lurid acts on stage, but the reality was she was just a girl who loved to rock and often held a stance on stage grasping the mic with two hands with a lip pout that everybody remembers, just rocking out
For the dedication to Chrissy Amphlett, how will you be honouring her in the show?
We will be playing the obvious classics and heading some insight into Chrissy’s evolution from shy and average student to the confident Rock/Pop icon of a generation through the eyes of people who walked the same school halls
You’re also performing on the night as well, what will you bring to the event?
Dave and I will be the rhythm section on the performances at the Barwon Club and the Cherry bar, it’s where we started more than 30 years ago in our first band formed at Belmont High school.
Out of the many years and moments of Chrissy Amphlett, do you have a favourite?
Chrissy has had many moments of meritt throughout her career but I think her finest moment was when she was able to give the line “I Touch Myself” a whole new context in relation to breast cancer. It was a real moment for chrissy to give something back to the awareness of the disease that ultimately took the life of Geelong’s favorited daughter
Thanks again for chatting with Forte, is there anything else you’d like to add before we finish?
We have two local bands supporting as a both gigs at the Barwon club and the Cherry Bar, For Pluto and current all Belmont High School band Neanderthals of the Future.
When & Where: Barwon Club, Geelong – October 25 & Cherry Bar, Melbourne – October 30