Chrissy Amphlett was born on 25th October 1959. This is her dog, Holiday, who is immortalised, along with Chrissy’s famous school uniform and Divinyls amplifier, at Amphlett Lane in Melbourne. (Picture: Copyright Charley Drayton/Chrissy Amphlett).
The school uniform she is remembered by was not her only look (see below, in this photograph by Tony Mott for On the Street magazine) but it was her most famous wardrobe branding, helping break Divinyls internationally.
Amphlett Lane, off Little Bourke Street, near Spring Street and Exhibition Street, Melbourne, is where Chrissy Amphlett walked from the stage door of The Princess Theatre, where she starred in the hit musical Boy From Oz.
The Divinyls are also recorded in gig guides as having played a double-bill with Joan Jett at The Palace Theatre, Bourke Street, which is at the back of Amphlett Lane. Both stage doors are steps away from each other.
Chrissy’s husband Charley Drayton, drummer for Cold Chisel, remembers her here, at the opening, along with her cousin Patricia ‘Little Pattie’ Amphlett and members of her family.
One of the last messages Chrissy ever left for her fans was on social media, where she mentions Holiday (below). “My little dog Holiday lays on the end of the bed when I am not feeling great and doesn’t leave my side.”
Amphlett Lane is a permanent tribute to Chrissy Amphlett along with her music – and a campaign for breast cancer awareness, I Touch Myself which Chrissy gave her blessing to, before she passed. She is also remembered in the ARIA Hall of Fame along with one of her most famous songs, Science Fiction. Happy Birthday Chrissy Amphlett!
Chrissy Amphlett loved dogs and bred them. At Amphlett Lane in Melbourne, a black Pekingese called Holiday (named after Billie Holiday) is now watching over her mistress. Chrissy Amphlett and her dogs were immortalised in stages and have since become a social media hit. These are just a few of the many photographs, below.
The award-winnng Tasmanian artist Peter Gouldthorpe was commissioned to create the mural. Since then, fans and Melbourne visitors have flocked to the portrait of Holiday, Saki, Tuppence and Dobro to take photographs on Instagram and Twitter. You can read more about Chrissy’s dogs in her autobiography, Pleasure and Pain. This great portrait of Chrissy Amphlett is by Reg Ryan, from social media.
The Chrissy Amphlett dogs, school uniform and Divinyls amplifier make a popular backdrop for fan photographs on Instagram and Twitter. Famous visitors to the Amphlett Lane include Blondie drummer Clem Burke and Paul Kelly.
Chrissy Amphlett and her dogs required an award-winning animal portrait painter. Peter Gouldthorpe’s dog murals also adorn Hobart.
Holiday, Saki, Tuppence and Dobro
Holiday stands on an amplifier bearing the name of Amphlett’s legendary band Divinyls, joined by Saki, Tuppence and Dobro her dalmatian. It is a mural that has been created from photographs lent by her husband Charley Drayton, drummer with Cold Chisel. You can see the mural being developed by Peter Gouldthorpe in stages, here. The hidden fire hose unit, bottom, became a Divinyls amplifier in his hands.
Chrissy Amphlett’s famous uniform at Amphlett Lane, Melbourne.
Holiday – Always by Chrissy’s Side
Holiday went everywhere with Chrissy and Charley, appropriately enough on holiday to Puerto Rico once, where the airline also let Chrissy put the Pekingese on the seat next to her, flying over. Later on in Chrissy’s life Holiday became her loyal companion during her breast cancer and MS: Chrissy told fans ‘My little dog Holiday lies on the end of the bed when I am not feeling great and doesn’t leave my side.’
Amphlett Lane also features a plaque donated by the City of Melbourne and a lane way screen mural by Melbourne artist Damien Arena.
Peter Gouldthorpe and His Street Art
Artist Peter Gouldthorpe’s work includes the 1994 Picture Book of the Year, First Light. He has illustrated books by Paul Jennings, John Marsden, Colin Thiele, C.J. Dennis and Ethel Turner. He’s one of the heavy lifters of Australian illustration, painting and street art.
Mural process photographs by Peter Gouldthorpe, with special thanks.
Chrissy Amphlett will have a Melbourne podcast and walking tour dedicated to her, following funding by the Victorian State Government. The walk, starting in Amphlett Lane, will take fans around the city with a unique audio soundtrack. Minister for Creative Industries in Victoria, Martin Foley, launched the project among many other music initiatives in Melbourne in 2017.
The Chrissy Amphlett Walk will begin at Amphlett Lane. Pictured here at the launch in a photograph from cult Australian music website Noise 11 are Charley Drayton, Patricia Amphlett and Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle.
FROM AMPHLETT LANE TO THE AUSTRALIAN MUSIC VAULT
The map, podcast and walk wil take visitors from Amphlett Lane, past the Princess Theatre where Chrissy starred in Boys From Oz – and the Palace Theatre where Divinyls played with Joan Jett in 1995.
Fans can then cross Melbourne towards the Arts Centre, home to the new Australian Music Vault. Carolyn Laffan is the Curator.
The Australian Music Vault
Carolyn is well known for curating unforgettable music exhibitions in Melbourne through the Performing Arts Collection, at Arts Centre Melbourne. If you’ve admired Doc Neeson’s jacket or Kylie’s dress, at the Theatres of War: Wartime Entertainment & The Australian Experience in recent years, you’ll love The Australian Music Vault.
With a track record including The Beatles in Australia and The Age Music Victoria Hall of Fame collection, withAngus Young’s early AC/DC schoolboy suits and Judith Durham’s stunning 1960s beaded performance gown – Carolyn and the team at the Performing Arts Collection have become custodians for everything from Sunbury Festival memorabilia to AC/DC’s Family Jewels. And Chrissy Amphlett’s iconic school uniform. Another jewel. It is painted here on the Amphlett Lane mural in Melbourne by award-winning Tasmanian artist Peter Gouldthorpe.
FROM IAN ‘MOLLY’ MELDRUM TO IVA DAVIES
We hope to bring you a walking tour that will take you through Chrissy Amphlett’s life and times – and also helps you to enjoy your time at the new Music Vault – in the context of her career, which included friendships and collaborations across the Australian music industry involving everyone from Ian Meldrum to Iva Davies.
CHRISSY AMPHLETT – THE MELBOURNE CONNECTION
Chrissy grew up in Geelong, where street art based on her life is already in place, – but she also has a long history in Melbourne, starting at the Collins Street Baptist Church.
This is an important stop on the walking tour, as this is where she was welcomed into the world and also farewelled at a memorial service. Amphlett also worked at The House of Mr. John and Merivale, also in Collins Street.
WATCH THIS SPACE FOR THE CHRISSY AMPHLETT WALK
In a podcast suitable for download to your mobile phone or MP3 player, interviews with key people in Chrissy’s life and times will take you around places of personal and professional importance to her in the city of Melbourne.
Producer Marshall Cullen will be working alongside writers Jessica Adams, Tracee Hutchison, Jen Jewel-Brown and Jenny Valentish on the walking tour.
THE DOGS OF AMPHLETT LANE
The Podcast and Walking Tour will answer some of the questions visitors have about Amphlett Lane. Who is the award-winning artist behind the much-photographed portrait of Chrissy’s dogs in her wall mural, for example? (Clem Burke, Blondie drummer, captured the photograph you see here, on a recent visitor to Melbourne, and relayed it to fans on Twitter). For more information about the podcast, watch this space and stay plugged into AMMP.