Christina Amphlett died yesterday in New York and when I heard the news I stared at the TV and waited for an emotional response. None. I just stared, got up and walked outside to wait for some meteors to rain past. (There are actually meteors showering here at the moment, I'm not entirely insane, you know!)
I slept on it.
What that woman did for others in Australian rock was singularly outstanding in it's effect to trail-blaze. At the time, in the 1980's and onwards, I was a feminist, a rock music lover and fierce in my knowledge that Australia contained rich creative resources that most of the world, including Australia itself, never took seriously.
You'd think I'd be impressed by Chrissy Amphlett and her band. But me and my youth: Sheesh. I liked nearly all their songs and they were successful. I didn't disregard them. No it's more embarrassing than that: I took them for granted. I had developed a somewhat naive philosophy that since they were part of the machine of commercial music, there was no need for my attention. (You're allowed to call me a music snob).
It was only a couple of years ago that I suddenly realized what that woman was worth. Gold, pure freaking gold. (Hindsight: It's fabulous stuff). I looked back on the years that the Divinyls were big and I could see so clearly what had transpired. A scary, gutsy, unashamedly sexy girl rock star in 1980's Australia, who was never the vulnerable type, was recognised and actually celebrated.
We, the local culture that is, weren't exactly nice to women as a general rule, nor were we nice to people who were different and successful at the same time. And yet, she had pulled it off.
Here had been a goddess in my own backyard and I pretty much had my head so far up my own arse I couldn't see her.
Better late than never, eh? I can acknowledge now ('cos I'm all growed up) that Christina Amphlett was and always will be a standout, stand alone Australian woman. A girl who will continue to be exceptional for showing by example how a strong, talented, fierce soul can be successful even in a harsh, often unforgiving climate.
As Lindy Morrison, of the GoBetweens has said, "No one will ever approximate Christina Amphlett as an artist or person.''
Rest in Peace, Christina and thank you for the kick up the bum.