The late Divinyls singer Chrissy Amphlett will have a lane named after her in the heart of Melbourne.
The city’s soon-to-become Amphlett Lane sits off Little Bourke St near Spring St and backs onto the recently closed Palace Theatre where Amphlett and the Divinyls played.
Currently the lane goes by the uninspiring title CL1639, though not for long. The Melbourne City Council this week gave unanimous approval for the name-change, which recognizes Australia’s “first lady of rock,” according to a council statement.
Amphlett died in April 2013 at the age of 53, having battled breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.
The council was magnanimous in its praise for the rock singer. “Chrissy’s career began in Melbourne in the late 1970s and her history with Melbourne is long and colourful,” the council notes in a statement. “She was christened at Collins Street Baptist Church, and worked at legendary Collins Street boutique The House of Merivale and Mr John. Chrissy Amphlett appeared with the Divinyls at the Palace Theatre on 2nd June 1995 and in The Boy From Oz at Princess Theatre in Melbourne between 21st May and 21st November 1999. Chrissy and Charley Drayton also signed their Marriage Licence in the Princess Theatre”.
The push for a lane named in Amphlett’s honor gathered pace when a petition last year captured the signatures of more than 7,000 people. However, an initial plan to name the site Chrissy Amphlett Lane was turned-down by the registrar of the Office of Geographic Names because only surnames can be accepted.
With Amphlett at the mic, the Divinyls enjoyed a top-shelf career with a string of hits that included “Boys In Town,” “Pleasure and Pain,” “Science Fiction,” and the global smash “I Touch Myself” from 1991. The Divinyls were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2006.
Amplett joins rockers AC/DC to have a Melbourne CBD lane named after them. Rowland S Howard, who died in late 2009 following a fight with liver cancer, was in the frame for his own lane in the city’s southern St Kilda district, though plans haven’t progressed since the proposed name was rejected for failing to meet state government road guidelines.
Melbourne’s tradition for honoring its rock heritage with landmarks is spreading. Australia’s third most-populous city Brisbane has a toll-bridge named after the Go-Betweens, and a statue of the Bee Gees was unveiled in 2013 in Redcliffe, north of Brisbane, where the Gibb brothers grew up.