Home' LOTL : February 2006 Contents 32
CHRISSY AMPHLETT CHATS TO DAR
DOWLING ABOUT HER NEW TELL-ALL
What made you write Pleasure and Pain?
Too many people were coming at me to
do it. I thought if I don’t do it someone
else is going to do it and I’d prefer to tell
wanted it to be a history book of the times.
My life covered a few different decades
and periods so you know all roads were
leading to me doing this. In hindsight it’s
been a good exercise to do. I just think it
Is that why you include different voices
throughout the book – friends, family,
people you had problems with such as
band mates, managers and such?
Yes, for research, and it needed a lot of
different voices to remember the different
Did you really tell everything? Was there
anything you left out?
Did I leave anything out? There was a
lot more in it. The book was edited back.
I think the book ended up to be 140,000
words; before it was edited it was twice
that amount. But I think that would have
been pretty indulgent. As it is now it reads
well. I’ve been told that people say that
once they pick it up they can’t put it down.
I think it flows and there’s a lot of band
stuff but there is a lot I left out.
How did you decide what to put in and
what to leave out?
Well, sometimes when people were
interviewed they were incredibly bitter
about the band, or about me, or about
[lead guitarist] Mark McEntee. I tried to
leave that in. I didn’t just leave in people
saying nice things about me. I left in the
criticism. In this book I think I tried to be
more realistic about my relationship with
Mark than I ever have been. That was
growth for me because I’ve always been
very protective of him probably to my
own detriment. I’ve always found Mark
to be a delicate person and possibly I
blame myself for a lot of things where he’s
concerned. But I think in this book I was
braver where Mark was concerned and my
relationship with him.
I think where [manager] Vince Lovegrove
was concerned … I went through a lot
of Vince’s stuff and I tried to make it
constructive. His input is important for the
history of the band even though at times
he’s quite bitter.
Did anything come up while writing your
book that caught you by surprise?
People’s bitterness. I think sometimes
when people criticize it’s often more true
about themselves than it is about you.
But I tried to take things on the chin. By
allowing the criticism I think you get more
of a picture of those times and who I was
possibly or how I was perceived. Just
because I allow people to criticize me in
the book doesn’t necessarily mean I agree
I think that came across in certain points
in the book.
You read the book?
Of course – I loved it.
You must be scared of me now! Luckily
you know me. (Laughs)
It did plant a small seed of fear – you’re
very feisty. I’ve never seen that side of
If I was to write how nice I was too,
do you think you all would have been
I think you can see from some of the
photos – I was very involved in my
performance and it scared people. But
at the same time you know maybe the
lines got blurred after a while. It was
exhausting. It is a performance. I was
rebelling against niceness and all the nice
There’s a certain level of vulnerability
involved when you write an
autobiography and you’ve included a lot
of really personal and raw material. How
did you deal with that?
Well, you are putting yourself out there
to the world. Since then I’ve dealt with a
lot of criticism from people who I think
don’t understand that period. You know as
Bob Dylan says, “Don’t criticize what you
don’t understand.” But people do: people
moralize and people judge and I was
prepared for that. I knew that was going to
happen but how do I deal with it? I know
the kind of person I am inside and I know
I’ve grown. And I can look at myself in
the mirror and that’s all that matters. I can
lie down and put my head on the pillow
at night. You know my dog loves me. She
looks at me and thinks I’m the best thing
and she can’t read. There’s that saying:
“Outside of a dog a book is a man’s best
friend inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
I’m a bit dog mad you know….
I do know. So about the book reviews…
Yes, it’s been interesting – some of the
reviews have been polarizing. I’ve been
called public enemy number one and a
monster. It makes me laugh…
You did public speaking on the book tour
and liked it – was that a surprise to you?
I was coming out to do the press tour and
I know the publisher was a little a little
afraid. … At the book launch I had to say a
few words. I just got up on the podium and
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