Location: Melbourne, Australia
Favourite Tina Songs: Ummmmm, Sixteen Years,
Whistle Down the Wind, Many Rivers to Cross, Les Trois
Cloches are some of many. many favourites, although
these are too numerous to mention.
Best Tina Moments: Read Below!!!!
Favourite Tina Cover Art: In Deep, I want to
know what love is.
Rarest Tina CD I own: An original Young talent
Time rendition of 'Macarthur Park', and have all Australian
released recordings since that period.
have been a Tina Arena fan for as long as I can remember.
Whilst I can never remember watching her on 'Young
Talent Time' ( her stint on the show was a little before
my time!!), I was always an avid fan of the show, and
enjoyed watching other former members of the show continue
their careers into adulthood. However, nothing compares
to the adulation and respect I have always held for
Tina. I will now endeavour to give my account of
my experiences where I have seen Tina perform live,
and the most important, when I met her last month.
first saw Tina perform live in and Australian musical
'Dynamite'. Whilst I was only 9 years of age at the
time, I vaguely remember Tina's sensational voice echoing
through the theatre, and that she was, beyond any stretch
of the imagination, the shining star of the show. When
I think of this show, she is all I remember!! Shortly
after that, I remember buying, and listening repeatedly
to Tina's first solo album 'Strong as Steel'. I knew
then, and even at a very young age, that Tina was going
to be, and truly deserved to be, a huge star, and that
I enjoyed her music very very much.
later saw Tina perform live in the Andrew LLoyd Webber
'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat'. I was
somewhat familiar with the musical, having been a fan
of past Lloyd Webber musicals, but nothing was to prepare
me for what I was about to experience. Tina's role as
the Narrator, a part that tells the story of the musical
in song was perfect for her. She presented the role
with great strength, humour, and professionalism. Indeed,
as one review later commented, her voice has the purity
of a church bell. I remember, at interval, listening
to the audience chat around me. The woman behind me
said "That Tina Arena, why she's not a international
star is completely beyond me - she is sensational".
I remember at the conclusion of the show, when Tina
came out to take her bow, she got the biggest cheer
of them all - it was, for sure, a sensational and indeed
continued to follow Tina's career, and became an even
bigger fan after the release of 'Don't Ask'. I was so
happy to see Tina receive some widespread approval,
and I enjoyed watching the album reach the top of the
Australian charts, and see her collect a swag of ARIA
(Australian Record Industry Awards) soon after. Not
long after this, I again saw Tina perform live, although
this was not at a Tina Arena concert. I watched her
perform the Australian National anthem, and traditional
patriotic song 'Waltzing Matilda' at the Australian
Football League's Grand Final in 1994. Her version of
the Anthem, but particularly the a capella 'Waltzing
Matilda was, for me, the highlight of the day!!!
again saw Tina perform live in the 'You asked for it
Tour'. Again, she was a sensational performer - I continue
to maintain that Tina is one of the finest live performers
in the world. I particularly remember a revamped version
of 'Message', and a wonderful rendition of Jimmy Cliff's
'Many Rivers to Cross' where she accompanied herself
was also there - lucky to be in the front row of the
'In Deep Live' tour. It was again a flawless performance,
and I persisted to wave and gain Tina's attention
throughout the performance. Memorable songs included
a tribute to Michael Hutchence (former INXS singer),
'Bridge over troubled water', and a compelling version
of Sixteen Years which is one of my favourite Tina songs.
I will never forget when I actually met Tina face to
face. This event happened at a CD signing at 'Borders'
in December, 2000. I arrived at the venue some 2 hours
before Tina was scheduled to arrive. I was very happy
to meet many other Tina fans in the cue - many who had
also been huge fans for a long time. As Tina's arrival
came closer and closer, everyone was talking about what
they would ask Tina when it was their turn to meet her.
This was something that I had not even considered, but
I choose not to think about it - I was hoping that when
I met Her Royal Highness, the words would just come
to me. At 2pm, the 'host' of the afternoon came out,
and had some promo singles of Tina's Olympic Song 'The
Flame' to give away. Asking questions, she gave them
away to people who answered them correctly. I was lucky
enough to be the recipient of one for answering a question
asking the name of the musical that Tina had recently
appeared in. When Tina arrived, she answered a few standard
questions from the host, and then it was on to the signing.
Being only the 7th person in line, I didn't have long
to wait until it was my turn to meet my lifelong idol.
As the cue in front got smaller, I was surprisingly
composed, and as I moved up to Tina, I handed her my
albums to be signed. She casually asked her my name,
and then went on to sign my CDs. I asked her how her
up coming album was going. She said that it's coming
along well, but she's somewhat daunted about the amount
of work that she's got to do. I went on to tell her
that she is so appreciated by the Australian public,
and how wonderful it is that she is doing this, and
giving her fans a chance to meet her. She was as delightful,
charming, and down to earth as I expected her to be.
She chatted to me as if I was a lifelong friend, and
never tried to rush any of the signees through. I was
thrilled when at the end of the short, but special conversation,
she said 'Merry Christmas to you Glen, and also to your
occasions will all be etched into my memory
forever - particularly the latter account. I will never
forget, and continue to admire, respect and support
the sensation that is TINA ARENA.