Pittwater Life April 2018 Issue

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Safety First: Reducing risk on Mona Vale Rd. We Will Remember: ANZAC Day. Tina Harrod: Island Life. 40 Years' Courtship: Careel Bay Tennis Club

to fellow peninsula performer Kate Lush.

The tranquillity of Tina’s island home

belies a more frenetic past – singing in

bands, constantly touring, being a mum,

and sharing life with the late, great

musician Jackie Orszaczky.

Tina was born into a family with Fijian,

Welsh and Celtic heritage. On the Welsh

side she said her great grandfather had

a beautiful voice. “He could really sing,”

she said. On the Fijian side, the family

used to get together, pick a note and just

naturally harmonise.

She moved to Australia in 1982 at the

age of 17.

“When I was 20 I knew I wanted to sing

professionally but didn’t know what to

do about it,” she said. “I started having

singing lessons with a Catholic nun. She

could see I had no money and didn’t

charge me. I remember her as gentle and

kind.”

Tina used to answer ads wanting

singers and she saw a lot of live music.

“I was a little different because I

mainly liked listening to the backing

vocals,” she said. “I didn’t want to be up

front. I didn’t really like the sound of my

own voice.”

Gradually that changed and she

developed her own sound.

“The voice can be like a wild animal,”

she said. “You have to tame it and get to

know it. It’s like a life-long relationship.”

The singer says she has been touring

since her early 20s and admits being on

the road is more exciting when you are

younger. “And it was better when there

was a budget,” she said. “With more

prestigious performers you stay in better

places. When you’re on the road on your

own it’s exciting as an artist but can

be hard financially; you might play to

empty rooms and you still have to pay

the band.”

Still, she says there is plenty of fun

and games on the road. “After the gig

there’s all this adrenalin. So you might

go to a party, other times you might go

back to your room. Everyone has their

own thing they like to do.”

Tina has worked closely with the likes

of Jimmy Barnes, Paul Kelly, Diesel,

Vika & Linda Bull, Katie Noonan, Paul

Grabowsky, The Whitlams, Guy Sebastian

and Thirsty Merc.

Her voice has been likened to Nina

Simone’s and Billie Holliday’s. “Nina was

my favourite,” she said. “I liked how she

could cross-over genres. She could pull

apart any song and put it together again

without losing the essence.”

Tina met Jackie Orszaczky in 1991. She

was, in her words, “a major fan”.

“I’d do my gig and then we’d head to

Kings Cross to see him, and be blown

away by his bass playing and singing,”

she said. “I joined his band in 1993

and was in it for six months before we

became involved.”

Orszaczky passed away 10 years ago.

He and Tina were together 14 years.

The family lived in Erskineville. As

Orszaczky was Hungarian, they would

travel to central Europe every year on

tour.

Asked what she misses about him, she

looks thoughtfully at the table where we

sit.

“I miss his intellect. He was a well-read

Continued on page 35

Life Stories

CLOCKWISE FROM OPPOSITE: Tina on Church Point Wharf; with daughter

Mia and much-missed partner Jackie Orszaczky; in 1992, shortly before

joining Jackie’s band; filling big boots as a child; a shot for the cover of

her new album ‘City of Longing’; the album cover for Deep Down & Out.

The Local Voice Since 1991

APRIL 2018 33

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