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The Tina Martyn Band

TINA MARTYN BAND: By Steve 'Mac' McLennan

Tina Martyn: Vocals / Guitar
Brien McVernon: Guitar / Keyboards / Vocals
Matt McColl: Bass / Vocals
Mac: Drums

Tina was cute as a button when I first met her…probably still is. With the unconditional support of her family (especially mum and gran) Tina had won awards at Tamworth's country music festival, secured a recording deal and had set about putting together a band to promote her debut product.

The family had wisely enlisted Brien McVernon, the consummate professional, as Musical Director, and after signing Matt McColl to the project threw caution to the wind and recruited me for the drumming gig.
Dismissing my out of control substance abuse, and deteriorating mental state, turned out to be an act of total insanity on Brien's behalf. However, in the short while my tenure lasted with Tina we had some wonderful gigs and lots and lots of fun.
Did I mention Tina was absolutely gorgeous ??

One highlight for me was stumbling into a dressing room cubicle at the Janelli Tavern and finding Tina clad in just enough underwear to maintain a modicum of modesty struggling to slither into a pair of flesh clinging red leather jeans, aided as always by mum and gran. My offers to assist were graciously declined. No problem. We did however encounter problems with record company people and management who felt my interpretation of country was far too "rock" for comfort. I argued that Tina could easily be the Australian equivalent of then current country / rock chart topper Shania Twain but my reasoning fell on deaf ears. On numerous occasions my dear friend Brien was coerced into telling me to "pull it back a bit". I of course ignored his pleas.

The end came after a particularly rowdy night in The Rocks. It was a showcase gig for record company execs and music industry big-wigs. (Although it turned out to be more a show case for my drug fuelled madness).
Tina was opening for her hero, Keith Urban (and The Ranch). We blitzed our set and had the place rocking (country-ing ???)…I even noticed Lyndsay Hammond (hotter than hell Cheetah vocalist) dancing down the front. I'd seen her gigging in London in the early 80s and just had to say hello. Turns out Lyndsay was hooked up with someone from Warners, so I got to chat with her and her partner backstage, while making my way through the entirety of both the Tina Martyn Band and Keith Urban Band riders and my personal stash of 'Peruvian Marching Powder'.

I was aware that Tina had a huge crush on / admiration for Keith Urban so at some stage through the proceeding I took it upon my self to throw her over my shoulder cave-man style and carry her up on stage to sing with Keith. Tina was embarrassed but loved it…the crowd dug it…Keith's band were cool about it…(they didn't yet know I'd drunk all their grog)…and Keith seemed very happy to be joined onstage by a beautiful, talented young girl and her wasted drummer.
In contast, Tina's record company execs were very displeased and told Brien that I was certainly not the type of person they wanted their client associated with. I think the last straw was my naked dancing in the hallway of the venue as the guests were leaving….the unflappable Ms Hammond and her partner didn't seem to mind…they'd seen stranger sights in band rooms across the globe…but for the record label folks….their minds had been made up. I was no longer welcome.

I wish Tina and her family continued success…some of the loveliest ladies I've ever encountered in a toilet cubicle. Rock on !!!