ON THE ROAD WITH P!NK

She’s in­gested our in­sects, dodged cas­sowaries, downed VBs and joined a moth­ers’ group. Safe to say Pink now sees Aus­tralia as home away from home, writes

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - FRONT PAGE - Kathy McCabe.

IT was the day Pink wanted to quit. Not singing, not per­form­ing but tour­ing Aus­tralia on a mo­tor­cy­cle with her mo­tocross cham­pion hus­band Carey Hart. As Pink — real name Ale­cia Moore — pre­pares to an­nounce her Beau­ti­ful Trauma tour tonight, the What About Us pop su­per­star re­called the night she col­lapsed in a bawl­ing, bug-smeared heap by the side of an Aus­tralian high­way. The pair had taken time out from her record-break­ing Fun­house tour for a 1600km road trip from Cairns to Bris­bane when they rode into a trop­i­cal storm and a plague of in­sects.

For the woman renowned for fly­ing through the air with the great­est of ease dur­ing her con­certs, the bug on­slaught was “the worst day of my life.”

Moore can laugh heartily about it now — as her teas­ing hus­band does — but not so much back in July 2009, when the pair found them­selves stranded in the mid­dle of nowhere.

“Oh god, there were so many bugs that I was cry­ing while I was rid­ing. And there were all the signs which say watch out for wal­la­bies and kan­ga­roos every­where, so I was just wait­ing to be taken out by a kan­ga­roo while eat­ing the most pro­tein I have had in my life,” Moore said.

“Fi­nally, I had enough and I pulled over. And (Carey) kept go­ing be­cause he doesn’t look be­hind him. I sat down by the side of the road by my­self in the mid­dle of nowhere for 15 min­utes un­til he came back.”

Hart found his wife “rock­ing back and forth” on the gravel and dirt. He didn’t im­prove the mood of his ex­hausted part­ner when he grinned widely and de­clared their Aus­tralian road ad­ven­ture “the best trip ever”.

“He had a ban­dana over his mouth and takes off his gog­gles and it is the only part of his body which is not cov­ered in green slime from bugs. And I looked at him and started bawl­ing,” she said.

“I told him ‘This is the worst day of my life, I’m not go­ing any fur­ther.’ And he’s like ‘you can’t stay here. It’s only 88km to the next gas sta­tion, we’ll call a ho­tel and get them come and get us.’

“I was like ‘I quit, I’m done, I would rather die.’ He keeps telling me it’s only 88km.

“And 88km later, we’re sit­ting on a park bench at a closed-down ser­vice sta­tion. There was noth­ing there.”

While that ad­ven­ture may not have been the most ro­man­tic of road trips, Moore has hun­dreds of glo­ri­ous mem­o­ries of her love af­fair with Aus­tralia and her fans.

Since her first visit down un­der 17 years ago, the much loved per­former has been an en­thu­si­as­tic tourist here solo, with her hus­band and then on her The Truth About Love tour in 2013, with their daugh­ter Wil­low.

Like all Amer­i­can and Euro­pean pop tourists, Moore has had her fair share of close en­coun­ters with Aus­tralia’s wildlife, and not just the ubiq­ui­tous photo op with a koala or kan­ga­roo.

Hart and his wife checked out cane toad races while on a ro­man­tic get­away to Port Dou­glas in 2009 but she fled from a ho­tel lobby when two feath­ered guests which have form for at­tack­ing hu­mans wan­dered in. “Rove (McManus) gave me a book right be­fore we took off on a break called The Seven Dead­li­est Crea­tures in Aus­tralia,” she said.

“I read the chap­ter on cas­sowaries as we are sit­ting in this open lobby of a ho­tel up north. And in walk two cas­sowaries into the lobby. My re­ac­tion was im­me­di­ately ‘I’m go­ing to go now’.”

Moore’s hazy mar­tini-soaked mem­ory of her first visit to Aus­tralia in 2000 as she rose the charts with her de­but al­bum Can’t Take Me Home also has a wild king­dom theme.

“It’s the bats in the trees in Syd­ney. I re­mem­ber stand­ing un­der this tree, and we prob­a­bly had been out drink­ing … re­mem­ber those choco­late mar­ti­nis we had? That was on my first promo tour,” she said.

“We drank choco­late mar­ti­nis, fell off our stools and went to check out the fruit bats in the trees. I re­mem­ber think­ing ‘Oh my God, they are huge!’”

She ad­mits she may have “pissed some peo­ple e off” on her ear­li­est vis­its when she overindulged her vices, par­tic­u­larly her love of Vic­to­ria Bit­ters, back then the rock beer of choice.

Moore let out one of her r in­fec­tious cack­les when she e re­called the stress of keep­ing tabs on a col­lec­tion n of dis­pos­able cam­eras she and her friends used on the promo tour of Syd­ney and Mel­bourne to launch her Mis­sun­daz­tood record in 2002.

In the pre-selfie era, those cam­eras con­tained some pretty in­crim­i­nat­ing pho­tos, in­clud­ing a snap of an in­el­e­gant emer­gency toi­let stop in a Mel­bourne al­ley.

“I do re­mem­ber piss­ing a lot of peo­ple off. I don’t know how much peo­ple re­mem­ber of me in Mis­sun­daz­tood days be­cause I used to piss a lot of peo­ple off. Al­legedly, be­cause I re­mem­ber none of it,” she said.

She did try to jok­ingly dis­guise her con­sump­tion of am­ber ale dur­ing one of her early club gigsg in

Sd Syd­ney. “I do re­mem­ber at the Metro in Syd­ney I was pre­tend­ing to drink tea from a white tea ket­tle from my friend Laura and it was beer. I had my red and black half stripe T-shirt on and my ‘f … you’ belt. I wished I had kept that for Wil­low,” she said, laugh­ing.

“She could have worn it on the first day of first grade. Some­times it’s im­por­tant to let peo­ple know how you feel. There are so many times when I have to say to her ‘p ‘please don’t re­peat this’.”

Be­fore the ar­rival of their d daugh­ter and the lat­est a ad­di­tion to their “trav­el­ling g gypsy fam­ily”, nine-month-old J Jame­son, Moore and Hart had t ticked off sev­eral of the c coun­try’s renowned wine d des­ti­na­tions.

Those for­ays to Aus­tralia’s r renowned wine-grow­ing d dis­tricts inevitably proved to b be in­valu­able re­search for the Harts, who now have t their own se­cret vine­yard n near their farm in C Cal­i­for­nia, near Santa B Bar­bara.

Moore said she be­gan t tak­ing cour­ses — she loves s study­ing — to learn more a about viti­cul­ture af­ter The T Truth About Love tour w wound down in late 2013.

“We’ve stayed in the Hunter Val­ley and rode b bikes all around. We’ve b been to a bunch of vine­yards in Aus­tralia, we went to McLaren Vale too, a bunch of dif­fer­ent places. I love it, I love wine,” she said.

Her Aus­tralian tours here also turned her on to indige­nous art, and she has col­lected sev­eral pieces over

the years. And she has also pe­ri­od­i­cally added to her body art col­lec­tion, vis­it­ing the Mel­bourne tat­too par­lour Eter­nal In­stinct for new ink dur­ing her stays.

But on her most re­cent three­month work­ing hol­i­day of Aus­tralia in 2013 the itin­er­ary for days off was all about fam­ily.

When mum wasn’t do­ing a Bikram yoga class or Mr and Mrs Hart weren’t en­joy­ing a date night at one of their favourite restau­rants — Beppi’s in Syd­ney, The Euro­pean and Caffe e Cucina in Mel­bourne — they sched­uled their down time around Wil­low.

Moore and Hart were de­ter­mined to im­merse their then two-year-old daugh­ter in a “nor­mal” life, or­gan­is­ing play­dates with a moth­ers’moth­ers group in Syd­ney Syd­ney’s s eastern sub­urbs and tak­ing her on ex­cur­sions to the zoo and the­atres.

Their nine-month-old son Jame­son, af­fec­tion­ately nick­named Meatball by his par­ents, may not get quite the same Aus­tralian ed­u­ca­tion when the fam­ily re­turns here next year.

“The cool thing about this now is we know what we’re do­ing,” Moore said. “I started promo for (The Truth About Love al­bum) when (Wil­low) was 10 months old and we got home when she was three.

“I spent ev­ery wak­ing mo­ment tak­ing her to chil­dren’s mu­se­ums, parks, Dis­ney on Ice, Ba­bies Proms at the Syd­ney Opera House, every­thing, I ran my­self ragged, try­ing to cre­ate this amaz­ing child­hood for her on the road.

“And when we got home, I was like ‘Do you re­mem­ber any­thing from the tour?’ She says ‘I re­mem­ber marsh­mal­lows in ca­ter­ing.’

“Guess who’s not do­ing any­thing? Jame­son will be happy to get marsh­mal­lows. No chil­dren’s mu­seum for you!”

Hart said he and his wife value how fans re­spect their pri­vacy on their days off.

He was com­ing down here to com­pete at mo­tocross events long be­fore his fu­ture wife be­came one of the coun­try’s favourite pop stars.

Since his re­tire­ment from com­pe­ti­tion, Hart stages spe­cial bike ex­hi­bi­tions to co­in­cide with her tour sched­ule and his dad du­ties.

“Aus­tralia is re­ally good like that; it’s just the cul­ture there is a lot dif­fer­ent, a lot more laid­back. So we could just go out and take a mo­tor­cy­cle trip or take Wil­low to the beach or just kind of be nor­mal,” he said.

“That is amaz­ing con­sid­er­ing how pop­u­lar Ale­cia is or I am in my own right be­cause of how pop­u­lar mo­tocross is down there.

Beau­ti­ful Trauma is re­leased on Fri­day. You can pre or­der it via http:// smar­turl. it/ PINK. BT

Laver Willo w at Rod Pink with daugh­ter Arena in Mel­bourne. En­joy­ing the sand, sun and surf at Bondi with Wil­low.

with a close and per­sonal Pink get­ting up Gold Coas t in

W orld on the Dol­phin at Sea

AAP/Sea World 2007. Pic­ture:

Tak­ing the

wheel of a Rus­sell In­gall

V8 Su­per­car in Bris­bane with driv

in 2009 .

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lifes tyle in Bondi. Lov­ing the Aussie

per form­ing at her f ans while Get­ting among

in Syd­ney. the Metro The­atre Tak­ing a self ie

with a f an af­ter ar­riv­ing at the

2008 ARIA Awards at Acer

Arena.

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