RIP Tina Turner, Gone at 83 – Singer, Dancer, Actress, Author, Rock N Roll Icon, Legend


*Image of Tina Turner taken from the internet and likely copyrighted….

I was in the midst of finishing my post on the new Dave Matthews Band album, Walk Around The Moon, when the sad news came in that we’d lost a legend, Tina Turner. She was 83 and she was had been in ill health for a while now, but it still hit me. Another rock n roll giant gone.

I’m going to admit right off the bat, I wasn’t a huge fan of Tina’s solo music. I was never a Private Dancer guy. I did however, love her work with Ike which, since he’s an evil abuser of the lowest order, is probably not a cool thing to say. They had so many great, great songs. “Nutbush City Limits” was always a favorite – later covered by Bob Seger. “Mountain High, River Deep,” was another favorite. She did so many great cover songs from the Beatles “Come Together” and “Let It Be” to the famous CCR cover “Proud Mary.” I know Dylan encouraged Fogerty to start singing Creedence songs again by telling him, “Everybody is going to think “Proud Mary” is a Tina Turner song if you don’t start singing it again…” I’ve got bad news for John Fogerty… “Proud Mary” is owned by Tina. If you want a great album from Tina’s early work – sadly with Ike – I’d recommend Workin’ Together. It’s the disc with “Proud Mary” on it.

Tina was such a huge influence on all of my favorite rockers. When she and Ike toured the U.K. with the Stones Tina taught Mick Jagger how to dance. Many of his early moves were taught to him directly by Tina after she saw him trying to emulate her on stage, quite a generous thing. In the early 70s after leaving Ike – thank God – she starred as the “Acid Queen” in the movie version of the Who’s rock opera (an early concept LP) Tommy. Even in the 70s and early 80s when she was “in the wilderness” creatively, she was always around. I can remember watching a live broadcast of a Rod Stewart concert from 1982 where Tina sang a duet with Rod on “Stay With Me” the old Faces song. They were joined by Kim Carnes of “Bette Davis Eyes” fame. That version ended up on Rod’s LP Absolutely Live.

This is one of my favorite pics of Tina and a few friends:


You can’t get any more rock n roll than that.

In the 80s before and after her comeback she did duets with so many of my favorite rock stars. She did a version of the Bowie/Iggy Pop penned “Tonight” that I really thought was great. She also did a duet with Clapton on a song called “Tearing Us Apart” which ended up being a great song on a so-so album. Riding high on the success of Private Dancer she and Jagger, her former dance pupil, lit up the U.S. concert at Live Aid with a scintillating performance. Tina was always money on stage. What a charismatic performer. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of her 80s music, I can still appreciate the impact she had on rock n roll.

Her re-booted career in the 80s led to a number of acting roles like the movie Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. The soundtrack from that film brought another hit, “We Don’t Need Another Hero.” I remember I worked with a guy I’ll call Rex (name changed to protect the guilty). Rex won a big award at the place we both worked. They gave him a check for some sum of money and hung a medal around his neck. Later, whenever we’d had too much wine, we’d tee up the CD player and start with live applause from the end of some live LP and Rex would stand on his ottoman in his living room and wave to the imaginary crowd and I’d place the medal around his neck like he was an Olympian. Then he’d switch the CDs to Tina’s “Simply The Best” as that was the song our company played when he was on stage winning the actual award. He would bow in his living room to me and our other friend. I have fond memories of that time and that song.

More than even her impact on rock n roll, Tina’s cultural impact was immense. Her autobiography (and later a movie) about the abuse she suffered at the hands of Ike impacted so many women. Her courage in the face of that horror show is a standard we all should be inspired by. She gave so many women the strength to walk away from a bad situation. Her story of survival, resilience and courage. She truly transcended rock n roll and music and movies to become not only an icon, but truly a legend.

The world is a little less bright today as we awake on a planet without Tina Turner.

RIP Tina.



One thought on “RIP Tina Turner, Gone at 83 – Singer, Dancer, Actress, Author, Rock N Roll Icon, Legend

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