Friday, May 26, 2023

My Weekend Crush

So, that’s what it feels like when a force of nature passes. Tina Turner was so many, many things. Peerless performer. Searing singer. Dancing diva. Inspirational icon. Stirring survivor. But in the end she was just the one and only Tina Turner. I was lucky enough to find her on her own terms, when she released her so-called comeback album “Private Dancer” in 1984. I was, of course, too young to be listening to all that. (Hello, “dancer for money, I'll do what you want me to do…”) But then, the other thing Tina Turner always was was sexy. So endlessly sexy, regardless of age, space and time. While I of course heard some of her earlier hits, it was once she became the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll that I truly fell in love.

So much ink rightful ink has already been spilled trying to explain what made Tina Turner so great. She remains perhaps the most dynamic entertainers of our lifetime. Yeah, there’s James Brown. But Tina Turner did it all – and in heels. Sure, there’s Prince, too. But he only sometimes did it in heels. It seems like a cruel cosmic joke that someone with such pure, raw kinetic energy should suddenly be gone. As if someday lightning may cease to exist.

Of course what else drew us to Tina Turner, besides her magnetic onstage persona, was the deeply personal hurt she had overcome. By being one of the very first celebrities to speak openly about surviving domestic violence, Tina Turner helped change the world. She shed light on the once taboo, hush-hush shame loop of intimate partner violence. And she was proof that you could get out and thrive, despite the worst efforts of small, violent, failed men like her ex-husband.

Having read about and watched her documentaries, including the 2021 doc “Tina,” it’s evident that she remained deeply traumatized by her abuse. Which, honestly, who wouldn’t be? To have the same questions, and the same horrible man, brought up in every interview and every conversation – that’s no way to heal. That she became a symbol of something she wanted to desperately forget remains one of the bittersweet truths of her life. So, yeah, I get it why she fled this country. I mean, I want to flee now. But, you know, different circumstances.

Which is another one of the revelations of Tina Turner. She spent the majority of her adult life – and certainly the majority since her skyrocketing solo success – in Europe. Since 1994 she had been a resident of Switzerland with her second (and younger, get it girl) husband. In Europe and Australia and Brazil she found equally adoring fans. The sun does not revolve around America, Americans. The world is bigger and wider and more beautiful than our small bubbles. So it only seems fitting a talent as momentous as Tina Turner should share herself completely with every last corner of it.

When she divorced her first husband, all Tina Turner took with her was her name. Now, no one could ever forget it. Simply, always, eternally The Best. Thank you for everything, Queen. Happy weekend, all.


Helena said...

Thank you for this lovely tribute. Have a good weekend Dorothy.

Carmen San Diego said...

Beautiful tribute DS
Tina Turner helped change the world For the better. I had the honor of watching Tina perform on her goodbye tour.
Tickets cost an arm and a leg and I was so high up that I could almost touch the Lakers championship banners hanging from the Staples Center rafters but she brought the house down. Unforgettable performance.
She really was simply the best.

Panty Buns said...

I agree with and second Helena's and Carmen San Diego's comments and sentiments!
Tina Turner was awesome and deservedly legendary. I will always love having heard her voice.