Tina (2021) – Transcript

Exclusive access to the Grammy Award-winning artist to celebrate her career.
Tina 2021 documentary

Tina Turner overcame impossible odds to become one of the first female African American artists to reach a mainstream international audience. Her road to superstardom is an undeniable story of triumph over adversity. It’s the ultimate story of survival – and an inspirational story of our times.

In addition to a stunning amount of archival footage spanning 60 years, the documentary includes interviews with Angela Bassett; Oprah Winfrey; journalist Kurt Loder who co-authored “I, Tina,” which inspired the feature film; playwright Katori Hall, who scribed “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical”; and husband and former record executive Erwin Bach, among many others.

* * *

SPEAKER: There are hundreds of unique, inexplicable afflictions.

Being different is not a defect of character.


SPEAKER 2: You must understand the nature of the afflicted before the empire is brought to a shuttering halt.


SPEAKER 3: Might we be civil?


(CHANTING) Tina! Tina! Tina! Tina!

TINA TURNER: Well, hey, everybody!


TINA: Come on, give it to me. I said hi, everybody!


Let me hear you say, “ow!”



(SINGING) ♪ Oh, waiting in the storm ♪

♪ Ask me how I feel ♪

♪ When things are going wrong ♪

♪ Ask me how I feel ♪

♪ The night is awful cold ♪

♪ Ask me how I feel ♪

♪ You’re much too loose To hold ♪

♪ Ask me how I feel ♪

♪ You don’t treat me tender ♪

♪ No matter what I do ♪

♪ I’m the great pretender ♪

♪ Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Waiting in the storm ♪

♪ Ask me how I feel ♪

♪ When things are going wrong ♪

♪ You gotta ask me how I feel ♪

BACKING SINGERS: (SINGING) ♪ When the night is awful cold ♪

TINA: ♪ Ask me how I feel ♪

BACKING SINGERS: ♪ You know You’re much too loose to hold ♪

TINA: ♪ Come on And ask me how I feel ♪



INTERVIEWER 1: I wondered sometimes if anyone has approached you to do the story of your life, which is indeed fantastic.


But I don’t want to play the part.

I’ve done it.

INTERVIEWER 1: Who else could play the part of Tina Turner?

TINA: We’ll find someone. (LAUGHS)

I just really don’t want to play the part, you know what I mean?

No, you don’t know what I mean ’cause you’d have to know me to know.

It was just so unlike me, my life, that I don’t want anyone to know about it, I mean…

INTERVIEWER 1: You mean it’d be too painful or too–

TINA: Ah, it wasn’t a– It wasn’t–

It wasn’t a good life.

It was in some areas, but the goodness did not balance the bad.

So it’s like not– not wanting to be reminded.

You don’t like to pull out old clothes, you know?


TINA: It’s like old memories, you wanna just leave that in the past and done with, and a lot of things you don’t really wanna say, but there comes a time when you do have to say it.



CAMERA ASSISTANT: This is interview one, take one.


PRODUCER: In 1981, you did this interview with People magazine where, for the first time, really, you spoke openly about your past with Ike.


PRODUCER: And I’m curious if you can remember at all any of the thoughts you had around the decision to be public about that?

About my past?

PRODUCER: About your past, but also, I guess, about the abuse specifically.

Yeah. Yeah, that was quite… nerve-racking. Actually, I called my psychic and I said, “What’s gonna happen?”

‘Cause I was really apprehensive about giving the story away, because it was telling, it was really telling.

And she said, “No, Tina, it’s going to do just the opposite.

It’s gonna break everything wide open.”

CARL ARRINGTON: In the early eighties, being in People magazine was the equivalent of going viral.

We had 30 million readers, and if somebody wanted to reach a lot of people, there was really no bigger place to go than People magazine.

I was the music editor of People magazine for many years, uh, and this is the December 7th, 1981 issue, when Tina decided to tell her story.

And it was the first time she’d told the story in public to a journalist.

So, um, this is the story.

I reported it and wrote it for People magazine.

This is, uh, the picture of Tina.


“Tina Turner remains rock’s original Jagger, a primitive force who, glittering in sequins and a gold chain miniskirt, typically assaults the stage in mid-scream with both legs pumping, hips grinding, long mane whirling, and her mouth wrapped around some of the sexiest sounds ever set to music.

More than five years have passed since Tina’s bitter break with Ike Turner, her long-time husband, sideman, and music collaborator on such classics as ‘Proud Mary’ and ‘Come Together.’

Only now is Tina able to discuss what she claims were the harrowing events leading up to their split.”

TINA: (ARCHIVAL) I lived 16 years with a man that I knew there was no way I could ever be happy with, but I felt that I had to stay there.


TINA: You have to believe me, now, when I tell you something.

My ex-husband was a physically violent man.

I went through basic torture.

ARRINGTON: Torture? You would say– you would call it torture?

TINA: I– To me it was.

A lot of people don’t know, and your magazine will probably be the first to make it publicly known.

I was living a life of death.

I didn’t exist.

But I survived it.


TINA: And when I walked out, I walked.

And I didn’t look back.

ARRINGTON: (PRESENT) People choose to tell their story for lots of different reasons.

I think she told me so much because she wanted to just tell it and then forget it.

It didn’t quite work out that way because now that story is a great mark of her life.

SAM RIDDLE: Ladies and gentlemen, you’ve seen them live from coast to coast.


Now you’re about to see them all together for the very first time on national television.

Hollywood A Go-Go presents the fantastic Ike and Tina Turner Revue!




LE’JEUNE FLETCHER: When I was a teenager back in the sixties, I knew of their record that they had out, but I had never seen them. And then they came on TV, and I saw her dancing.

And that’s all I could look at.

I was just so amazed at this woman!


OPRAH WINFREY: I remember standing there watching her and saying, “Whatever that is, I want some of that.”

I got the spirit.

It’s no different than being in a church where you are moved and stirred to the point where you could feel it inside yourself.


(SINGING) ♪ Do you like good music? ♪

♪ Sweet soul music ♪

♪ Long as it’s swingin’ ♪

♪ Yeah, yeah ♪

♪ Get out here on the floor Y’all ♪

♪ Dancing to a go-go ♪

♪ And dancing to the music ♪

♪ Yeah, yeah ♪

♪ Spotlight is on me, y’all ♪

♪ And I’m having A ball, y’all… ♪

ANGELA BASSETT: Back then, you had the whole Motown Revue, you had Diana Ross, Mary Wells, the Temptations in these Italian suits, and were putting forth an image of sophistication.

And they were all…


…that kind of stuff, and Tina was more, “yeah!”

That kind of stuff, it’s wild, it’s your sensuality, your sexuality, and it’s in your face.

TINA: (SINGING) ♪ Dancing to a go-go ♪

♪ And dancing to the music ♪

INTERVIEWER 2: Did you ever study dancing?



And what about– what about music, uh, singing?

No, no music at all.

Everything is just natural for me.

I’m a performer.

And I sing and Ike does the, uh, the managing and producing.

It was Ike’s band, but he knew that in order to– to be a number one, he needed Tina, ’cause Tina was the shining star.








♪ Box top ♪

♪ Let’s rock ♪

♪ Don’t let it stop ♪

♪ You bet not ♪

♪ Oh, box top… ♪





TINA: (SINGING) ♪ He gave ♪

♪ Me a mother ♪

♪ And he gave me ♪

♪ A father too ♪

♪ He gave ♪

♪ Yes, gave me everything ♪

♪ And then he gave ♪

♪ He gave me you ♪

♪ He gave… ♪




TINA: (SINGING) ♪ He gave ♪

♪ Yes, gave me everything… ♪


(SINGING) ♪ Could I want… ♪

JIMMY THOMAS: He was like her hero, like a big brother.

And he seen her like a little sister.

That relationship was very beautiful, it really was.


TINA: (SINGING) ♪ He gave Me strength to love with… ♪

TINA: (PRESENT) I wasn’t thinking of…

“I’ll go to St. Louis, and I’ll start singing, and I’ll be a star.”

I was young, naïve, just a country girl, and everything just opened up to me.

TINA: (SINGING) ♪ And most of all ♪

♪ He gave me you ♪

INTERVIEWER 3: Tina, you started your musical career in a church choir in your hometown.

Do you consider your musical roots to be Black gospel?

Oh, yes, certainly. Black gospel, blues, BB King’s music was our radio during that time.

INTERVIEWER 3: Mm-hmm. What kind of songs were you singing as a member of the church choir?

(LAUGHS) Well, we called them– Well, it was a Baptist church, and they were just spiritual songs, um… songs about, you know, love, and, um, giving, and, uh, and, uh… doing all of the right things that make life good.

Those were good times, you know, to remember all of the church singing and the choir and all.


TINA: (PRESENT) When you’re in the South, there’s nothing… happened except the church, the piano, the preacher.

During that time, I didn’t know about anywhere else, so seeing Lucille Ball and Loretta Young, all the beautiful ladies of Hollywood, they were a role model for a performer.

But I didn’t think that I would actually achieve that, because, first, I wasn’t pretty, and I didn’t have the clothes, I didn’t have the means.

TINA: (ARCHIVAL) I remember the first Vogue magazine that I saw, and I remember my first French poster of Champs-Élysées, uh, the Eiffel Tower, and the– the very– very French woman.

I was like, “Ah, that’s what I want!

The world. That’s where I wanna go.”

KURT LODER: I got the impression from her, she always felt a little bit of out of time or a little bit out of place.

I didn’t think she ever felt like people understood her or really liked her for who she was.

And the talent she had, she finally learned that she had, can win you a lot of people who will recognize who you are and will become like your– your real family, uh, or try to.

INTERVIEWER 4: Ike, first of all, if we can– if we can kinda go back a long way to when you were a young man, a lot of people credit you with doing the first ever rock and roll record, “Rocket 88.”

Yeah, that was in 1951.


How did– how did that thing happen?

Well… (CLEARS THROAT) I lived in Clarksdale, Mississippi, which is actually 61 miles from Memphis, and BB King, uh, my mother, she practically raised him, you know?

And, um, one night, we was coming from Chambers, Mississippi, playing, and, uh, BB, I asked him, I said, “Man, can we play a song?” And he said– he said, “Yeah.”

So he let my band play one number, so anyway, he said, “Man, you guys should be recording.”

And, man, we didn’t have any material, so on the way up, we decided to write this song, and that’s when I wrote the song “Rocket 88.”


♪ You women Have heard of jalopies ♪

♪ You’ve heard The noise they make ♪

♪ But let me introduce My new Rocket 88 ♪

♪ Yes, it’s straight Just won’t wait ♪

♪ Everybody likes My Rocket 88 ♪

♪ Baby, we’ll ride in style ♪

♪ Moving all along ♪

LODER: Ike Turner is a very important part of R&B history. Everybody relied on him ’cause he really knew music, and he scored a real hit record with a song in 1951 called “Rocket 88.”

People say it’s the first rock and roll record.

And when it comes out, Chess has credited it to Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats.

Ike Turner did that song, you know.

He made everything about it happen, and it’s credited to one of his saxophone players.

Imagine how he feels about this?

And I think that’s the story of his career.

I think he became paranoid about that, he said, “People are always trying to rip me off.”

RHONDA GRAAM: He was always obsessed on it.

“Everybody leaves me. I make ’em, you know, popular and get a hit record and everything for them, and they all leave me.”

TINA: (PRESENT) Ike had a problem of writing songs for people and they would leave, and I promised him that I wouldn’t leave him.

In those days, a promise is a promise.










♪ There’s something on my mind ♪

♪ Won’t somebody please ♪

♪ Please tell me what’s wrong ♪

♪ You’re just a fool You know you’re in love ♪

♪ What you say? ♪

♪ You’ve got to face it To let it explode ♪

♪ Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey ♪

♪ You take the good Along with the bad ♪

♪ Yeah, hey, yeah ♪

♪ Sometimes you’re happy And sometimes you’re sad ♪

♪ One more time ♪

♪ You know you love him You can’t understand ♪

♪ Tell me about it now ♪

♪ Why he treats you like he do When he’s such a good man… ♪

TINA: (PRESENT) I finished school, and I went to a recording studio and I did a demo, and that’s when the hit record came.

♪ Oh, now I must be a fool ♪

♪ ‘Cause I’ll do anything He wants me to do ♪

♪ Now tell me how it goes ♪

♪ You’re just a fool ♪

♪ You know you’re in love ♪

♪ Yeah, one more time ♪

♪ You’ve got to face it To let it explode ♪

♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah ♪

TINA: (PRESENT) Ike came in and he said, you know, “The people in New York are very excited.

We got a hit record.” He was very excited, you know.

And then there was a contract started coming in.


TINA: I was very ignorant to show business.

I didn’t have any idea what it was about.

THOMAS: She really was young.

She never had no ambition to be some kind of superstar, but she– when she sang, she just– she just had it.

And Ike exploited it.

He had to make sure he was gonna get his this time, so he makes sure that his name is on it.

GRAAM: And that’s when he put the whole show together, the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, and gave her the name Tina Turner.


GRAAM: Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, it was a TV series.

“Tina” and “Sheena,” I guess it just sounded close to him, and it sounded good, “Ike and Tina Revue,” as a whole entity.

So he changed it, didn’t even ask her, she didn’t know anything about it.


THOMAS: Tina was the gold mine, he knew that.

He created this Frankenstein thing, and he had to control her.

So he had to change that thing from, “being my little sister, no, no, you’ve gotta be my wife now.”





GRAAM: You’d never know from one minute to the next, Ike could be having a good time, and everybody was having a good time, and it could just flip in a second.

And I think, with– with women, I think, you know, he figured he had the upper hand.

And especially like with Tina, you know, that was like… I think him instilling in her, “You’d better be good, or, you know, I’m gonna beat the shit out of you.”

And did on many occasions, you know, I mean, and for no reason, a lot of times, it was just… I really don’t know.

I don’t think he knows a lot of the time.

TINA: (ARCHIVAL) I felt obligated to stay there, and I was afraid.

And I stayed. That was just how it was.

I felt very loyal to Ike, and I didn’t wanna hurt him.

I mean, sometimes, like, after he’d beat me up, I’d end up feeling sorry for him, and why am I feeling sorry?

I’m sitting here all bruised and torn, and then all of a sudden I’m feeling sorry for him, you know? Little things like that.

I was 23 years old or something, you know, I mean, early twenties. I was just all–

How do you call it when someone brainwashes you like this?

ARRINGTON: Brainwashed.

TINA: Maybe I was brainwashed.

Yeah, I was– I was afraid of him… and, um, I cared what happened to him, and I knew that if I left, there was no one to sing.

So I was caught up in guilt and fear.

Yeah, those are the two worst qualities, I think, for a young girl to be caught up into.



ANNOUNCER 1: And now let’s go with Ike and Tina Turner!


♪ Listen while I talk to you ♪

♪ I’ll tell you What I’m gonna do ♪

♪ There’s a new dance That’s going around ♪

♪ I wanna tell you What they’re putting down ♪

♪ Just move your body All around ♪

♪ Shake ♪

♪ Oh, baby… ♪

THOMAS: In those early days, we’d play three shows a night.

Two shows this place, two shows that place and two shows at the after-hours place.

It was hard work.

FLETCHER: I can remember working as many as four shows a night, and every night and every show…


…was packed.

Was packed.

TINA: (ARCHIVAL) Right now, I’m gonna tell you a little something about my man.



TINA: ♪ My man ♪

BACKING SINGERS: ♪ Your man Your man, your man… ♪

FLETCHER: He rehearsed constantly.

Even sometimes we’d be driving to the next show, and he’d be playing the guitar in the back and having Tina sing. I mean, it was 24/7.

LODER: The show has to be perfect.

Every single part of it has to be perfect.

He was one of those guys who would, you know, turn around on stage and point at somebody, they know they’re getting a ten-dollar fine

’cause they just blew a note.

TINA: ♪ He lets ’em know That he’s a one-woman man ♪

♪ My man ♪

BASSETT: She didn’t have the glam team, someone doing the hair and the makeup and the stylist getting the wardrobe.

They did it all themselves.

TINA: ♪ My man ♪

BACKING SINGERS: ♪ Your man, your man, your man ♪

TINA: ♪ You know He’s really all right ♪

BACKING SINGERS: ♪ Your man, your man, your man ♪

TINA: ♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah He treats me… ♪

TINA: (PRESENT) The only freedom I had was when the Ikettes and I got the dancing ready and I got the dresses ready, and we’d get everything, except we didn’t even know what song was coming up.

He would, “duh-dum,” do it with the guitar, you know?

TINA: ♪ Here in our home My man ♪

TINA: (PRESENT) It was awful in a way, but it was a lesson.

Now that I look back, I see it as a training.

You– you adjust to what is given, and that is what was given at the time.


LODER: He controlled the music, and she had to–

It was always his music, and it was– which is very samey, if you listen to it all the time.

A lot of it’s just brilliant. I love those records.

But it’s– it’s of a type.

It’s one thing. It’s Ike Turner’s stuff.

And she– I think she had broader tastes than that.

She must have felt there was more you could do with music than this.

I think she probably had a bigger dream than– without knowing it, than he did.

THOMAS: People started to see that there was more to Tina than what Ike had to offer her.

Especially after the River Deep Mountain High album, you know, with Phil Spector.

LODER: Phil Spector was the greatest pop record producer of that period.

He played the studio like an instrument, you know, and he found all these singers, and he made these wonderful records.

And when Phil Spector wanted to make River Deep Mountain High, Ike’s presence was not necessary.

Just bring Tina in, ’cause she’s the star.


GRAAM: Spector didn’t want Ike nowhere near the studio, so he paid Ike X amount of dollars to get him taken care of, so to speak, so that he wasn’t– wouldn’t interfere with Tina.

And that was the first time they gave Tina… her chance to sing differently.



TINA: (PRESENT) I remember starting to sing with Phil, that style of singing which I had been singing.

TINA: ♪ When I was– ♪


SPECTOR: One more time.

And he said, “No, no, no, no. Just sing the melody.”

And I liked that.

That was a freedom that I didn’t have.

You know, like a bird that gets out of a cage.

I was excited about singing a different type of song.

I was excited about getting out of the studio on my own.

It was a freedom to do something different.


TINA: (SINGING) ♪ When I was a little girl ♪

♪ I had a rag doll ♪

♪ Only doll I’ve ever owned ♪

♪ Now I love you just the way I loved that rag doll ♪

♪ But only now My love has grown ♪

♪ And it gets stronger ♪

♪ In every way ♪

♪ And it gets deeper ♪

♪ Let me say ♪

♪ And it gets higher ♪

♪ Day by day ♪

♪ And do I love you My, oh, my ♪

♪ Yeah, river deep Mountain high ♪

♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah ♪

♪ And if I lost you Would I cry ♪

♪ Oh, how I love you, baby ♪

♪ Baby, baby, baby ♪

TINA: (PRESENT) It was so big, and my voice sounded so different standing on top of all that music.

TINA: (SINGING) ♪ I love you, baby ♪

♪ Like the flower Loves the spring… ♪

THOMAS: People started to see Tina was capable of so much more.

She– she had wings, man.

TINA: ♪ And I love you, baby ♪

♪ Like a schoolboy Loves his pet ♪

LODER: This is such an overpowering orchestration, it’s so complex, it’s this record that just blows out walls.

TINA: (SINGING) ♪ Baby ♪

♪ Baby… ♪


TINA: (SINGING) ♪ Oh, baby ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Oh ♪


It just died in the United States.

It died. Nobody wanted to hear it.

And you listen to this record and you think, “What’s the matter with this country?”

You know? I’m so ashamed to be an American.

(LAUGHS) You know, it’s like, “What’s wrong?”

Um, so– And that was a big blow to Spector’s career, and, you know, maybe Ike, probably, was thinking, you know, “Well, see?

He’s not so great. (CHUCKLES) You should stick with me.”

Like any Black artist in America that do, uh, any tune, it has to go, like, top ten on the R&B charts before the top 40 stations will touch it.

And “River Deep,” uh, was not a Black record, you know, and so it wouldn’t make the top ten on R&B charts, and so, therefore, the top 40 radio stations wouldn’t play it.

But where in England, they, uh, they listen to the record, and if the record is an R&B record, it’s an R&B rhythm, you know, if it’s rhythm and blues, it’s rhythm and blues, and if it’s pop, it’s pop, you know, and so it got played over here. It never got played in America.

The Black jockeys say it’s too white, the white jockeys say it’s too Black.


TINA: (SINGING) ♪ I was at this party ♪

♪ That had the doors All closed ♪

♪ All this funny smoke Kept goin’ up my nose ♪

♪ They had this joint That they was passin’ around ♪

♪ But when they got to me I turned it down… ♪



TINA: Yes.

ARRINGTON: What sort of life do you have?

TINA: Well, my life is sort of based around my four sons.

I have a housekeeper that takes care of them when I travel.

Being a wife and being Tina at the same time is almost like a split person.

But I’m able to separate the two, so everything is fine, and the whole thing is sane.

TINA: ♪ But everybody got tired Of blowin’ that grass ♪

♪ I told ’em at first… ♪

Ike Junior and Michael were Ike’s kids by Lorraine, his previous wife.

Tina had Craig when she was with the saxophone player, Raymond Hill, and then she had Ronnie, you know, with Ike.

They were, like, all together by the time I met Tina.

TINA: (ARCHIVAL) Michael, don’t stand on that– that door, don’t lean on that door like that.

TINA: (PRESENT) I made myself a family.

I totally psyched myself out, and I made a home, and I found some pleasure in that home every now and then.

Birthdays with children, and dinners, Thanksgiving dinners, periodically, but at least I had some sense of a life of what I had always wanted.

♪ But I was just too stoned To take that ride ♪



CRAIG TURNER: Where my trophy at?

Give me my trophy.

That’s a water boy trophy, it’s not–

Where’s Mother’s new trophy?

SIBLING: Hey, Craig?

CRAIG: What?


CRAIG: She was gone most of the time.

Over a period of eight years, everything was basically the same, eight months on the road, four months back, eight months on the road, four months back.

She was very, very strict, um, particularly when she was home.

We couldn’t have company unless we finished our homework, we had to do our chores, we had to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same time.

She really took to raising us personally because, basically, that was her happiness to a certain extent.





CRAIG: Everybody was happy around my mother, and she was always sad.

She never had friends, she never had anybody she could really confide in.

So, basically, her happiness was with us and her time alone in her room.

And there was nothing she can do about her circumstances.


CRAIG: He had to know where she was at all the time.

She was on allowance, she didn’t have her own money.

My mother really had a nonexistent life other than the studio and the house.


KATORI HALL: When I first interviewed her, one of the questions she kept on asking was, “Why did I stay? Why did I stay? People wanna know why I stayed.”

And for me, it was interesting to think about the violence that happened before Ike, ’cause I think a lot of people don’t know that she grew up watching violence in her own home.













TINA: And right now…


I think you might like to hear something from us… nice…

IKE TURNER: (SINGING) ♪ Left A good job down in the city♪

TINA: …and easy.


IKE: ♪ Working for the man… ♪

TINA: Well, now…

I’d like to do that for you.

But there’s just one thing. You see… we never, ever do nothing… nice and easy.


TINA: (CHUCKLES) We always do it nice… and rough.

And we’re gonna take the beginning of this song, and we’re gonna do it… easy.

(SINGING) ♪ Rolling ♪

IKE: ♪ Rolling ♪

TINA: ♪ Rolling on a river ♪

IKE: ♪ Rolling on a river My, my ♪

TINA: Listen.

(SINGING) ♪ I left a good job ♪

♪ In the city ♪

IKE: ♪ Down in the city ♪





TINA: (SINGING) ♪ Proud Mary keep on burning ♪

♪ And we’re rollin’… ♪

IKE: ♪ Rollin’ ♪

TINA: (PRESENT) I was truly a friend to Ike.

I had promised that I would help him… so I was still trying to help him to get a hit record.

♪ The river ♪

IKE: Two, three, four, come on!



♪ Now I left a good job In the city ♪

♪ Working for the man Every night and day ♪

♪ And I never lost One minute of sleepin’ ♪

♪ Worryin’ ’bout the way Things might have been ♪

♪ Big wheel keep on turnin’ ♪

♪ Turnin’ ♪

♪ Proud Mary keep on burnin’ ♪

♪ Burnin’ ♪

♪ Rollin’ ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ Rollin’ ♪

♪ All right ♪

♪ Rollin’ on the river ♪

♪ I said we’re rollin’ ♪

♪ Rollin’ ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ Rollin’ on the river ♪

♪ River doo-doo-doo Doo-doo-doo-doo ♪

♪ Doo-doo-doo-doo ♪


TINA: (PRESENT) “Proud Mary” became a hit.

We were all over America.

(SINGING) ♪ And I pumped a lot Of ‘tane down in New Orleans ♪

♪ But I never saw The good side of the city ♪

♪ Till I hitched a ride On the riverboat queen ♪

♪ Big wheel keep on turnin’… ♪

PHOTOGRAPHER: That’s fabulous.

INTERVIEWER 5: Who settles an argument if you–

Ah, things are not always the way they look, you know.

INTERVIEWER 5: No, Ike’s kinda quiet.

TINA: Yeah, he’s– he’s– Ike is very bashful when the lights are on, and–


TINA: But on the other hand, when he’s in the recording studio, Ike’s the one that does all of the ruling around, the talking, he’s the whole thing.

INTERVIEWER 5: But in public, he’s like this.

Yeah, ’cause he can’t get it together. It takes him–




(SINGING) ♪ You better do it I said we’re rollin’… ♪


(SINGING) ♪ Rollin’ Rollin’ on the river ♪

♪ Whoa ♪




♪ Hey ♪



I swear you’re behind me. Y’all behind me, right?

These are– I’m on– I’m on a speed above where y’all feel that.

You don’t hear me.



I’m just sayin’, like, you’re telling her– you’re tellin’ her that, and she’s not getting there.

I’m just trying to give her an example… of how to sing.



CRAIG: In the later part of their career when, you know, the hits weren’t coming in, a lot of money wasn’t coming in, he started placing the blame elsewhere.

You know, he took a lot of his anger out on her.


CRAIG: Most of the time, um, when Ike would come home, he would take her back in the room and then close the door.

And there’d be the screams.

And we were so petrified, we were in bed with the, you know, covers over our heads.

And then I remember one time he was, uh…


(VOICE SHAKING) …he was, um, striking my mother, and I was young, and, uh, he had thrown some scalding hot coffee on her.

And I went, banged on the door… and I said, “Mother!” And then it stopped, and then she said, “Craig, I’m okay.”

He came to apologize, and he apologized for the third-degree burn but didn’t apologize for throwing the coffee on her.

At that point in time, I hated that man for the rest of my life.

And I will never forget that, never.


I had begun to not really care.

And I was there alone.

How can I tell you what alone meant?



ALL: (SINGING) ♪ Tell me have you seen him ♪



GRAAM: We got to the hospital, and they pumped her stomach and Ike was out talking to the doctor or something, and I was in there, just her and I, and I was scared shitless, and I said, “Tina, you can’t die on me. Come on, now.”

It just really scared me, ’cause I didn’t know what had– you know– if she was gonna pull through or not.




INTERVIEWER 6: These are some difficult questions, now, and…

IKE: Okay.

INTERVIEWER 6: …there was a time when she was unhappy, and there was a suicide attempt.

Can you talk about her unhappiness and how that made you feel?

Well, I can’t really say how I felt because I never knew how she felt.

I didn’t know why she attempted suicide, uh, uh, because I thought maybe that it was a, uh, uh… well…

Let me start this again.

Uh, all right, at first, Tina, um, attempting suicide two or three times, um, I think that this was some form of attention.

Um, she was unhappy about the things that I was doing.

Uh, um, me being a womanizer, being with all these women and stuff like this.

And I think that, uh, the real truth is that she was trying to be something that she wasn’t.

She was– Wait a minute, I wanna clarify this.

She was trying to be what she thought I wanted.

Not what she– what really was.

She was trying to please me, and so therefore, she was going through a lot of hurt and I think she had a very unhappy life because of that.

I think we were living a lie, and, uh, if I’d have used my head any at all, I would’ve known better.

And so this is what led to our, um, downfall.








TINA: (PRESENT) Buddhism was a way out.

And it changed your attitude towards the situation that you’re in.

The more you chant, the more, you know, you become liberated mentally.


(CHANTING) Nam myoho renge kyo, nam myoho renge kyo,

nam myoho renge kyo, nam myoho renge kyo,

nam myoho renge kyo, nam myoho renge kyo,

nam myoho renge kyo, nam myoho renge kyo,

nam myoho renge kyo, nam myoho renge kyo,

nam myoho renge kyo, nam myoho renge kyo…










(SINGING) ♪ Yo ♪



(SINGING) ♪ Yo, ha-yo Hey! ♪




(SINGING) ♪ Every woman’s Got to be respected ♪

♪ Every little girl’s Got to have her respect ♪

FLETCHER: Ike had recognized it too, that he couldn’t control her anymore because she just wasn’t putting up with any of that.

Right now, I’m gonna talk about respect, because you see… respect is what I want.

I think it’s what most of us want.

But, you know, we don’t always get what we want.

Especially us women.


Tonight, I’m gonna speak for us women, you see, because somehow, the men always manage to get what they want.

That’s right.

They do what they wanna do whenever they want to do it.

And you know what?

They do it with whoever they want to do it with.

But that’s just started us women to thinking.

Yeah, we can think too.

We think that whatever’s out there in the streets must be good.

‘Cause your man’s been out there a long time.

Now us women wants to go out there and get us some too.


I want you to…

(SINGING) ♪ To get together ♪

♪ I want you to try to feel it ♪

♪ Try to feel it ♪

♪ And I want everybody To do a soul clap ♪

♪ Clap your hands ♪

♪ Clap, clap ♪

♪ Clap, clap ♪

♪ Clap your hands, everybody ♪

♪ Show some respect ♪

♪ Just give me Just give me respect ♪

♪ Just give me ♪

♪ Just give me respect ♪

♪ Just give me ♪

TINA: ♪ Got to have ♪

♪ Just give me ♪

♪ Come on ♪

♪ Just give me ♪

♪ Got to have ♪

♪ Oh, yeah… ♪






IKE: Okay, okay.







The memory of that was horrendous, of course, because I was practically run over by a truck.

I didn’t– I didn’t–

Well, I wasn’t thinking clearly, of course.

And so I thought at that point was a time when I could cross.

But, you know, I felt like I was moving slow.

And there was that big truck, really one of the big ones coming, and the horn blew and… (IMITATES HORN BLARING)

And what I mostly remember is flashing lights.










The next day, it was the Fourth of July, and I said, “Well, the Fourth of July,” but I’ll remember every time,

“Oh, Fourth of July, that’s when I got my freedom.”




TINA: (PRESENT) The divorce was… clean-cut.

I got nothing. No money, no house, no car.







TINA: (PRESENT) That is when I realized that I could use Tina to become a business.

And so I said, “I’ll just take my name.”

Ike fought a little bit because he knew what I would do with it, and it was through court that I got it, Tina.

HALL: To keep it… is to reclaim it.

Reshape it, refine it.

Also a kind of like, “fuck you” to Ike.

“Yeah, you gave me this name, but watch what I build with it.”


♪ When you walk into the bar ♪

♪ I’m the first one You’re gonna see ♪

♪ Business and pleasure Just don’t mix ♪

♪ So can I take Your order please? ♪

♪ You fellas know I don’t take no mess ♪

♪ It’s a whole lotta woman In this dress ♪

♪ Oh, they call me Root toot undisputable ♪

♪ Rock and Roller ♪

♪ I got a fine fanny But a rough-talking Annie ♪

♪ Rock and Roller ♪

♪ Ow… ♪

TINA: (PRESENT) I realized I had to go to work.

I mean, I couldn’t just stay there and wait for what? I had to work.

LODER: After Tina left Ike, somebody had to pay for all the dates they blew, and Tina wound up with all the bills, none of the money.

She would go do Vegas.

She’d go do, like, McDonald’s conventions.

She’d play anywhere just to make the money to get by.

TINA: (SINGING) ♪ Everybody Knows to keep it cool… ♪

GRAAM: Ike wasn’t paying anything at that point.

So she’s gotta support herself and the kids.

So that’s when I started booking television shows.

I mean, we were doing everything from The Brady Bunch…

(SINGING) ♪ Too many nights… ♪

GRAAM: …to Hollywood Squares.

ANNOUNCER 2: …in The Hollywood Squares!

GRAAM: Whatever TV shows we could get her on, because that was the only source of income at that point.

PETER MARSHALL: Ike and Tina, where’s Ike?

I don’t know.


MARSHALL: So nice to have you on this show, Tina.

Thank you.

ANNIE BEHRINGER: What I remember is there was always the shadow of Ike Turner.

It was really hard for her, you know.

Is it all right for me to ask you if you and Ike are together, or separated, or divorced, or…?

Separated and divorced. (LAUGHS)

INTERVIEWER 7: Separated and divorced?

Yeah. We are divorced.

INTERVIEWER 7: Yeah, it took a while for you to decide.

Oh, yes.

Well, yes. It was– I mean, we’re family, we’ve been together for, like, 16 years.


Ike and Tina Turner, that– that was a unit.


They still– People still call me “Ike and Tina.”

Ike and Tina. (CHUCKLES)

Yeah, they do.

BEHRINGER: He triggered a lot of trauma.

Just the thought of him.

You know, ’cause there was a lot.

But she’s a professional. She’d get on stage, you’d never know anything was up. Ever.

TINA: (ARCHIVAL) Five, six, seven, eight.

(SINGING) ♪ My head I hear music in– ♪

♪ I hear music ♪

♪ That lets me know There’s a party going down ♪

♪ La-la-la-la La-la-la-la… ♪

TINA: (PRESENT) I was– I was becoming stagnant.

I knew that there was something else, and I realized I wasn’t going anywhere.

I’d be in Las Vegas all my life.

Five, six, seven, eight, change position, two, three four…

TINA: (PRESENT) I was ready to get out there.

This is fine, what you’ve got so far, but it’s not good enough.

Well then, the next question is, but you’ll have to get someone to organize that.

That is when Roger came into the picture.


(SINGING) ♪ Somebody’s Gonna hurt someone ♪

♪ Before the night Is through… ♪

ROGER DAVIES: Well, I was working with Olivia Newton-John, and we were doing a television special called Hollywood Nights.

And Olivia had this desire to have really strong female singers back her in one or two songs.

♪ If it takes all night ♪

DAVIES: We had a list of people we asked, Toni Tennille, Captain &Tennille.

I think Peaches was in it, Tina Turner, and that’s when I first met Tina.

(SINGING) ♪ It’s gonna be A heartache tonight ♪

♪ A heartache tonight I know ♪

♪ Yes, I know ♪

♪ It’s gonna be A heartache tonight… ♪

I remember when I walked into Roger’s office, he looked at me.

I will never forget that look.

It was in wonder, like, “How old is she? What can I do with her?”

All of that. And then I said, “I simply want a manager. I don’t know what to do.

I need to work, I want to work.”

And then he said, “I need to see what you do.”

And so I said, “Well, I’m opening in San Francisco.”

(SINGING) ♪ Now you’ve heard my story ♪

♪ You heard Every word I say… ♪

DAVIES: They were doing a two-week residency at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, two shows a night.

♪ Fahrenheit or centigrade ♪

♪ They give us fever ♪


The first show was supper, you know, everyone eating dinner, and I’m like going, “Christ,” you know, this is…

♪ Fever ♪

DAVIES: It was very cabaret, and they did a lot of cover versions.

I didn’t react that excited. (LAUGHS)

‘Cause I didn’t think I could do anything with her.

♪ Way to burn ♪

♪ What a lovely way to burn ♪



♪ Burn, baby, burn ♪


♪ Burn, baby, burn ♪

DAVIES: Anyway, we stayed for the second show, and the second show, being like a nine o’clock show, it was people had some drinks, they were standing on tables and Tina was just working the audience.

And I went, “Wow. What a great live performance.”

♪ People getting loose now ♪

♪ Getting down on the roof ♪

♪ Folks are screamin’ ♪

♪ Out of control… ♪



DAVIES: You know when you meet an artist if they have got something that grabs you, and, obviously, it did to me, and she was also incredibly determined.

TINA: (PRESENT) Roger said to me, “What do you want?”

I had a dream.

My dream is to be the first Black rock and roll singer to pack places, like the Stones or those people that are packing those kinds of places, you know?

DAVIES: “I want to fill the rock stadiums, like Mick and Keith.”

And I said, “Yep, that’s what we’re gonna do.”

I had no idea if we were gonna do it, ’cause there weren’t any female rock artists in the world selling out football stadiums.


LODER: Tina’s problem after leaving the Ike orbit was now she’s on her own, she’s just Tina Turner, but who is that?

She is, by this point, older than your average pop stars, she’s a middle-aged woman.

Is she R&B, is it– was it disco?

Wasn’t she doing that recently?

It was very unclear, her image was unclear.

DAVIES: When Tina said, “I’d like you to manage me,” I immediately thought, “Well, we’ve got to get her a record deal, we’ve got to change the image so people at record companies know that you’re not just a Vegas cabaret act.

We’re gonna make it current.”

I said, “We’re gonna have to make a rock show.”


TINA: (PRESENT) I was ready for change.

I was ready for that.


TINA: Well, first of all, the long hair was a– a look that I used for Ike and Tina.

So cut the hair.

That was a change immediately.

Then the Bob Mackie clothes went.

Pulled out some of my rock and roll dresses, the shorter ones.

And I went to work.

DRUMMER: Five, six, seven, eight!


PIANIST: Ladies and gentlemen…

Tina Turner!


♪ Can I introduce myself? ♪

♪ I’m a girl Of financial wealth ♪

♪ Sound in mind Body, soul, and health ♪


♪ And I wanna kill his wife ♪

♪ I have this urge To take a life… ♪

DAVIES: We hired a young band.

We didn’t really have any money, so Tina, who had always knew what she wanted them to look like, said, “We’ll put them in black karate suits.”

The band hated them. (CHUCKLES)

The musicians were like, “Why do we have to wear these?”

I said, “Well you know, you each get a different color belt.”

BACKING SINGERS: ♪ He’ll escape Down into Mexico… ♪

TINA: (PRESENT) We looked a little bit shabby, but that’s what rock and roll is. It’s shabby.

FLETCHER: She wanted two girls, to get away, I think, from that Ikette thing.

TINA: (SINGING) ♪ Should I act Quiet, cold, and deliberate… ♪

FLETCHER: She was reinventing herself as Tina Turner.

♪ And they’ll say suicide They won’t know who done it… ♪

TINA: (PRESENT) That was the beginning of me taking control of my performance.

TINA: (SINGING) ♪ Kill his wife ♪

I was my own boss.

♪ I really wanna take a life ♪

BACKING SINGERS: ♪ He’ll escape Down into Mexico ♪

♪ Baby, to Mexico ♪

BACKING SINGERS: ♪ Sell the house ♪

♪ And find a nice young girl ♪

♪ Find a nice young girl ♪

♪ Just so life Won’t hurt no more ♪

♪ Ooh ♪

♪ Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, Oh yeah, yeah, yeah ♪



TINA: (ARCHIVAL) So, the minute we changed the show, reviews were great, everything was going well.

And then we started working to try to get a record deal.

Nobody would touch Tina Turner.

DAVIES: When I first started trying to look for a deal with Tina, the general feeling was,

“Is she still with that guy, Ike?”

No one had any idea.

Tina needed to be exposed as, “She’s a solo artist, she’s not associated with Ike.”

TINA: (PRESENT) Roger came to me, asking me if I would be willing to give the story to the press, and I was afraid to… put it out because of what I might receive from Ike.


ARRINGTON: (PRESENT) I didn’t really know too much about the backstory, and nobody knew about the traumas that she went through.

You know, I just was looking for a simple comeback story.

Little did I know, you know, there was this whole legend, uh, that came about.

TINA: (PRESENT) I didn’t know what to expect.

I wanted to stop people from thinking that Ike and Tina was so positive.

I mean, he was– it was– that we were such a love team, or a great team, and it wasn’t like that.

So I thought, if nothing else, at least people would know.


TV ANCHOR 1: Tina Turner is a legend, a major influence on rock stars like Rod Stewart and Mick Jagger.

Once, she was teamed with her husband, Ike.

Now she’s on her own, trying to establish herself as a star once again.

TINA: (ARCHIVAL) My life with Ike, it was, uh, one that a lot of, maybe, people are familiar with, of husbands that is, uh, that practice brutality. (LAUGHS)



WINFREY: Nobody talked about sexual abuse, physical abuse, domestic abuse.

Abuse, period.

Our generation is the generation that started to break the silence.

INTERVIEWEE: Tina, she couldn’t voice her own opinions.

Everything that she did was with Ike.

ARRINGTON: The idea of Tina as a presence on her own and having escaped, people loved that story.

They wanted– You know, here was somebody to root for.

DAVIES: Once the word was out, we met a guy called Carter, John Carter at Capital who believed in her.

JOHN CARTER: (ARCHIVAL) I had always been interested in artists that no one else was interested in.

Once a star, always a threat, and that’s the way I felt about Tina.

So you play that thing, you’re playing that, and you’re playing the strum under me, and we move down stage with that.

Let’s just get that right. That’s exactly…

DAVIES: Carter basically gave us a development deal.

We tried probably eight or ten tracks, still trying to find our way. We never got quite there.

Stay under me there, but just come down.

Keep the pulse under me. Don’t lose the–

CARTER: We record a few things, and as much as Roger and I would get enthusiastic about a song here and a song there, it was never really the body of work that we needed.


And then one day, Carter rang me up, beside himself, because there’d been a change of management at Capital Records.

And they’d been in a meeting, and they’d been going through the roster of artists, I guess, and the new management didn’t want Tina on the label.

CARTER: The new regime comes in…


…and like any new regime, they’ve got their own idea about what they wanna do.


CARTER: So I flip out, I go downstairs, and I said, “Hey, this is my act.”

And the classic quote is, “Carter, you signed this old nigger douchebag?”

INTERVIEWER 9: Whoa. Whoa.

CARTER: “Yeah, yeah, I did, and I’m really happy about it.

Now pick up the phone and call Roger Davies.”


CARTER: He said, “No fucking way.”

And I get on my knees, and I said,

“I’m now gonna beg you, and I’m not gonna get up until you pick up the phone.”

(LAUGHS) And there was a long stare down, and he picks up the phone.


CARTER: Well, he says, “Okay, she’s back on the roster.”


“You finish your record, but you understand that we’re gonna do nothing. That’s all there is.”




TINA: (PRESENT) I was held back… for a very long time.

But I didn’t suffer from those things, and it’s not necessary to suffer about that because what can you do about it? You know?

So I didn’t think about those things.

DAVIES: She always had a belief it was gonna be okay.

And I think you had to have that belief to get– keep going.

Radio, as you know in America, was very categorized.

And there’s pop, and there’s R&B, there’s urban, then there’s hot AC, and she wanted to sing rock.

And that wasn’t really what they thought would work.

And that’s when we knew that it had to be England, ’cause England and Europe got her.



TINA: (PRESENT) It was London, it was another whole experience from America.

You know, it felt like home.

It felt so comfortable that I could’ve been there all my life.

Well I didn’t have that many friends in America because, of course, Ike, and then when I left Ike, immediately, I went to work.

My sons were at home, they were fine.

My oldest was 28, um… my youngest is moving well into his middle twenties, so not really kids anymore.

I left everything and everybody behind.

I needed every minute of my brain to map my life together.


HALL: It’s almost like she had a coming of age at 40 years old.

The fact that she has this voice, this incredible, incredible voice, I would say the industry didn’t even really know what to do with.

LODER: Roger could see what could be done when other people couldn’t imagine what it could become.

Said, “There’s this new kind of production technique in England, and there are these new people, they’re getting new sounds, and you should be part of that.”

DAVIES: I was collecting songs. I used to carry around this leather bag full of cassettes and asking a bunch of people and, you know, Terry Britten, he was a bit of a hero of mine, and he had songs I think might work for Tina.


Roger’s tea.


“What’s Love” is probably the worst demo ever done to this date. I mean, there’s no– there’s no, uh–

(HUMS) ♪ Be-do-be-do ♪

Just none of that stuff. Very white, very pop.

And nothing remotely would say Tina Turner.

♪ Only logical… ♪

TERRY BRITTEN: Originally, it did go to an English band called, um, Bucks Fizz.

They were really popular at the time and, uh, I think they actually recorded it.

♪ Whoa-oh-oh What’s love got to do ♪

♪ Got to do with it? ♪

♪ What’s love But a secondhand emotion? ♪


I was convinced.

I thought “What’s Love” was… it could be a big song.

Tina never really liked it.

(SCOFFS) It was terrible. It was awful. It was…

I was rock and roll, I was not–

That was a– that was a pop song.

So Roger says, “All right, all right, all right.

Just one thing, you’ve gotta meet Terry Britten, you’ve gotta meet him ’cause he’s a great writer, and maybe he can make some adjustments or whatever.”

And I went, “All right.”


We walked in, and I didn’t know what to expect at first, and Terry was like a little leprechaun.

I mean, he’s very short.

He was sitting there, and his legs were hanging. (LAUGHS)

There’s just something about his legs hanging that I remember.

She came in, and immediately, she said, “Well, you know I don’t like that song, and I don’t wanna do that song, and it’s Roger– Roger that wants me to do it.”

Well, I said, “Well, you know, if it doesn’t work out, you won’t use it, so let’s give it a go.”



TINA: I had to find a way to sing the song, so he would say, uh, “Tina, sing this how you would sing it.”

So, okay. Then I applied my heavy voice to it and–

(SINGING) ♪ Your hand Makes my pulse react… ♪

BRITTEN: She was trying to get her head round it.

“How’s this little… (IMITATES DRUMBEAT)

…work?” Sort of thing, and, uh, I said to her, “Tina, this is a jog.”

And we both stood and jogged.

I said– and– she was singing loud, and I went, “Quieter, quieter.”

She said, “If I go any quieter, I’ll be whispering.”

I said, “Yeah, that’s it.” And we start to jog on this thing, and suddenly she went, “I got it, I got it, I got it.”

(SINGING) ♪ Oh, oh, oh, What’s love got to do ♪

♪ Got to do with it? ♪

♪ What’s love But a secondhand emotion? ♪

♪ What’s love got to do Got to do with it? ♪

♪ Who needs a heart When a heart can be broken? ♪

BRITTEN: I was stunned afterwards, after the session.

TINA: ♪ That I’m acting confused… ♪

They weren’t used to a strong voice standing on top of music.

But I converted it and made it my own.

♪ I tend to look dazed I read it someplace ♪

♪ I’ve got cause to be ♪

♪ There’s a name for it… ♪

BRITTEN: She said, “You know what?

People are gonna say this is a Tina Turner song.

It’s not Tina doing a cover.

This is Tina Turner’s song.”

♪ Whatever the reason ♪

♪ You do it for me Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ What’s love got to do Got to do with it? ♪

TINA: (PRESENT) I knocked that album out in two weeks in the studio.

Done. Finished.

DAVIES: We just went from studio to studio, and, literally, two or three weeks, the album was done.

We turned up with an album that sold 20 million copies.

TINA: ♪ Can be broken… ♪

DAVIES: When the album was out and we were in New York at Tower Records doing a record signing, and I got the call from our record company that it had gone– “What’s Love” had gone to number one on Billboard.

INTERVIEWER 10: In Tower Records?

TINA: This was in Tower Records.

And I just jumped up and I said to everybody, “It’s number one!”

And they all started cheering. It was wonderful.

INTERVIEWER 10: You know, when you said that, I honestly have to tell you,

I know it’s gonna sound real corny, but I mean it, when I saw you say that last night, that this went number one today, I just, like, burst into tears because, to me, it was like there is some justice after all.

I don’t know if you feel that way about it, but it was very moving. (SIGHS) Number one.

♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ What’s love got to do Got to do with it? ♪

♪ What’s love But a secondhand emotion? ♪

♪ What’s love got to do Got to do with it? ♪

♪ Who needs a heart When a heart can be broken? ♪

♪ What’s love got to do Got to do… ♪

DIANA ROSS: And the record of the year is “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” Tina Turner.


My goodness. This has been a wonderful evening.

I’d like to take this award and give it to someone that’s been wonderful to me as a friend, and in business, and in many ways, my manager, Roger Davies.

It’s been a wonderful year.


TINA: (PRESENT) My Private Dancer album, no, I don’t consider it a comeback album.

Tina had never arrived.

It was Tina’s debut for the first time, and this was my first album.

ANNOUNCER 3: Tina Turner!

ANNOUNCER 4: Tina Turner!



DAVIES: It reached a stage where, after Private Dancer, it was unbelievably big.

It was a runaway train.

ANNOUNCER 5: When you’re hot, you’re hot, and this lady is the hottest.


Tina Turner!


FAN 1: I had my boyfriend standing in line since 3:00 in the morning to get these tickets.

I said, “That’s it, the relationship’s over unless you get me these tickets.”

And if she isn’t sexy, I don’t know who is.

FAN 2: Give our honors to Tina Turner.

Stupenda, stupenda.



DAVIES: Um, Private Dancer, I think we ended up doing a hundred and fifty concerts.

And then we went on to break every rule.

On that album, we did the biggest tour we’ve ever done.

We played 230 shows in 18 months, everywhere in the world.


This 50-year-old woman playing at stadiums throughout Europe and having an audience ranging from about 15 to 60 was pretty amazing.

-She makes you feel young. She’s alive, she’s bouncing.

FAN 4: I know, I feel like I’m 20 years younger.

FAN 3: I can’t wait for them to come back.

TINA: (ARCHIVAL) When I’m on stage, and it’s like 20,000 people, then you know that it’s all worthwhile, you know.

But it’s really a lot that goes on behind the scenes when you– I’ve never been this big before, you know what I mean? And you– Uh, it’s just incredible.

DAVIES: We didn’t stop.

We played the small halls, we played the clubs, we did all the TVs, we got to arenas.

We eventually fulfilled her dream and filled the stadiums.

That concert in Rio was 186,000 people there.


Hello, Rio!


Give it to me. Hello, Rio!



TINA: You can’t imagine what it was like for me to finally to stand there and draw all those people.

It’s a feeling of, like, “I did it,” and it’s really genuine.

It’s– it is almost like magic, because you’re standing there, and they’re really giving you love.

TINA: Are you ready?


TINA: Are you ready for me?

I’m ready for you. Hello.


(SINGING) ♪ I can’t stand the rain ♪

♪ Against my window ♪

♪ Bringing back sweet memories ♪

♪ I can’t stand the rain ♪

♪ Do you remember? ♪

♪ Uh-uh ♪

♪ How sweet it used to be ♪

♪ When we were together ♪

♪ Everything was so grand ♪

♪ Now that we’ve parted ♪

-♪ There’s the one sound ♪

♪ One sound ♪

♪ I just can’t stand ♪

♪ I can’t stand the rain ♪

♪ Against my window ♪

♪ Bringing back sweet memories ♪

♪ I can’t stand the rain ♪

♪ Against my window ♪

♪ ‘Cause he ain’t here with me ♪

♪ Oh, oh ♪

♪ When we were together ♪

♪ Everything was so grand ♪

♪ Ah, bringing back some Sweet memories ♪

♪ One sound ♪

BACKING SINGERS: ♪ One sound ♪

♪ I just can’t stand ♪

♪ Rain ♪

♪ Rain ♪

♪ Rain ♪

♪ Rain ♪

♪ Rain ♪

♪ Rain, whoo! ♪

♪ Yeah ♪



TINA: Thank you.




LODER: In 1985, she signed on to do the third Mad Max movie, Beyond Thunderdome.

Rolling Stones sent me to cover this.

Great, I would love to cover this.

She was the biggest pop star in the world.

I mean, it was already clear that there were gonna be people doing these quickie bios of Tina Turner, which I thought was really tacky, so I get over there and I talk to Roger, and I said, “You know, maybe you should have someone do a book.

You know, do an actual biography.

And… could be me.

I mean, could be anybody, you know.

I don’t want to be pushy.”

PRODUCER: You pitched to them?

Oh, yeah. Well, I brought up the possibility of doing something to forestall all these bad books that would be coming out.

DAVIES: When she became successful, the past came up, and it got a lot of press ’cause she was also hugely popular.

People continued to ask about Ike, even after she had had huge solo success.

They’d bring up the same old stuff, over and over, in every interview.

We couldn’t stop it.

Ike was, uh, arrested on some cocaine charges in Pasadena.


INTERVIEWER 11: Yeah, for possession and– and conspiracy, possibly for dealing.

Any reaction to that?

I, you know, I’d like to hear all positive things.

I’d love to hear that Ike had a record deal, and he was producing an album on himself.









I think that she said at the time that, “I can do this and not talk about it again.

Everybody’s talking about it.

Everybody has this idea about it, thinks this or that.

So, I know what happened. I’ll say what happened.

Then I won’t have to address it again.”


REPORTER: A long line of fans waited outside a Barnes and Noble bookstore for Tina.

The soulful singer is now also an author, and she was in town, anxious and willing to autograph a few hundred copies.

FAN 5: It was worth getting sweaty, going up there, pushing people, getting them out the way, seeing Tina Turner. I love her.

“What’s Love Got to Do with It”?

TV ANCHOR 2: Tina’s book, by the way, tracing her rise and fall and rise again, is titled I, Tina.

LODER: It was a top ten New York Times best seller, strict because of Tina Turner.

I mean, they could put an empty book out with her picture on the cover, that book would have sold.

She just felt maybe it will put it to bed once and for all.

Which, of course, it didn’t. It just made it bigger. (CHUCKLES)

RADIO HOST: Albuquerque, New Mexico, hello.

FAN 6: (ON PHONE) I read your book, and it’s totally changed my life.

I love you. I thank you.

HALL: That story reached so many people who felt like they had to kinda keep their secrets locked away deep down.

But then I wonder that thing of, like, it’s like a Pandora’s box situation, right?

Like, “Damn, I gotta tell this story again?”


GRAAM: And then the film came out, and just kinda brought more attention to her name, for people to see what happened and everything.


Don’t start with me.

I ain’t in the mood today, all right?

It’s tangible in the sense you’re watching it.

I’ll give up all that other stuff, but only if I get to keep my name.

I worked too hard for it, Your Honor.

GRAAM: That just changed everything for her.

BASSET: That role changed my life.

I mean, I’m not Tina, and I’ve got so much, uh, love from others.

Men, women who have come up and said, “You playing her in that story changed my life.”

ARRINGTON: (PRESENT) The story goes out into people’s houses, and then it becomes a part of their life as well.

It’s Tina Day!


TINA: (ARCHIVAL) That’s hard to wrap your mind around, that your life has been an inspiration, maybe the worst parts of your life has been an inspiration.

TV HOST: We have 50,000 letters downstairs from women who have also been through it and survived.

Tina did it, so can you, let’s celebrate.


ARRINGTON: She’s no longer in control of that story.

That’s what happens to icons.

Anna Mae Bullock has her own life.

Tina Turner belongs to the world.




INTERVIEWER 12: Miss Turner, welcome to Venice.

Can you give me your views on the film?

Well, I haven’t as yet seen the film.



Well, I’m not so thrilled about thinking about the past and how I lived my life, it was, uh– made a story– the story was actually written so that I would no longer have to discuss the issue.

I don’t love that it’s always talked about, you see.

I made a point of– of just putting the news out to stop the thing, so that I could go on with my life.

And this constant reminder is not so good.

You know, I’m not so happy about it.

So, do I want to sit in a screen and watch the violence and all the brutality?

No. That’s why I haven’t seen it.


ERWIN BACH: You know, when you talk to journalists over and over for 20 or 30 or 40 years, memories come back.

She has partly dreams about it, uh, they’re not pleasant.

So I think these are these things that come back to her when she opens that book.

It’s like when soldiers come back from the war.

It’s not an easy time to– to have this in your memory, and then try to forget. I see it a little bit like that.

INTERVIEWER 14: Tina today is a world superstar, um, but there was a point where you had to become the Comeback Kid.

How did you get the strength to get out of that situation with Ike?

Oh, we are going to talk about him, aren’t we?

(LAUGHS) Okay.

I need my fan now, I just had a flush. (LAUGHS)

How did I get out of that situation?

Let me figure out how I can talk about that, two seconds.

No, no, I know how to get out of it.

I’m just going to say, um, something.

Give me two seconds here.

TINA: (PRESENT) You don’t want to think about those times, you know.

You just want to– it to just to go away.

But if you’re gonna keep bringing it up, the brain is saying, “Oh, you want to remember that.”


That scene comes back.

You– you’re dreaming. It’s– The real picture is there.

It’s– it’s like a curse.

INTERVIEWER 15: You raised a son by him, a son by another man, and two of Ike’s kids by other women.

There were always other women on the scene.

What was that like for you?

INTERVIEWER 16: When you were married to Ike, what was the absolutely worse moment?

INTERVIEWER 17: What do you think attracts women to bad men?

INTERVIEWER 18: Is there a real lowlight?

Something you’d love to forget?

INTERVIEWER 19: And of course, the book and the movie features your allegations about his bashings.

Tell me about that?

TINA: (ARCHIVAL) I’m– I’m past it.

It’s been 16 years since I haven’t been with Ike, and the movie and the book is bringing me back to the past, of something that was really awful.

My life is wonderful at the moment.

I’m a happy person now, and I don’t dwell on unhappiness.

TINA: (PRESENT) The trauma is still so deep that to go back there makes you feel like you’re actually going back.

If you don’t address the wounds of your past, you continue to bleed.

GRAAM: You know, she just– she always had the feeling that she wasn’t loved.

She wasn’t, you know, she wasn’t a wanted child.

I think with her mom, I think that’s still the– the dramatization of being left as a child, that never left.


TINA: (PRESENT) Ma was, uh, not kind.

When I became a star, of course, back then, she was happy because I bought her a house.

I did all kinds of things for her. She was my mother.

You know, I was trying to make her comfortable, because she didn’t have a husband, she was alone.

But she still didn’t like me.

Even after I became Tina, Ma still was a little bit, “Who did that?” or “Who did this?”

And I said, “I did it, Ma.”

You know, I was happy to show my mother what I did.

I had a house, I had gotten a car, and she said, “I don’t believe it.

You’re my daughter, I know you didn’t–“

Something to this affect.

Yeah, she… (SCOFFS)

She didn’t want. She didn’t want me, she didn’t want to be around me, even though she wanted my success.

But I did for her as if she loved me.

INTERVIEWER 20: She’s had a few kind of ups and downs in her life as well.

It hasn’t– it hasn’t been all happy.



When– when she’s unhappy, how– how does she deal with it?

I would say she…

She did a great job of dealing with it, because… she would figure out the problem and how to handle it.

INTERVIEWER 20: Would she kind of come running home to you crying?

No, no, no, no, she figured that out on her own.

INTERVIEWER 20: Have you had any particularly… any particular moments that you were really proud of?


Well, I’ve been proud of her ever since she started singing.

But it’s like… a person– some people’s afraid to climb a ladder unless someone’s holding it.

But she’s not.

Once she make that first step on that ladder, she keep climbing up, up, up, up.

She’s not afraid.

She’ll try it.

She’s not afraid to try anything.

LODER: (ARCHIVAL) Do you think that now, after all the– I mean, you’ve risen to the top of the entertainment field, where you’ve maybe sacrificed love for–

TINA: Rising.

LODER: This is what–

This is what readers will say, now.

“She has no– she has no love in her life.”

TINA: Oh, Kurt, we’re gonna get really heavy now because I’m drinking.

You’re gonna find out.

LODER: Oh, good. (LAUGHS)

TINA: I have not received love almost ever in my life.

I did not have it with my mother, and my father from the beginning of birth.

And I survived.

Why did I get so far without love, Kurt?

I’ve never had it. And it– and if I cry here, it doesn’t mean that I pity myself, it means that tears come with certain memories.

LODER: No. Tears are not bad.

TINA: I have had not one love affair that was genuine and sustained itself.

Not one.

Kurt, I’ve been through…


…fucking tons of heartbreak.

I have analyzed it. I said, “What’s wrong with me?”

I’ve looked in the mirror with myself stripped of makeup and without hair.

(VOICE BREAKS) Why can’t someone see the beauty in the woman it is that I am?

Not a goddamn person that found it.




(SINGING) ♪ When I was younger ♪

♪ So much younger than today ♪

♪ I never needed anybody’s Help in any way ♪

♪ Now those days are gone I’m not so self-assured ♪

♪ Now I find I’ve changed my mind ♪

♪ And opened up the doors ♪

♪ So help me if you can I’m feeling down ♪

♪ And I do appreciate you Being round ♪

♪ Help me get my feet Back on the ground ♪

♪ Won’t you please Please, help me ♪

♪ And now my life has changed In, oh, so many ways ♪

♪ My independence Seems to vanish in the haze ♪

♪ And every now and then ♪

♪ I feel so insecure ♪

♪ I know that I just need you ♪

♪ Like I never did before ♪

♪ Help me if you can I’m feeling down ♪

♪ And I do appreciate you Being round ♪

♪ Oh, help me get my feet Back on the ground ♪

♪ Won’t you please Please, help me ♪

♪ Won’t you please Please, help me ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

♪ Won’t you please… ♪


♪ Won’t you please help me ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Help ♪

TINA: ♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Help ♪

♪ Help ♪

♪ Oh ♪


TINA: (ARCHIVAL) The man that I’m looking for, actually, has to be a very strong man, to wear, actually, the trousers, but yet not to dominate me.

And that’s fair.


FAN 7: Tina, over here!


BACH: We met at a Cologne airport.

No, actually it was, uh, Düsseldorf Airport.

And, uh, her manager, Roger, asked me to, uh– to pick up Tina.

TINA: He was younger. He was 30 years old at the time.

The prettiest face. I mean, you cannot.

I said, it was like saying, “Where did he come from?”

He was really so good looking.

My heart went, “ba-boomp, bop, bop.”

And it means that a soul has met.

And my hands were shaking.

So Roger said to me, “Tina, you ride with Erwin.”

And I– I wanted to go, “Yay.” (LAUGHS)


BACH: We enjoyed the ride. I enjoyed driving the artist.

Actually a superstar for us, where you’re normally a little nervous, you know.

But, uh, I wasn’t nervous either.

I was just doing the job.

TINA: (PRESENT) When he found out that I liked him, he came to America.

We were in Nashville, I think it was, and I said to him, “When you come to LA, I want you to make love to me.”

But I thought that I could say that ’cause I was a free woman, I didn’t have a boyfriend. I liked him.

There was nothing wrong with it, it was just sex.

And he looked at me as if he doesn’t– didn’t believe what he was hearing. (LAUGHS)

I laugh now at the moment, because I sometimes get that look when I do certain things.

He was just so, so different.

So laid back, so comfortable, so unpretentious.

And that was the beginning of our relationship.


TINA: I really needed love. I just needed to love a person.

How many years later, darling, we got married?

BACH: Twenty-seven.


BACH: It’s love. It’s something we both have for each other.

I always refer to it as an electrical charge.

I still have it.

I still have it and even though when I left her two hours ago, three hours ago this morning, I still have that feeling.

That feeling is still with me, and, uh, it’s in my heart.

I feel very warm about this.




JOURNALIST: First, a minute to remember one of the fathers of rock and roll.

Ike Turner died today at age 76.

Back in 1951, Turner helped record what is one of the first rock and roll records, “Rocket 88,” with his band, The Kings of Rhythm.

He may be best known as the abusive ex-husband of Tina Turner, with whom he performed for many years.

After their separation, Ike Turner continued to make music.

In 1991, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and earlier this year, his record Risin’ with the Blues won a Grammy for Traditional Blues Album.

TINA: (PRESENT) For a long time, I did hate Ike, I have to say that.

But then after he died, I really realized that he was a sick person.

He was an ill person at the soul.

He did get me started, and, uh, he was good to me in the beginning.

So I have some good thoughts.

Uh, maybe it was a good thing that I met him.

That, I don’t know.


TINA: It hurts to have to remember those times.

But at a certain stage, forgiveness takes over.

Forgiving means not to hold on.

You let it go, because it only hurts you.

Not forgiving, you suffer, ’cause you think about it over and over again.

And for what?

I had an abusive life.

There’s no other way to tell the story.

It’s a reality, it’s a truth.

That’s what you’ve got.

So you have to accept it.



Working it. Working it as always.

Why thank you, honey.

Can you tell us what Tina means to you?

The money shot is coming.


TINA: Some people say the life that I lived and the performances that I gave, the appreciation is blasting with the people.

And yeah, I should be proud of that– I am– but when do you stop being proud?

(LAUGHING) I mean, when do you–

How do you bow out slowly, just go away?


BACH: She said, “I’m going to America and I’m going to say goodbye to my American fans, and, uh, I’ll wrap it up.”

And I think this documentary here and the play, this is it.

It’s a closure, a closure.

CROWD: (CHANTING) Tina, Tina, Tina!



What I gleaned from her life was love.

Love of self, love of her family, love of her– of her talent.

Love of audiences, of music, of freedom.

But there’s a part of her, I guess, that we’ve all laid claim to, we’ve all embraced across the world, and I hope she knows that.

You know, how beloved, how loved she is.

She is absolutely adored.







(SINGING) ♪ I call you when I need you ♪

♪ My heart’s on fire ♪

♪ Come to me Come to me wild and wild ♪

♪ You come to me ♪

♪ Give me everything I need ♪

♪ Give me a lifetime Of promises ♪

♪ And a world of dreams ♪

♪ Speak a language of love Like you know what it means ♪

♪ And it can’t be wrong ♪

♪ Take my heart And make it strong, baby ♪

♪ You’re simply the best ♪

♪ Better than all the rest ♪

♪ Better than anyone ♪

♪ Anyone I’ve ever met ♪

♪ I’m stuck on your heart ♪

♪ I hang on every word you say ♪

♪ Tear us apart Oh, no ♪

♪ Baby, I would rather be dead ♪

♪ In your heart I see the start Of every night and every day ♪


♪ In your eyes I get lost I get washed away ♪

♪ Just as long As I’m here in your arms ♪

♪ I could be In no better place ♪

♪ You’re simply the best Whoo! ♪

♪ Better than all the rest Whoo! ♪

♪ Better than anyone ♪

♪ Anyone I’ve ever met ♪

♪ Ooh, I’m stuck on your heart ♪

♪ And I hang on Every word you say ♪

♪ Don’t tear us apart, no, no ♪

♪ Baby, I would rather be dead ♪

♪ Each time you leave me I start losing control ♪

♪ You’re walking away With my heart and my soul ♪

♪ I can feel you Even when I’m alone ♪

♪ Oh, baby, don’t let go ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ You’re the best ♪

Sing it, everybody!

♪ Better than all the rest ♪

♪ Better than anyone ♪

♪ Anyone I’ve ever met ♪

♪ Ooh, I’m stuck on your heart ♪

♪ I hang on every word you say ♪

♪ Don’t tear us apart, no, no ♪

♪ Baby, I would rather be dead ♪

♪ Ooh, you’re the best ♪

♪ You’re simply the best, yeah ♪

♪ Better than all the rest ♪

♪ Better than anyone ♪

♪ Anyone I’ve ever met ♪

♪ I’m stuck On your heart, baby ♪

♪ I hang on every word you say ♪

♪ Don’t tear us apart, no, no ♪

♪ Baby, I would rather be dead ♪

♪ Ooh, you’re the best ♪



TINA: Thank you.


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