With the Tina Turner musical opening at Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre this Thursday (November 7th), the rock legend revealed that she's still never watched her 1993 biopic What's Love Got To Do With It, which was based on her memoir, I, Tina.
Turner, who turns 80 later this month, posted a piece for Rolling Stone chronicling the development of the new musical, titled, TINA: The Tina Turner Musical, which previously ran London's West End. Turner wrote, "I never saw What’s Love Got to Do With It because I was too close to those painful memories at the time, and I was afraid it would be upsetting, like watching a documentary. Thankfully, seeing Tina was not that way. What happens on that stage has lost the power to hurt me. I can sit back and enjoy the show."
Turner spoke about the music featured in both her catalogue and spread across the musical: "Let me tell you what surprises me. I’m struck by the way so many of the songs I sang during my career matched my life — that’s not something I thought about while I was performing, but I can see it now. The emotions I expressed were real because I lived those feelings. 'A Fool in Love,' 'I Don’t Wanna Fight,' that was my life. The thrill of finding my true voice when I first sang 'River Deep Mountain High.' Even 'Private Dancer' — which seems to be about prostitution, but is also about wishes, hopes, and dreams — tells the story of women like me, caught up in sad situations, who somehow find a way to go on."
My advice to (the star of the show) Adrienne Warren was, 'You’re not Tina. Don’t try to mimic me. And you have to be a little bit yourself.' She had to find a way to communicate 'essence of Tina,' in the way she sang, moved, and related to the audience. I got my energy from my audience and I always gave it right back to them. That relationship is key."
Tina Turner explained that it was really her audience overseas — and one very specific high-profile British fan — that helped her ‘80s comeback happen: [“It was all English people and foreigners that was responsible for Private Dancer. I was about to sign a record deal; Rupert Perry was president at Capitol at the time — he was shipped out to England, and Mr. Don Zimmerman was in control and canceled (the deal). David Bowie was then signing with them and they wanted to take him out to dinner and he said, ‘No, I’m going to see my favorite singer: Tina Turner.’ They came and went ‘Oh! get the papers Roger (Davies), we’ll sign her!”] SOUNDCUE (:23 OC: . . . we’ll sign her)