Christiaan Hermans - Tina Turner – 1976 – 2016 – 40 Years of Freedom and Independence
Tina, a free and liberated woman - Part 1
Tina Turner, The Queen Of Rock"n" Roll, became a free and independent woman in July 1976.
After 20 years of hard work, 16 years of bad marriage, performing multiple shows a day, releasing many records with songs she didn’t want to sing, Tina finally ran away from this crazy world she was living in, with just 36 cents and a gas station card.
By the end of July 1976, Tina applied for a divorce. Although she was finally free, she had to take care of herself and her children.
At first that wasn’t an easy task. No income, no food, no clothes and many more no’s where Tina ran into.
The only thing she had was a lot of debts, because of concert cancellations that were made for Ike & Tina Turner.
After a short break, to catch her breath a little and enjoying her freedom, Tina went back to work in December 1976. Here’s a TV Performance of Tina on the Donny and Marie Show at New Years Eve performing"Carnival".
Tina’s friends told her to enjoy life. In the old days she never did that.
Tina wasn’t allowed to go to parties and doing things on her own.
Tina enjoyed this new kind of living and was spotted a few times in the public like at these pictures of Studio 54.
After this new way of living and enjoying it for a while, Tina went searching for a manager and new venues to perform in, so she could pay her way out of this mess.
Tina asked Rhonda Graam, her assistant and road manager in the old days with Ike, and Mike Stewart, head of United Artists Record Company, to book her in every venue she could get in. Rhonda succeeded to get Tina in a few TV shows in 1977 like the Sonny and Cher Show, the Las Vegas Entertainment Awards, the Donnie and Mary Show, the Dinah! Show, the Lynn Anderson Show and a few more.
Here’s a video of Tina performing"Life In The Fast Lane" at the Las Vegas Entertainment Awards.
Tina put a Las Vegas cabaret show together with songs she liked from her past and coversongs like"Big Spender" and"Life In The Fast Lane".
She absolutely didn’t want to sing the old rhythm and blues stuff anymore.
She wanted more action and ballads.
This was a complete change for Tina’s fans, but they loved it.
Although Tina wanted to record new songs, record companies weren’t interested in signing up Tina. They thought she would end up with Ike again soon.
In 1977 Tina went on tour with this show on her own.
She toured in the US and Australia. Critics said"Who is she, without Ike?".
Tina didn’t let herself discouraged by these first critics and kept working.
Fans who bought tickets were pleased and shows were sold out.
Tina knew how to entertain them and the critics were coming around again and gave Tina the credit for her good shows.
Tina worked hard, but didn’t make a dime for herself.
She had to rent a house and she really wanted some material possessions, but she lived on food stamps and still wasn’t able to afford the things she really wanted that bad.
Tina believed it would all work out fine soon. She sensed through her spiritual guidance that she would be a Queen again someday after this low life part would come to an end.
She changed her way of thinking and living. She took many risks, even her working crew told her to be careful with taking these huge risks and responsibilities.
For instance, she went shopping with no money and bought a house which she couldn’t afford.
Tina worked even harder to hold on to these things she really wanted that bad, and was able to save them and herself, before it would collapse in front of her nose again.
In this stage of her life, Tina decided to get rid of all stuff that didn’t make her happy.
It was a real learning curve for Tina. Hiring and firing people, dating, friends and family which weren’t always cooperating and most of all Tina herself and her new found attitude in the way of living her life.
After being on the road for almost a year in the US and Australia, Tina started to tour in Europe in January 1978.
Europe always loved Tina and the papers, magazines and TV companies were very good to Tina. Her shows were hot and got very good critics.
Tina’s first solo performance on European TV was in Germany, a music show called Musikladen. Tina performed her new disco version of the Acid Queen.
Fans were relieved to see Tina again and the tour was a success. Tina’s divorce became final in March 1978.
Although she didn’t want to hear from Ike ever again, Ike kept bothering her in every way he possibly could.
Tina didn’t care for that anymore, because she was used to it, but she stayed alert.
She gave up everything she had worked for in the old days, but wanted to keep her stage name: Tina Turner.
Tina had secretly applied for royalties of old records and songs and she succeeded.
She had now a source of extra income, which finally gave her a little more breathing space to make her life better.
Tina asked her personal friends over the years to get some personal stuff from her when they visited Ike’s mansion.
In that way she still got what was hers with no strings attached. Clever Tina!!!
Tina kept on working hard in 1978 and another dream came true for her.
She finally was able to record new songs with the help of her manager Mike Stewart of United Artists USA, EMI Records UK/Europe and Ariola Records Germany.
The album is better known as"Rough" like Tina herself and was released in September 1978.
Although the music was modern and the songs were terrific with Tina’s vocals, the album didn’t get the attention it deserved and flopped.
Tina was devastated but quickly re-arranged herself with pride for herself and her recordings and kept on working.
She released a few singles of the album in 1978/1979.
"Root Toot Undisputable Rock"n" Roller“,"Viva La Money“,"Sometimes When We Touch" and"Fruits Of The Night“.
Tina also covered Elton John"s song"The Bitch Is Back" which became the opening song of her updated cabaret shows in 1978 and 1979.
In this same time period, old record labels started to release re-issues and unreleased tracks of the Ike & Tina Turner days.
This gave Tina’s career a little boost to the public, but also created more difficulties with attracting new material and applying for recording records.
Tina did whatever was in her power to create the best situation for herself, and in this case it was to stay on the road with her show.
With new material and new covers of songs she succeeded to put up another great show.
In the meantime between late 1978 and early 1979 Tina recorded another album with new material.
This album better known as"Love Explosion" was much more disco oriented.
Tina recorded the album between her live concerts and TV appearances.
Tina appeared on shows like The Midnight Special in January 1979 where she performed multiple songs and hosted the show.
She was still promoting her songs of the album"Rough" when "Love Explosion" was released in March 1979.
Although this album got a little more attention, it still failed to receive any recognition in sales and flopped also.
They released three songs as a single of the album"Love Explosion".
Those singles were "Music Keeps Me Dancing“, "Love Explosion" and "Backstabbers“.
Not even one of them charted and record companies decided to end their cooperation with Tina.
Although Tina was still selling out live concerts like hot cakes, she knew she had to change direction and get out of this cabaret circuit.
Tina announced a world tour with this show and the public received her with open arms.
Tina added some songs of her last album in her live shows and did some TV appearances for example The Mike Douglas Show, The Kenny Everett Show and another performance in late 1979 on the Midnight Special performing another set of songs. Here’s a very rare video of Tina Turner in the Kenny Everett Show in 1979, where she performs the ballad "Sometimes When We Touch" live.
Tina was still fighting for success and her personal life.
Despite these major struggles, Tina kept believing in herself as in her mind, body, strength, pride, talent and her spiritual soul.
Although Mike Stewart and Rhonda Graam helped her to keep working, Tina knew she had to change this organisation and her career direction if she ever wanted to make it to the top.
After touring the world, seeing and performing with many colleagues and friends, Tina was invited by Olivia Newton John for her "Hollywood Nights" special.
Tina’s eye fell on Roger Davies and Tina wanted him as her manager.
She wanted to do whatever it took to get him as her manager.
After an introduction and a little help, Tina convinced Roger Davies to watch her show in the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco in the early 1980’s.
This lead to new opportunities for Tina and a major challenge for Roger Davies, which you will all find out next week in the second and final part of Tina’s liberation and her road to success.
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Scotty Stillman - Why I love Tina Turner's "Foreign Affair"
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Esther Vastenhout - Anna Mae Bullock – The girl in the field with no name
Bartosz Jagodzinski - Berlin – January 2009
Angie Spencer - Private Dancer Tour – Perth – 24 Dec. 1985
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