“Forget the jewelry. Forget everything. It’s just blood money. I want nothing”. This is what Tina Turner told the judge when she divorced Ike Turner in the summer of 1976. She was 39 years old and had endured for almost two decades all kinds of harassment and beatings from her artistic and affectionate partner: on their wedding night in 1962, he took her to a brothel. She went so far as to throw scalding coffee at her face, causing her second degree burns. «He used my nose as a punching bag so many times that I could taste blood through my throat. He broke my jaw. And I couldn’t remember what it was like not to have black eyes.”writes in the advance of his new memories that The Daily Mail is advancing by chapters, a volume that will be published on October 18 under the title My Love Story.
Although the artist had already recounted part of that hell of abuse in Yo, Tina, her 1986 autobiography, it is in this new publication where she details new attacks and how she came to be silenced and ignored by the industry for having filed for divorce from Ike Turner after a violent beating in Las Vegas which led her to grab her bag, a scarf and a coat and escape through the back door of the hotel. She took advantage of the fact that Ike was sleeping to do it. She only had 36 cents in her pocket. It would take seven years for her to get her career back on track and sell millions of records thanks to the initial help of Cher in 1977 and her “Cinderella moment thanks to David Bowie” in 1983. “Every door I knock on, I say Tina and they all answer Ike”would regret during that lapse of “cabaret performances” who was his manager, Roger Davies.
With the divorce, Tina Turner managed to keep her name and keep two cars (Jaguars) that had been given to her in the past. Ike’s four children – two from the couple and two from Ike’s previous wife – initially stayed with their father. «I had no home and I spent two months from home to friends. While the owners were away, I cleaned their home from top to bottom. She’d rather be anyone’s maid than Ike Turner’s wife. that was my attitude“, he points out in the text. When she was finally able to get a house to live in with her children, according to her account, Ike Turner’s “thugs” harassed her and on more than one occasion she had to “sleep in a closet” for fear of being killed – they shot their car – or call the police to have them evicted from their property. For a time, she carried a gun on her everywhere. “It was like a constant threat, as if he was telling me ‘I’ll see you soon, you’ll come begging for your old life’.”
“No one wanted to bet on Tina without Ike”recalls in his memoirs. All but Cher. Tina performed several times on Cher’s variety show on television. The artist, who gave her the nickname “Hurricane Tina,” had also divorced her artistic partner, Sonny hers, and saw herself reflected in her. Having had to cancel scheduled concerts, both had to face debts from the losses from the canceled shows due to having been the ones who had left their respective groups (“we would both end up paying every penny we owed”).
It was thanks to David Bowie that his career finally took off. The few television appearances and “cabaret concerts” he managed to schedule barely gave him a living (“it covered my rent and expenses, but my earnings were about $10 a month”). Everything changed one night in 1983, when David Bowie decided to cancel the release party for his new album, Let’s Dance, and tell all the heads of his record company that he’d rather go to a concert “of his favorite singer at the Ritz, me!”. As he recalls in the book, “my manager was bombarded with calls from music executives desperately asking for tickets. The show went very well and then David came backstage with Keith Richards. The three of us were having such a good time talking about music (and drinking bottles of Jack Daniels and champagne) that we didn’t want the night to end. So we went to Keith’s suite at the Plaza. Ron Wood dropped by, David started playing the piano, and we jammed all night.” For the artist that was a turning point in her career. “That night at the Ritz my life changed dramatically. Capitol signed an agreement with me and I also did it with EMI in England ». The takeoff from him was meteoric.
Ike Turner wouldn’t forgive him for revealing the abuse in his biography. «Yes, he hit Tina, but he didn’t do it any more than any guy would half hit his wife.. The truth is that our life was not so different from the neighbor next door », he would confirm in a controversial interview with Spin where he tried to normalize the abuse. Tina managed to recover with hardly any help. the popular producer Phil Spector would take advantage of Ike Turner’s funeral to ignore Tina Turner and try to whiten her figure: «I have an ambivalence with Oprah Winfrey. She turned Tina Turner’s book into a bestseller that demonized Ike. The book would not have sold more than 10 copies. It was poorly written. It was rubbish and just because Oprah idolized Tina she didn’t think it was wrong to vilify a brother.” Spector is currently serving time on charges of fatally shooting a woman, Lana Clarkson, at his home.
How Tina Turner’s wigs (which she came to do) got between the singer and men