Tina Turner interview: the singer on Ike, Buddhism and leaving America for Switzerland

Bryan Appleyard in The Times:

Methode%2Fsundaytimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2F17996124-26b4-11e8-8cd0-05c64066237cHer parents were already splitting up when she was born. She was passed round the family. As a teenager, she started looking for the love she had been denied. There was Harry on the school basketball team. “That was love at first sight, and it was, like, ‘Whoom!’” She clutches her stomach at the memory. They went out for a year, then he started seeing other girls. “All of my relationships in the early days were broken hearts. I had a hard time.”

By the age of 16, she was living in St Louis with her sister, Aillene. In a club, they saw a band, Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm. One day he grabbed a mic and sang, and he took her into the band and, after a while, seduced her, in spite of the fact that she didn’t fancy him at all.

“I felt awful. I didn’t know how to say no, because I needed the work. I think I wasn’t educated to handle that.”

They married in 1962, and she suffered years of violent abuse. But Ike made her a star. When he released Tina singing A Fool in Love in 1960, he unleashed one of rock’n’roll’s greatest stars on the world.

She sang and yelled through Ike’s arrangements, often with a black eye or a busted lip, or even worse. On stage, she was the most powerful creature anybody had ever seen; off stage, she was enslaved.

More here.