Wary of the news that Tina Turner had married a younger man, further investigation convinced Barbara Scully her hero is still simply the best
MY HUSBAND is my best friend and the person with whom I feel safest in the whole wide world. We have been married for almost 17 years. But it is my female friends, especially those who have been in my life for decades, who keep me sane.
Recently we discussed if (God forbid, etc) our marriages broke up or we were widowed, would we contemplate getting hitched again. I surprised myself by admitting I really didn’t think I would bother. The thought of getting to know someone from scratch, worrying about how I looked, trying to unlearn all the bad habits that my dearly beloved puts up with ... nah, it just didn’t seem worth it.
Then I thought about how an older man (in other words, as old as me) would be likely to have all kinds of health issues in the perhaps not too distant future. “No,” I announced, “I wouldn’t bother again. I’d just settle for the companionship of my felines and my friends.”
So when I read this week that one of my heroes, Tina Turner, now 73 years young, had tied the knot to a much younger man, my heart sank. Turner has always been a paragon of independent womanhood and courage. So what was she at, visiting cougar town a la Demi or Madonna? Tina Turner a cougar?
Perish the thought. She has way too much sass and class for that kind of nonsense. Look where it got poor Demi. And as for Madonna? Well, far be it from me to say it’ll all also end in tears, but it will all end in tears.
Tina Turner was first married in 1962 when she tied the knot with singing partner Ike Turner.
Performing as the Ike and Tina Turner Revue they had hits such as ‘River Deep, Mountain High’ and ‘Proud Mary’. In her biography I, Tina she outlined the abuse she suffered at the hands of the controlling Ike. She finally found the courage to leave him in 1976. She left the marriage with the only thing she valued — her name, something she felt she had worked very hard for.
And it was with that name Tina forged her second solo career which took off with the release, in 1984, of the Private Dancer album which spawned seven hit singles. Immediately Turner was catapulted into rock music superstardom.
A year later, in 1985, the then 45-year-old gave one of the sexiest performances on Live Aid when she duetted with Mick Jagger. The sexual energy and chemistry burned through our TV sets.
Here was a woman who had been through so much and who ultimately not only survived but thrived; a woman not just comfortable in her own skin but who revelled in her sensuality.
She was the embodiment of female empowerment and sexuality in a way that Carrie Bradshaw and her Sex In The City mates could only dream of. Turner was simply the best.
In recent years I was aware that she had more or less retired to Switzerland and I was not surprised to know that she had a man in her life. But I was very surprised to read recently that she was getting married and that the said man is 16 years her junior.
But Tina Turner is no cougar. The man in question, Erwin Bach (57) and our Tina have been together for 27 years. So clearly, this is no silly romance or mere dalliance.
Life has thrown Turner many curved balls and traumas over the years. When she finally left Ike, sunglasses hiding her bruised eyes, she left her children behind. She later said in an interview with Oprah Winfrey: “For anyone who’s in an abusive relationship, I say this: Go.
“Nothing can be worse than where you are now. You have to take care of yourself first — and then you take care of your children. They will understand later.” Not an easy thing to do.
Turner rebuilt her life, reclaimed her success, and found a loving relationship. Having spent 27 years together, I would imagine she’s damn sure that her Erwin is a good guy.
And with 10 years more on their relationship clock than I do, I’m sure that they know each other warts and all, with all bad habits long ago accepted.
So, you go Tina Turner. For nigh on 30 years you have represented triumph over adversity, the huge courage of the human heart and a hope that never dies. You have found your safe place and it seems only right and fitting to celebrate it with a wedding.