5 Things You Might Not Know About Tina Turner
Given the success of her bio-pic, Whatâs Love Got to Do with It, weâd understand if you thought that you knew pretty much all you needed to know about Tina Turner. You donât, though. Thereâs always some additional tidbit of trivia thatâs worth knowing about the woman who took you to the city limits of Nutbush and told you in no uncertain terms that youâd better be good to her. Here, for example, are five such tidbits.
1. Her first proper solo album was a collection of country and folk covers.
In 1974, while she was still officially part of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, Tina released her debut solo album, a 10-track LP entitled TINA TURNS THE COUNTRY ON! Although it was not a commercial success â it didnât even chart â itâs interesting to hear her tackling compositions by Kris Kristofferson (âHelp Me Make It Through the Nightâ), Bob Dylan (âTonight Iâll Be Staying Here With You,â âHe Belongs To Meâ), Hank Snow (âIâm Movinâ Onâ), and Dolly Parton (âThereâll Always Be Musicâ).
2. She performed a cover of The Spinnersâ âRubberband Manâ on The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.
Although she probably tries to put this appearance out of her mind, much as the cast members of The Brady Bunch likely do, if youâre a fan of Tina, you should definitely check out this clip, as itâs a song that never actually appeared on any of her albums and â as you might expect â she hits it out of the park. But donât ask us why they kept cutting to the swimmers. Thatâs a creative decision by the showâs producers, and we donât understand it either.
3. Sheâs part of the closing number in the movie adaptation of The Beatlesâ SGT. PEPPERâs LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND.
In fairness, sheâs not even remotely the only one: according to Keith Carradine in an interview with the AV Club, the producers of the film basically did a cattle call to round up anyone and everyone who was available at the time. âAnd everybody came,â said Carradine. âI mean, you saw who was there! And the film was justâwell, itâs ridiculous! But we didnât know that, and we werenât a part of it. We just came in to do this sort of grand finale singing at the end of the movie. And we thought, âWell, what the hell: Itâs the Beatles.â Well, at least itâs their music. But how do you say no to that? So we all went and stood up there in those bleachers and did that! Hey, man, what can you say? Itâs just one of those great mystifyingly inept moments of pop culture!â
4. The role of Auntie Entity in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome was written specifically with her in mind by George Miller.
âOne of the main reasons we cast Tina Turner is that sheâs perceived as being a fairly positive persona,â said Miller, in a 1985 interview with Time Out. âYou donât think of Tina Turner as someone dark. You think of the core of Tina Turner being basically a positive thing. And thatâs what we wanted. We felt that she might be more tragic in that sense.â The only catch was that Miller had envisioned Turner in the role without actually checking to see if sheâd have any interest in playing the part. Fortunately, she did. â[When we started] casting, the first person we spoke to was Tina. She had recorded PRIVATE DANCER by then, but it hadnât been released, and actually while we were shooting the film she started to chart and was doing well. So it was a matter of timing.â
5. Steven Spielberg tried â and failed â on three separate occasions to get Turner to play the role of Shug in The Color Purple.
In his book Spielberg: The Man, the Movies, the Mythology, Frank Sanello has a few paragraphs about this near-miss. In the book, the character of Shug is Celieâs husbandâs girlfriend, and she helps Celie leave her abusive husband. Unfortunately, Turner was a little too familiar with the storyline. âThe third time she turned me down, she said sheâd been through too much of this story in her own life to ever want to do it in a movie,â said Spielberg. âWe tested fifty to sixty actresses. I think I was always seeing Tina in the role.â (In the end, Margaret Avery played the part.)