The April issue of The Vogue, with Tina Turner on the cover, hit the newsstands today in Germany. The photo shoot, with photos by Claudia Knoepfel and Stefan Indlekofer, shows Tina looking more vibrant and elegant than ever. In the interview, Tina looks back at her past success, but also to the future.
The photo spread inside the magazine finds Tina dressed in new and vintage Armani, posing inside her Swiss mansion in front of memorabilia of her past album successes. However, she is not the person for nostalgia, claiming she is “happier now, than she ever was”.
“My live circumstances are absolutely perfect, the condition of my soul is spiritually and mentally good. My physical condition is also very good, which is not really a surprise, since I never took drugs or smoked cigarettes. Thus, I’m physically healthy, and I’m happy!”
Tina doesn’t miss her stage life, her stage persona of Tina Turner is completely different from her private self. She says that she won’t return to stage unless she finds a new way of presenting herself.
“I completed my last tour at the age of 69. I really saw it as my farewell tour. What I did on that tour was on the edge of what I physically was able to, and wanted to, do. And these short outfits, they are not how I see myself anymore at this time. So, I won’t do that anymore, I have ended it.”
However, Tina is not completely in retirement.
“I’m waiting for the inspiration for a different kind of work, because I know that many people wish that I will do something again, and I understand now the importance of my stage performances for them. Still, that type of stage work is over. Before I re-invent myself, I don’t want to go back to something I already did, and thereby decrease its importance, but it was good as it was!”
For the moment however, there are no concrete plans for the future.
What is coming however, is the third of the Beyond albums. This time, a young Indian woman, Sawani Shende-Sathaye is also involved. The album should be released this year. A real Tina Turner album, on which she will sing, is not in the making. She says she is waiting for the right material: modern, but still something that is rooted in her own musical tradition. Asked what she likes in modern music:
“I really like the voice of Rihanna, and I like Adele. I also like Beyonce’s style.”
In her private life, she enjoys not having to work anymore, and doesn’t miss performing. Her day-to-day occupation now consists of learning German, which she started when she wanted to apply for Swiss citizenship.
“I started learning German after living here for four years. But I only head real classes for one year. Now, since half a year, I’m taking German lessons again, but Hochdeutsch – Swiss-German was even more complicated. I can present myself, say how old I am, where I come from, when I came to Switzerland for the first time; all of that I can say in German. So right now I can say: ‘Beruflich heiße ich Tina Turner. Aber mein richtiger Name ist Anna Mae Bullock’ (Professionally I’m called Tina Turner, but my real name is Anna Mae Bullock). I didn’t get much further yet (laughs)! Right now however I’m really studying the grammar of the language, so really from scratch.”
However, she hasn’t forgotten the USA yet. She heard about the moving of her old school building in Nutbush – Flagg Grove School.
“The school once belonged to my great-grandfather Benjamin Flagg. Now, I’m involved in the project and will be even more so, since I found out that it is really connected to my background, to my family. I’m very proud that I’m the one in my family, who can conserve this history.”
Later: “Did you see the picture on the internet? It was only one room, and in that room the education of three different classes took place. We would always go by foot, there was no bus. I walked there with my sister, on the way we met up with school friends. Actually, it was a very nice time. I wasn’t a good student, but teachers and fellow pupils liked me.”
When asked if she is still in contact with family in the area, she answers:
“I was there for the last time when the last of my close relatives was still alive. I took care of the property after she died. What’s left now of my family there are only distant relatives. I’m not really in direct contact with anybody there.”
All images are taken by Claudia Knoepfel and Stefan Indlekofer. Copyright by Vogue Germany.
The full article and many more photos can be found in the April issue of the German Vogue. It is in stores now in Germany, and around the world at your international news agent. For more information visit Vogue.de.