After many troubles and months of wait, here is finally our new Tina fan of month: Hank! A long time Tina fan from New York who witnessed Tina’s new success as a solo artist and who has great stories to share with us about Tina! Thanks again Hank for the interview and for your patience!
Hometown: New York, New York, USA
Tina fan since: 1973
Favourite Tina song: Nutbush City Limits
Favourite Tina album: “I have two, Acid Queen and Private Dancer. I can’t choose just one!”
Number of Tina concerts: “I’ve lost count but not nearly as many as some of the other fans I’ve known.”
What is your favorite Tina song?
It’s next to impossible to pick an absolute favorite song from Tina’s incredible catalog but Nutbush City Limits is what made me a starstruck fan so it holds a special place for me. And it’s one of the funkiest tracks ever recorded. I was stunned when I read Marc Bolan played lead guitar!
What is your favorite Tina album ?
Acid Queen was my favorite for many years. I got it the week it was released and haven’t stopped playing it since. Acid Queen captured Tina’s powerhouse vocals and paved way for the direction that her mega successful career would take her, years later. Private Dancer is the jewel in her crown and showed the world the stuff from which she is made. When I played it the first time, I was completely mesmerized. It hasn’t dated either. As I got older, I saw the magic in all the old Ike and Tina recordings on Sue Records. Of course River Deep Mountain High is regarded as one of the most monumental works in rock history. Picking favorites with Tina isn’t easy!
How did you discover Tina?
Playing my transitor radio while lying in bed at the age of 10. Proud Mary was the first song I heard of Tina’s but for whatever reason, I never got the record. Even then I was collecting records. I later saw her on some TV show and she blew my mind but it wasn’t until Nutbush City Limits that I really tuned in to her and that’s where it all began. My obsession started in 1973 when I was 13. Back then, a young kid yearning for Tina Turner was something unusal, I think. Her pictures and posters covered my bedroom wall.
What is your favorite Tina Tour?
The Ritz shows were incredible for me since Tina had changed her image from the Vegas shows and made it more rock and roll. The last time I had seen her before The Ritz, was opening for Lou Rawls with a band wearing tuxedos. When she entered The Ritz stage wearing her hair piled up like Pebbles Flintstone and with the classic 70’s gold chain mail dress, I lost my breath and lost my mind! She was BACK and with “something on HER mind”…she was going to rule the world. The Private Dancer tour was also a fav since it was the first time that I saw Tina singing her own songs and to thousands of other people, first time as top billing in Madison Square Garden . I had seen so many greats there like Bowie but to see Tina on her perform there was something else!
What do you think was the reason you were first attracted to Tina?
Oh for sure her wildness! And her look… all that hair flying, the intricate dancing, the music, a fusion of rock and soul and of course, the voice. She was very tough on stage, overtly sexual yet feminine but she sang a song like a man would. There was no other perfomer like her. Looking back on when I first started loving Tina, I realize she represented freedom to me which I’ve heard others say too.
What is the craziest thing you did for Tina?
I got familiar with Eddy Hampton Armani, Tina’s assistant for many years, talking to him at The Ritz. I met her for the first time in ’81. A year later when she returned to NY, I bought a heart shaped pendant on a necklace, the kind she always wore during The Revue days. I waited for her by her dressing room, Eddy tried to get me in but Tina was busy with Ashford and Simpson and Roberta Flack. When Tina exited her dressing room, I startled her by yelling out, TINA! THIS IS FOR YOU! She took the package addressed to The Acid Queen and walked out. Later that year, I saw her at another venue and Eddy got me again backstage. I approached her (I was so nervous) and told her that I gave her the necklace a few months before. She said, “YOU gave me that necklace???” and gave me a big kiss on my left cheek. I was tongue-tied and didn’t know what to say!
If you could ask Tina one question, what would you ask?
WHERE ARE ALL YOUR SHOES AND WIGS? WHERE ARE THEY??? Oh, I really don’t know. I guess I have so much I would like to say that I would be confused and tongue-tied yet again.
How many Tina concerts did you go to?
I wish I had kept track but more times than I can count. I’ve seen every incarnation of Tina’s, starting with Ike and Tina Turner, Tina’s first solo perfomances in ’78, all The Ritz shows and every tour of her’s through 2008’s 50th Anniverary Tour. I haven’t seen Tina since then like some of you who’ve travelled all through Europe to see her Beyond projects. My hat is off to all of you!
Any story or anecdote related to Tina you would like to share?
The last time I met Tina was at her Private Dancer album signing at Tower Records. I had her sign my LP and briefly spoke to her and I wasn’t tongue tied. I told her how proud I was of her new found fame and I witnessed her being told that What’s Love Got To Do With It was #1 on the charts in the U.S. She also found out that she got the part of Auntie Entity in Mad Max. She has said that it was one of the happiest days of her life and I was there.
What is your favourite Tina moment?
Having her sign my Private Dancer LP and she wrote Love, Tina Turner. I said, “Tina, please go back and write To Hank and she said, “To Hank??”, laughed and wrote To Hank. And of course, being right next to the stage at The Ritz shows while she was 2 feet in front of me, tearing everything up in her path. You can’t see Tina any better than that!
Ever get tired of Tina?
Are you kidding?? How could anyone get tired of Tina?? What kind of question is that? HA! No, never! She is an inspiration for me and continues to be.
Do you ever get strange reactions from other people because you are such a big Tina fan?
Not that I can remember. I will tell you that I’ve turned several friends into Tina fans by introducing them to her amazing talent and music. Once you have seen Tina live, you’re never the same.
What other music do you like?
All kinds. I particularly listen to punk / new wave, all genres of rock from 50’s through present, classical, jazz, R&B, Soul but I think it’s a travesty to see what kids listen to these days! What is happening?? I won’t name names but I think so many of today’s singers are manufactured and have no substance.
Will Tina ever tour again?
No I don’t. She’s payed her dues. I know it’s hard work for her to tour and I don’t see Tina doing any more major world tours. I do think though, that she will perform on a much smaller scale on special occasions, like Children Beyond. I have a feeling that she will keep surprising us with her boundless energy, eternal youthfulness and her own special message.