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April 28, 1996

The men in Tina's life ... it takes two, baby!

Sunday Mirror, Apr 28, 1996 by Anne Barrowclough

..She's four years away from her bus pass - but don't expect Tina Turner to start acting her age. At 56 she's just kicked off an 18- month world tour and her backing dancers are still struggling to keep up as she loses up to 8lbs during her gruelling, two-hour concerts.

It's left fiftysomethings - and just about everybody else! - desperate to find out the Tina Turner secret. Showbiz insiders say it''s simple...and point to the two younger men in her life.

The first - her lover, Erwin Bach - made her palms go wet as soon as she saw him... and she had to ask him out.

The second, her manager, Roger Davies, is so close to her that she doesn't bat an eyelid stripping to her knickers in front of him.

German Erwin, 39, has been her lover for 10 years and Australian Roger, 44, has been her manager and best friend for 17 years. Both have dedicated their lives to making Tina happy. And more importantly, they give her the sense of security that she has longed for since she left Ike, the husband who made her - then physically broke her. At home - a rented flat in Zurich - Erwin, head of EMI Switzerland, provides the passion and love she craves.

The two have such a passionate relationship that guests staying at their multi-million holiday mansion in the South of France go for long walks when Tina and Erwin disappear into their bedroom together. The couple met when Erwin was sent by her record company to deliver a jeep. For her, it was lust at first sight. "It wasn't one of those jump straight into bed situations," she says. "But from the first time I saw him, my palms went wet." She adds: "I went after him. If I hadn't, our relationship might never have got off the ground. I could tell he liked me but he never asked me out so I thought I had to make the first move if I wanted anything to happen."

Tina asked him out for a drink, and their relationship took off from there. "Being with Erwin I have discovered how to love a man and how to trust a man for the first time in my life," she says. "The best bit is getting that love, trust and respect back. It's the difference between being wanted and being a possession." But on the road, it's Roger Davies Tina turns to. Their relationship is so close members that of their tour team call them "The Odd Couple." One tour insider said: "They could be man and wife, they're so close. They even own houses 20 minutes away from each other in Cap Ferrat in the South of France." Another added: "They could never be lovers because that would destroy their friendship. But they are with each other constantly. On tour, they have hotel rooms with interconnecting doors.

When Tina gets changed for shoots, Roger is in the same room with her even when she's changed down to her knickers. They have no secrets from each other." Tina calls Roger "the brother I never had" and admits: "I manage his private life." Friends say if Tina doesn't approve of Roger's girlfriends, they won't last. Roger admitted: "Emotionally we are very close. I always know when she's upset."

Tina's tour opener in Cape Town was a case in point when everything seemed to go wrong, including her sound monitor - which meant Tina was singing her heart out, but could not hear anything. "Within the first 50 seconds of something going wrong in the first song, I knew exactly what was going on in her mind," says Roger. "I felt helpless, being out there, but unable to do anything for her. "After the show, I knew she was really upset and I thought 'What do I do? Should I jump into the car with her, or do I go off with the rest of the team?' "Well, I got into the car and she was silent. I knew she was fuming. I waited five minutes then made a joke about the sound. "She yelled for five minutes, then calmed down. Back at the hotel she had a bath, then we sat together for an hour and talked things through." He said the only thing Tina demanded before a show was not to know if any celebrities were in the audience, because it distracted her. I used to get excited and run in saying,'Guess what? Mick Jagger or 'David Bowie's here' and she'd yell 'Don't tell me!' Now I leave it until after the show."

Erwin is one of the few boyfriends who Roger approves of. He's the best man I've ever seen her with," he says, "because he's not using her. Erwin's very good. If people go to him thinking that they can get to Tina through him, he just gives them my phone number. "There have been boyfriends prior to him who wanted to be deal makers, but Erwin doesn't do that. From day one he has never interfered in the business. "Tina said to him 'don't talk business to me because Roger's my manager and I don't want you to come between us,' and he respects that, thank God." But if Roger and Erwin look after Tina's heart, and her business, she takes care of her body.

To prepare herself for the current tour, which hits Britain in June, she has given up junk food and coffee. She also sleeps for ten hours a night, and as a practising Buddhist chants to get rid of inner stresses. Shopping also helps her ease tension and she says it's her passion for clothes and furniture that has steeered her clear of drugs.

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