September 2000 Report
Turner is 60 years old now and approaching the end of another world tour she has officially announced will be her last. "I did feel that there was maybe one more, or something where you just get it off. This time, I know it's a closure. I can feel it," says Turner.
The beginning of her last time around was her appearance on the VH1 program "Diva's '99." She was set to perform her trademark version of "Proud Mary" with another rock 'n' roll legend, Elton John, a long-time friend with whom she was planning an elaborate tour. That plan, according to Turner, died at the show's rehearsal.
"I made a mistake when I needed to show him how to play 'Proud Mary.' The mistake is you don't show Elton John how to play his piano," she recalls.
John's reaction, according to Turner, was anything but subtle.
"'You don't tell me how to play my piano,'" Turner says Elton John told her. "Oh, Lord. It just exploded. It was like the past slapping me back in the face, truly, before all of those people, when all I simply was trying to do was get an arrangement right," she remembers.
"So then he stormed off. He just went into a rage, which he apologized for later. He said he was wrong," she says.
She canceled the tour and the multimillion-dollar payday that would have come with it.
"He's not like Jagger or like some of the other people that's professional enough to give a bit when two people are working together to make it work. He's just very sensitive. Very, very sensitive. We wouldn't have been happy, I think," she says.
Instead, she recorded a new album, performed at the Super Bowl and then set off on her farewell tour. It may be her last but she treats it as though it is her first.
"It's a play. It's an act. For the moment, it's a small movie, so to speak," she says, describing her latest tour.
"That's why I like all of the stuff and the action and the playoff between me and the girls," she says. "It's life on that stage for that two hours. And sometimes the music is loud, and sometimes it's not. I need that on stage. I need burst of life. That's entertainment for me."
When the tour winds up, Turner says, she looks forward to settling down quietly with Bach in Europe. She will have the satisfaction of contemplating just how far she has come from Nutbush, Tenn., and the old days when American audiences were just not all that interested in the ex-wife of Ike Turner.
Turner believes it is "more comfortable" for people of color to live in Europe than in the United States but she says she doesn't spend much time on the issue.
"I've never bothered about my color. I never had that thing about being black," she explains. "If the whole world was like that, maybe there would be more harmony and love. Maybe. I don't have a problem with being black in a white country or being with my people. I'm OK where I am. I don’t even think about it."
She says that only now has she become comfortable enough with her career to walk away without a single regret.
"It's like serene. Everything's just kind of, like, everything is over," she says. "I can get emotional when I talk about it. It's almost like the war is over. It's all finished. You've arrived. You got there."
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