BROTHER BEAR PREMIERE NEW YORK
20 OCTOBER 2003
Tina Turner: Boots by Chanel, Legs by Her
The inimitable, one and only, most fabulous, essential Miss Tina Turner paid a special visit to New York last night. She was in town for the glamorous premiere of Disney's new animated feature, "Brother Bear."
Turner, you see, sings in the film, along with Phil Collins. And so she came to the New Amsterdam Theatre, home on most nights to Disney's stage production of "The Lion King." And so did the paparazzi who blew off the premiere across town of Angelina Jolie in Paramount's soggy "Beyond Borders." Tina vs. Jolie is no contest apparently.
"We love you, Tina!" was the shout that came from most of the photographers, and they meant it. People go crazy around Tina Turner.
And mind you, she is tiny, about 5'3". She is also quiet. But when she walks, oh those legs -- they haven't changed. She wore black leather boots that came up to her knees. She had on a mini skirt and a tight top too. Her hair was the color of copper, cut in a shag but back to its old consistency from the late 60s and not standing four feet over her head.
On the red carpet, there was one of those disjointed moments from pop culture when you wish you had a camera. Turner was introduced to Estelle Harris, the actress known for playing George's mother on "Seinfeld." Turner was bewildered. Harris seemed awed. It was surreal.
"You're the best thing around," Harris said to Turner. You know, whatever. I wonder if anyone got a picture. Once we were safely inside the theatre, a publicist came up to Turner. "Everyone wants to know what you're wearing," she said.
Turner replied, "The top is Celine, and so is the skirt. The boots are Chanel. The hair is Tina Turner and so are these!" She meant the legs. Did I tell you that Tina Turner will turn 64 years old next month? Hot stuff, huh?
So what's she up to? Not much. "I'm living in France and Switzerland, enjoying my retirement," she told me. Is she gardening? "No!" she said, as if I were crazy to suggest it.
"Even her manager is retired," joked her manager, Roger Davies, who came with her. Also accompanying Turner was her boyfriend, former record exec Erwin Bach, with whom she's lived since 1986.
"When the movie ended, Tina got on stage and belted out her "Bear" song with Collins. It's called "Great Spirits", and when she was done, Turner and company split for London without a moment to spare. Collins, however, treated the audience -- including New York Governor Pataki and Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden with husband and kids -- to a half-hour show. For all you Collins fans, the songs included: "Easy Lover," "Sussudio," and, mysteriously, "Lady Madonna."