by Laura Sillerman

Blame Tina Turner.

I recently went to see her concert at Madison Square Garden.   Even as a veteran of many a rock concert, I’ve never left a performance so confused. Here are the objective realities about this Tina tour:

  • Tina’s voice is as good as it ever was
  • The staging is big and theatrical
  • The dancing is phenomenal.
  • The two guitarists who also do back up vocals are, shall we say, long in the teeth?
  • Tina wears a lot of costumes.
  • No one has ever sung a better version of “Help!”

“Proud Mary” brings down the house every time.  And should. Her finale in the cherry-pi.jpgcker over the audience is one of the unnatural wonders of the world. So what was so confusing?


Well, it’s just that there’s this lingering question:  Is there anything wrong with a 69-year-old icon strutting, mincing, prancing, frugging, running and skipping the stage in a sequined cheerleader-length outfit and 5 inch stilettos?

 It’s easy to say “Of course not,”  but just how much is right about it? What I mean to ask is:  Is there an expiration date on dressing/acting/trading on sex appeal?  

I couldn’t figure out if the 17,000 people packed into the arena remembered the outrageous, blatant animal magnetism of this woman and couldn’t accept her any other way, or if she is still that outrageous, blatantly magnetic woman who wants to keep on rollin’, rollin’, rollin'  on the river (boop boop boop boop boop boop)

I couldn’t help but wonder if that moment that happened to me– that shocking neon moment when I realized my favorite styles, draped low in front and preferably backless in back, were no longer appropriate—had never happened to Tina. And I wondered if that mattered.

There’s no frame of reference for Tina Turner except the one that has been operative since she first shimmied in her leopard skin and spike heels.  She’s a human sexual innuendo.  And she’s 69 years old.   She’s anything but svelte, but she’s out there thighs and all.  And the crowd loves her.

In fact it’s probably true that love’s got a lot to do with it.  And that might be the point after all.

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  • Cathy Warren January 8, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Let’s face it. Tina is timeless. She looks and sounds fabulous. Her fans still love her. Yes, even at age 69. I strive to have her energy when I reach her age.
    Cathy Warren