Sunday, December 14, 2014


Classic Turner: 80% wig, 100% talent
One of my favourite sights in the low pantheon of tribute acts in a white Tina Turner who entertains crowds on the south coast of England. Apart from the fact that she's clearly a fraction of the original star's age, she's Turner from head-to-toe, from the fright wig to the frighteningly short dresses; from the over-emoting of every single word, to the bandy legs through which you can drive a bus. To easily-pleased seaside audiences, it's like you're in the same room as Ms Turner, especially when it's a pub-full of drunks helping her along with a boozy rendition of Simply The Best.

The thing is, no matter how over-the-top your Tina Turner impression, no matter how drunk your audience, your dresses will never be short enough, the fright wig will never be frightening enough, the thigh gap too narrow, and you'll never be able to say "Why, he's just a raggedy man" in quite the same way as Real Tina.

At the risk of coming over all Patrick Bateman/American Psycho, there's much to admire in the example of Ms Turner's re-emergence as a star in the 1980s - a recognition that it's never to late to get what you want in the face of advancing years --- just as long as you've got a killer tune, huge shoulder pads, and Heaven 17 twiddling the knobs on your comeback disc.

The reason I mention this is real and pressing: I've had her 1989 hit Steamy Windows stuck in my head as an ear worm for three weeks now, and it's driving me mental.

Let's put this tune into perspective: Sixty-year-old Tina Turner is making out with a gentleman friend in the back seat of an automobile to the point that their combined body heat makes it impossible to see out. Fair play to her for finding herself in this position, I never knew Tuesday nights down the Gala Bingo were such a hotbed of passions, and this deserves future scientific investigation in the name of SCIENCE.

Now, as any fool knows, you leave one window open, if only to stick one leg out in the moment of the capital act. Also, it leaves the from windscreen clear in case you have to make a quick getaway.

Like any Tina Turner tune of any repute, it's best sung in the Vic Reeves club-singer style, and it is this that has been stuck inside my brain for most of the month of December so far: "Shhhhteamy winaaaaaaahs! Caused ba bod-ah heat a-wallah wallah wallah".

Alas, I have since discovered that Shhhhteamy winaaaaaaahs can now be added as a coda to virtually any song in existence, making them exactly 962% worse. Last night's viewing of the Bond epic Skyfall - for example - was dragged down to the level of farce as Adele's passionate theme tune ended with "caused ba bod-ah heat a-wallah wallah wallah", rendering [SPOILERS] Bond's presumed death a sideshow, and [MORE SPOILERS] poor, actual dead M's gift of a Tina Turner box set on a London roof-top in the closing scenes all the more moving.

Think about it: You're Dame Judi Dench, and you've been [EVEN MORE SPOILERS] trapped in an ancient car with steam-up windows all the way from central London to the Highlands of Scotland with that miserable bastard 007 - presumably for days - the first thing you're going to buy at the services on the M6 is a Tina Turner box set just to make him shut up. But you couldn't quite find the right moment to give it to him, not while he's busy killing people. And by the end of the third reel it's too late [LAST SPOILER, HONEST] because you're dead.

"It's got all the early stuff, too"
Tina Turner: You and your big hair and you big voice and your stupid steamy windows are wrecking my sanity.

1 comment:

Andy Todd said...

Shouldn't that last sentence read "what's left of my sanity" ?