Bass Legend DAVID ELLEFSON - “Holy Sh*t, TINA TURNER Is Inside This House”

May 25, 2023, a year ago

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Bass Legend DAVID ELLEFSON - “Holy Sh*t, TINA TURNER Is Inside This House”

BraveWords just got off a Streaming For Vengeance Zoom with legendary bassist David Ellefson, who was talking about his debut album with Dieth, called To Hell And Back, which is out via Napalm Records on June 2nd. We also spoke to him about the Nick Menza documentary, the Kings Of Thrash touring and gearing up to record an album and the last time he had contact with Dave Mustaine. But in the following excerpt, he shares a humours story about the late Tina Turner, who passed away yesterday at 83. He was this close to her when Megadeth were at their peak in the '90s. 

“Thank you for asking,” Ellefson begins. “Here’s a funny story. Her husband Erwin Bach, who I saw was mentioned in the story yesterday that went out on the news wire. They were boyfriend and girlfriend for years and then they were married (in 2013). He was either the president or vice president of EMI Germany back in the ‘90s, during the big Megadeth years. So one day he picks Dave (Mustaine) and I up at a hotel in Germany and takes us up to the Nürnberg race track (Ellefson laughs). He was driving one of those tall Mercedes vans that were very popular. Very hippy and very popular. He was the only one I knew that had one, because of the soldiers with their helmets, which they were designed for. So he had one because he had the means. So he says on the way to the track, ‘I need to stop into the house for a moment. I need to grab something.’ And I’m like this is where he and Tina Turner live! And we were like, 'Holy shit, Tina Turner is inside this house!' He didn’t invite us in, but it was that moment. But Erwin was a wonderful man. So that is kind of my brush with Tina Turner. It was sitting outside of the driveway of her house while her man went inside to get some tickets for this race. Or his cell phone or whatever. Then we went up to the race and then life carried on. So that’s my Tina Turner story.

But what a tragic, tragic story which hit the music industry so hard.

“You know, it was so interesting with her, the whole history with Ike and her is legend. In the article I was reading, Larry King was quoted saying that she was really a leader coming out from such abuse. But she just got on with life. She was extremely talented. I think probably for you and me it was the early ‘80s and the MTV era, was this total reinvention for her. Her album Private Dancer, and the duet with fellow Canadian Bryan Adams (‘It’s Only Love’), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. She had great songs and she went head to head, toe to toe with The Stones. The biggest of the big. It’s really a wonderful success story. It certainly was not a wasted life. As sad as we are that she’s gone, she hit it hard and left us with something pretty special."

BraveWords' Streaming For Vengeance with David Ellefson will air next weekend. 

Often referred to as the "Queen Of Rock 'N' Roll", Turner passed away after a long illness in her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland. 

Tina Turner's social media team shared the sad news via her Facebook page, writing: "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner. With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow. Today we say goodbye to a dear friend who leaves us all her greatest work: her music. All our heartfelt compassion goes out to her family. Tina, we will miss you dearly."

Turner won six of her eight Grammy Awards in the 1980s. The decade saw her land a dozen songs on the Top 40, including "Typical Male," "The Best," "Private Dancer" and "Better Be Good To Me." Her 1988 show in Rio de Janeiro drew 180,000 people, which remains one of the largest concert audiences for any single performer.

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