Gary Goulin-My Love Story

Author of Book: Tina Turner
Date Read: March 9, 2024

Book Report

Book Report #7 Written by Gary Goulin – March 9, 2024

Why I chose to read this book:

My sister sent me this book. I liked Tina Turner’s music and I thought this would be an interesting, pleasure read. It was much more than that. It was a story about overcoming adversity, finding love, persevering, and most importantly, believing in yourself. It was a very moving and inspiring book.

Summary of Book:

In this book, Tina chronicles her life. Growing up in Nutbush, Tennessee as Anna Mae Bullock, she was an unwanted child from the beginning. Her mother abandoned her family when Tina was 11. Tina loved to sing and perform and when she was 17 she met Ike Turner. He liked her singing style and they teamed up. They became quite popular, especially after their #1 hit “Proud Mary” was released. Ike, however, was very controlling and physically abusive, especially after they married. She eventually left him, but was penniless as he controlled all the money. With help from friends and sheer perseverance, she pushed on and eventually found success as a solo performer – with even more success than she shared when she was with Ike; a lot more success. She was especially popular in Europe, where she eventually settled. Her “Private Dancer” album and subsequent tour in 1984 were particularly and spectacularly successful. She fell in love at first sight with a German record executive named Erwin Bach; after 20 years they eventually married and have been together ever since, l living near Zurich, Switzerland. Tina released many other successful albums and went on many very successful tours. In her 70’s, she had a stroke from which she recovered almost fully. She developed multiple medical problems including intestinal cancer (from which she was cured) and kidney failure for which she required dialysis until she received a kidney transplant. The donor was her husband Erwin.

In this book, Tina reflects on how belief in herself, her practice of chanting and Buddhism, and her optimism, kept her going – allowing her to go from an unwanted child, to a battered wife, to finally a life full of love, happiness and fulfillment. The book ends with Tina attending the opening of the musical celebrating her life! Tina – The Tina Turner Musical. At the end of the performance, she was called up on stage. Her parting words to the audience that night : “It is possible to turn poison into medicine.” She ends the book saying “Good came out of bad. Joy came out of pain. And I have never been so completely happy as I am today.”

Lessons I learned:

Taking time each day to chant, meditate, and avoid all distractions, can really ground you, help you make better choices, and lead to a more certain path forward in life.
Staying positive, believing in yourself, can help get you through difficult times, and ultimately lead you to a happier, more fulfilling life.

How this book can help me through my incarceration and upon my release:

This inspiring book will definitely be helpful to me. Certainly incarceration and the period after release will be quite challenging, frustrating and difficult. As adverse as these times will be, I cannot imagine the times to be as anywhere near adverse as Tina suffered, during her childhood and her marriage to Ike Turner. If, like she did, I can stay positive, believe in myself, and maintain an optimistic outlook, I too, can get through those difficult times.

I truly believe in the powers of meditation. I practiced meditation and breathing for about two years prior to my incarceration. Meditation coupled with an outline of what I wanted to accomplish that day really did help ground me, calm me, and certainly helped me get through the difficult pre-trial stage of my legal journey. Meditation here is virtually impossible due to lack of privacy and a quiet space. However, I recently learned that the psychology department here has a dedicated meditation room which I must go find out more information about. If I’m able to resume that practice, I’ve no doubt it will help ground and focus me, making my incarceration easier. Once released, I can resume the practice as well, grounding me for the difficulties that might be ahead and allow me to be able to handle any problem more easily.