All the gigs of my life

All the gigs of my life: Gig 0 – Tina Turner, The Republic, Singapore, February 1988

Gig zero? Why on earth is this gig zero and not gig number 1? The simple fact is, I was not me when I went to this gig. By which I mean, I was not the music-obsessed, gig-seeking nutter that I was shortly to become and who writes this to you now.

At the beginning of 1988, I was 12, living in Singapore (my fourth country thus far, due to my dad’s job as a geologist), and cared far more about dodgy 80s TV shows like Scarecrow and Mrs King and Remington Steele than any pop star or rock group. Things were to change soon – in the summer of 1988 I took my first steps into pop obsession when I stole my mum’s cassette of the Pet Shop Boys’ “Actually”, and for the first time found myself steeling myself through my hated days of school with the knowledge that in a few hours I could go home and listen to a pop group. And a complete revolution occurred at the end of that year when “Labyrinth” came on Singaporean TV and a certain goblin king stole my soul. I would get my chance to see both the Pet Shop Boys and David Bowie in concert, but not for several years to come.

So Tina Turner is my gig zero because I did not realise, back then, just what an amazing, life altering joy gigs were to become to me. I went to this concert with my mum, a friend of hers, and my brother. We only got tickets to the concert because Tina’s Break Every Rule tour wasn’t selling well in Singapore, and tickets were being given away with cases of Pepsi. So we drank lots of Pepsi and got tickets. I remember very little, sadly, apart from standing on our chairs towards the end to sing along to “What’s love got to do with it”, the only Tina Turner song I really knew. Looking at the Wikipedia page for this tour, it had an amazing set list, and I wish I’d been better able to appreciate the privilege of seeing Tina live at the top of her game. Certainly, a legend of her stature deserves better than this paltry report. But it’s all I have, as I had not yet got into the habit of excitedly scribbling everything I could remember about a gig into my diary as soon as I got home. All that was to come – but would not start until 1993, and in a different country.

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