1983: Marvin Gaye talks ‘Sexual Healing’ with Barbara Boyd

Posted at 5:29 AM, Jun 01, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS — Just months after winning his first Grammy Awards, Marvin Gaye brought his “Sexual Healing” tour to Indianapolis.

The tour, widely viewed as a comeback, came after several years of addiction and personal struggles for Gaye, which included unpaid taxes and a divorce.

Gaye, known as the Prince of Motown, was one of the label’s biggest stars in the 1960s and 1970s. However, by the 1980s, the soulful singer was in need of a change. Gaye left Motown Records and even left the United States, spending time abroad in Europe.

It was during this time that the singer says he began to heal. Gaye discussed his healing journey with WRTV’s Barbara Boyd. Gaye noted the relaxed approach Europeans had with affection.

“I noticed that they were totally uninhibited sexually, even in their streets,” Gaye said. “They kissed, they hugged, they rubbed. They’re really not concerned about who’s watching them and nobody seems to care. I found that quite interesting that they’re out of the closet there.”

Gaye went on to compare that lifestyle to that of America.

“Our society is rather closed, slightly hypocritical,” Gaye said. “We’re full of censorship. I noticed in Europe, there are explicit sexual scenes being shown on television. I noticed little kids never sit and watched or were amazed. Europeans are much more healthy from a sexual point of view than the Americans and their fear. They’re healed, so that’s what gave me the idea.”

And just before ending the interview, Boyd asked what was next for the singer.

“My heart tells me to go into the ministry,” Gaye said.

Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” tour would be the singer’s last. He was shot and killed by his father during a disturbance the day before his 45th birthday in April 1984.

A recording of Gaye’s Indianapolis concert was released in 2000. “The Final Concert” was not the last stop on the tour, but it was the last recorded live performance.