Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ike Turner RIP

Just heard the news that earbender client Ike Turner has left us.

Incredibly, I had just been in touch with Thrill Mgmt. about a relaunch in January for the great box set The Ike and Tina Turner Story, 1960-1975 from Time-Life. Ike was ready to do some interviews with college and community radio, who over the past few months have accounted for about 20% of all Ike and Tina play in the USA!

College and community radio's support of artists like Ike Turner and the history of music, especially what Max Roach called "the continuum of black creativity" is very important to me and Ike's people were excited to here my term "Black Americana" applied to him and his music. My sympathy to Phil and the folks at Thrill, Ike's family and friends.

He had a lot of miles on that Rocket 88 and they sure aren't making them like him anymore.

Let the conjecture over his value as a person and artist begin.

Tina Turner has the opening closing remark: "Tina is aware that Ike passed away earlier today. She has not had any contact with him in 35 years. No further comment will be made."

According to "Ike Defender," a commentator on, "Ike Turner met a pregnant teenager named Anna Mae Bullock (impregnated by one of his band members) and married her partially so she wouldn’t bear the shame of being an unwed mother. It was Ike who helped make her a star and - in the process - who gave a break to many R&B musicians as his career took off.

Did he make mistakes? Yes. Did he admit them? Yes.

That’s alot more than most people can say.

Ike was an integral part of American rock and R&B. I’m sorry he’s gone. I am MORE sorry that his legacy is defined by a movie that even Tina admitted was not accurate in its portrayal of Ike Turner, the Man."

You never know what happens behind closed doors and I personally looked the other way on the wife beating reputation.

But I am a fan of Tina and her comeback/recovery from being with Ike. I liked her autobiography I, Tina and the movie a lot. The comeback is the hardest thing in show business and Tina did it -- BIG TIME (as watt would say).

Read the AP obit
Ike Turner Home Page
NY Times by Jon Pareles & Profile from 2001
Ike & Tina Turner in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame

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