Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ike Turner (1931-2007)

Ike Wister Turner died this morning at his home near San Diego. (The Associated Press report is here.)

Mr. Turner loudly resented his worldwide rep as a wife-beater. But hell... whose fault was that, Ike?

No doubt, however, the man deserves respect as a trailblazing musician, songwriter and bandleader... even apart from Tina’s monumental impact.

Click here, for example, and groove on “Thinking Black,” from Ike’s funky-ass 1969 instrumental LP, “A Black Man’s Soul.” (You’ll probably remember this tune once you hear it.)

Re-released in recent years (with a couple of Tina Turner tracks added), “A Black Man’s Soul” is downloadable from Amazon.com, eMusic and iTunes Plus.

22 comments:

dez said...

Mr. Turner loudly resented his worldwide rep as a wife-beater. But hell... whose fault was that, Ike?

My fave comment of his, right after "What's Love Got to Do With It?" came out, went something like, "I didn't hit Tina any more than any other man hit his wife in those days." Because it's okay to hit someone as long as you don't hit them harder than is normal for the times!

No doubt, however, the man deserves respect as a trailblazing musician, songwriter and bandleader... even apart from Tina’s monumental impact.


He does. It's just hard to separate Ike the trailblazing musician from Ike the wife-beating asshole.

Comb & Razor said...

well, for one thing, Tina Turner herself admitted that many of the episodes portrayed in the movie What's Love Got To Do With It (and in the Kurt Loder-penned autobiography it was based on) were a bit exaggerated.

these days it's almost universally accepted that it's wrong to lay hands on a woman for any reason. but i'm not sure it's completely fair to view the past through the prism of our enlightened era.

let's be real: back then it was not generally viewed as absolutely unacceptable to give yer old lady a smack once in a while. especially in the world that Ike & Tina lived in.

what's more, i've heard alternate accounts that suggest that in reality it's not so much that Ike was the cartoonish ogre portrayed by Larry Fishburne and Tina was the defenseless victim, as it was that they were were both constantly in each other's faces. Tina just jumping up out of nowhere and punching Ike in the face and stuff like that.

i've had beef with Tina for years on account of the way she helped reduce one of the giants of American music to a domestic violence punchline.

that, and the music she made in the 80s.

Marcus said...

Wait... evil is evil, bad is bad no matter what "era" or what world people find themselves in.

LOL whenever a person takes any type of advantage (beat, enslave, kill, etc.) of another that is wrong.

The golden rule is a constant, it does not change just because everybody in the "world" during a certain time period ignores it.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Dave, you said it best. But for the publicly acknowledged wife-smacking, folks would know how baad a musician Ike was. I know I had to exorcise it when I was listening to some shit I had of theirs upon hearing the news of his passing.

I'll give him his p's. Baad dude. Real baad.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

comb & razor,

"i've had beef with Tina for years on account of the way she helped reduce one of the giants of American music to a domestic violence punchline.

that, and the music she made in the 80s."

I heard that! Especially the lol hilarious second line. I double heard that.

Comb & Razor said...

everything about What's Love Got to Do With It struck me as sort of petty and vindictive... especially when she stepped beyond just painting Ike as an abusive monster and started taking shots at his music... yeah, i can't get with that at all.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

comb & razor, good point about Tina taking shots at Ike's music. That was a real low blow.

Cuz say what you (Tina) want as someone coming out of a bad relationship (which adult hasn't had at least one), but pot-shotting when you have the international stage, which has the effect of negating an innovator's body of work, is low.

But, in the words of Vincent Vega, if you play with matches, you will burn.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Dave, Stakes Be High Interlude,

how does Phil Spector get a pass with long list of his so-called accomplishments preceding him being a murderer who got off when Ike's body of work never gets mentioned?

And don't reference OJ. His jury has been labelled as stupid (cuz there was a majority of Black women on it, maybe?). And we haven't seen months of post-trial legal analysis of Phil's acquittal. Amazing.

The Stepfather of Soul said...

Had Ike Turner not made bad choices re abusing Tina and doing dope he would be held up as one of the forefathers of rock and, even if he and Tina still had parted ways, he would've been able to avoid the mainstream ignorance about his talent. I am forever grateful for music fans who know better. Indeed, it's Ike's fault that he was reduced to a villain role. But he deserves his due, at least upon his death. (Of course, the media is choosing instead to focus on Tina's rep's everything-and-nothing statement of "no comment.")

Dougfp said...

I thought Tina's comment on Ike's death, "Tina is aware of Ike's passing" was about as cold as it gets. Sure, he was an abusive husband, but I seriously doubt Tina (for all her talent) would be living in a villa in France if Ike hadn't come along. She could have been a little kinder, even if he didn't deserve it.

Undercover Black Man said...

Stepfather wrote: "(Of course, the media is choosing instead to focus on Tina's rep's everything-and-nothing statement of 'no comment.')"

To be fair, Stepfather, all the radio newsbreaks I heard yesterday regarding Ike's passing did mention "Rocket 88" and said it was considered "the first rock 'n' roll record."

It may be less a matter of the abuse crowding out the musical accomplishments as the abuse attaching itself forever to the musical accomplishments like a tumor.

Undercover Black Man said...

Doug wrote: "Sure, he was an abusive husband, but I seriously doubt Tina (for all her talent) would be living in a villa in France if Ike hadn't come along."

No doubt. But let's play that game the other way too... If Tina hadn't come along, would Ike's passing have been acknowledged by any but the most studious R&B nerds??

It takes two to tango (as well as to box, if Comb & Razor's face-punching comment has some basis in fact).

Dougfp said...

^ Yeah, I gotta admit. Tina made Ike, too. But after thirty years, Tina could have been a little more generous. I'm not a huge fan of my ex-wife either, but I think I'd have more to say than I was "aware of her passing."

RLB said...

Sorry, but ya know what?

HE FUCKING BEAT HER.

So she is afforded a little bitchiness.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

dougfp,

"I'm not a huge fan of my ex-wife either, but I think I'd have more to say than I was 'aware of her passing.'"

Word! And lol hilarious!

Bklyn6 said...

I bet there were high-fives all around for this doozy of a headline: "Ike 'Beats' Tina to Death."

Leave it up to the New York Post.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Oh Gawd... that was sick! I mean, like, not in a good way.

I hope some people complain.

dez said...

Sorry, but ya know what?

HE FUCKING BEAT HER.

So she is afforded a little bitchiness.


Yer got-damn right. Plus he's been out of her life for decades. Why should she even care?

Interesting that the ones who are minimalizing what Ike did to Tina are all men. Hmmm.

The Pop View said...

Ike beat Tina. Nothing else to say or excuse. But I can't feeling a little sorry (a teensy bit) for the guy that his entire life is defined by that. Check the headline in the L.A. Times: Rock pioneer was known for abusing wife Tina Turner. As, you said, what about Phil Spector? Before the trial, everyone knew he was bad news.

I refer you to J. Freedom du Lac's article in the Washington Post. Ike knew what the score was and he was obsessed by it, as much as he tried to move on.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

dez, I can only speak for myself, but I don't think anyone is making light of spousal abuse.

It's fucked up.

But would you like to be characterized by your mistakes, or accomplishments, when someone refers to you?

Unless, of course, you stole two presidential elections. Then you should burn.

dez said...

But would you like to be characterized by your mistakes, or accomplishments, when someone refers to you?

Maybe if he'd ever expressed some remorse, I'd be more charitable. But he didn't. I don't think he ever really got it. So on the music side, it's sad that his accomplishments have been overshadowed, but he fucked up bad, and he only had himself to blame.

Lola Gets said...

As much as I hate abusers, I had to dedicate a post to Ike - he defenitely left an impression on modern music.
L