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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

He Made it Nice… and ROUGH: Ike Turner Dead at 76

posted by on December 12 at 15:25 PM


Seventy-six years is far longer than most expected Ike Turner to keep on, let alone keep on rolling. Though he never surpassed his career high-points of the mid-’70s with ex-wife Tina Turner, Ike’s Risin’ with the Blues won the “Best Traditional Blues” Grammy earlier this year, though nobody you know actually heard the record.

Ike Turner is credited in some circles—mainly his own—as recording the first rock song, “Rocket 88,” in 1951. Many know of Ike’s basso-profundo contribution to Ike & Tina’s version of “Proud Mary,” and most revile his often violent Svengali-ism and his piggybacking on Tina’s career as depicted in the 1993 biopic What’s Love Got to Do With It. During the late ’70s, after his divorce from Tina, Ike fell into a debilitating cocaine addiction from which he and his image never recovered; Tina’s ascending star left Ike far below.

Ike repeatedly denied Tina’s depiction of him as a drug-addled manipulator and never understated his role in creating both rock ‘n’ roll and the Tina mystique. ”You can go ask Snoop Dogg or Eminem, you can ask the Rolling Stones or Clapton, or you can ask anybody—anybody—they all know my contribution to music,” Tuner said in a 2001 Associated Press interview.

Turner was in his San Diego home at the time of death. No cause of death has been released as of yet.

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say what you want, but dude was funky as hell.

Posted by cosby | December 12, 2007 3:36 PM

Really, though, "nice and ROUGH" is the best you can do...? It's an interesting commentary that he'll be remembered first and foremost as a wife-beater. I mean the guy was obviously a bad dude, but those glory years of Ike and Tina were awesome and important, especially when they spearheaded the crossover of that nasty soul they did. It surely wouldn't have happened without him, regardless of how big of a star Tina became. Of course it goes without saying that without Ike there would be no Tina, but even more importantly, he would probably be a tiny footnote if it weren't for Tina Turner.

I just find the whole concept of an artist obit really frustrating. Even in the music world the landscape is littered with questionable characters (Gary Glitter? Rick James? ODB?) and their lives and art in the end become intertwined. In those above cases it's not "Rock and Roll part 1" or "Superfreak" or "Baby I got Your Money", it's pedophile, kidnapper/cokehead, and crazy, crazy crackhead.

I'd like to remember the art too, while remembering the person. In Ike's case, I loved "I Idolize You", but I certainly don't idolize Ike Turner the man.

Posted by Ross | December 12, 2007 3:57 PM

this sucks, he was a great song writer and guitar player. I'm truely heart broken, so when I get home I'm busting out all my Ike & Tina Modern label 45s! So...who's fucking next Chuck Berry? Bo Diddley?

Posted by nipper | December 12, 2007 4:02 PM


Posted by lar | December 12, 2007 5:54 PM

Listen to this album and you will understand why he was so great. Yes, he was an unapologetic asshole, but what a great musician. Tina was never the same after the split - nothing but uninspired pop drivel came after 1975. Rocket 88 is still a great record. And he was the next hardest working man in show business after JB. Only JB could top their showmanship.

Posted by Bill LaBorde | December 12, 2007 10:22 PM

I love Proud Mary (C-A, C-A, C-A-G-F--D, then ride the D - sweet!)

The composer of the 1976 opera "Angle of Repose" died last week. It was based on the Wallace Stegner story of the same name. This might only be of interest to people familiar with SF. Because I'm "working WITH the man every night and day."

Posted by Juner bee | December 13, 2007 10:15 AM

yo bee, ive read and really loved that book a couple times. its a minor masterpiece. never knew there was an opera based on the book.

Posted by jz | December 13, 2007 10:29 AM

The good lord called one of his angels back to heaven yesterday.

Posted by danmohr | December 13, 2007 12:50 PM

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