Ike Turner R.I.P.

Ike Turner has died at the age of 76 at his home near San Diego. He often expressed frustration that he was mainly remembered as Tina's abusive husband-Svengali, but I never listened to a song for as many successive times as I did River Deep, Mountain High, from the Phil Spector-produced album of the same name.

My greatest regret was not seeing Ike play live at, of all places, some lounge at the Meridien Hotel in Paris two or three years ago. So bizarre a venue had considerable appeal, even if those kinds of places were perhaps a fitting final act for so splendidly flawed and talented a musician.

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  • ||

    He beat Tina one last time. To the grave.
    I personally thought his music sucked.
    Good riddance.

  • ||

    I remember reading somewhere (it was probably apocryphal) that Ike actually invented the fuzz guitar sound one day when he beat the shit out of a speaker, and liked the resulting sound.

  • BTS||

    AHHH!? What does this mean for his collabrative project with the Black Keys?

  • ||

    He often expressed frustration that he was mainly remembered as Tina's abusive husband-Svengali. . .

    And Charles Manson wants to be remembered for "Look At Your Game, Girl" but that's probably not gonna happen either.

  • ||

    Ike was a singer
    Good with harmonies
    He was better at hitting his wife
    And annoying me

  • Nutter||

    He apparently started the fuzz sound and rock'n'roll with "Rocket 88", still a great tune.
    Great musical career, lousy husband, and another martyr who fell to the Holy Crusade Against Drugs.

  • So what...||

    Like I give a damn.

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    One less spousal abuser on planet Earth is a good thing. To physically abuse someone you claim to love is one of the greatest evils a human being can perform. It perverts a nobel emotion with an act of pain and physical harm. I shed no tears for this monster.

  • highnumber||

    For the record, I met one of the women who replaced Tina (I don't remember her name right now, but she was a heckuva singer and performer), and she had nothing but good words for Ike.

    Not defending the man, but, remember, nobody on the outside knows what's really going on in a relationship. Don't be so quick to judge someone you've never met.

  • Franklin Harris||

    And Charles Manson wants to be remembered for "Look At Your Game, Girl" but that's probably not gonna happen either.



    And Hitler wants to be remembered for his flower paintings.

    There. I mentioned Hitler. Discussion dead. Nothing more to see here.

  • ||

    He apparently started the fuzz sound and rock'n'roll with "Rocket 88", still a great tune.

    Agreed. He still was a flaming asshole. If you look at the credits on her first solo album, you'll see who helped out Tina when she needed it. Nobody would help out Ike when he needed it. For a long time.

    I still don't understand why River Deep, Mountain High didn't become a big hit.

  • SIV||

    Fuck all of the commenters above.....

    Ike Turner was one of the most important figures in 20th Century American music. To say his music sucked means you think Blues, R&B and Rock n Roll all suck as Ike was a central figure in the innovation of all of them. Tina's allegations of abuse in her autobiography have no bearing on his great accomplishments in music. He was exponentially more talented than her and demonstrated as much long before she became a singer in his band.

  • ||

    Agreed. He still was a flaming asshole.

    I have forced myself to make a distinction between an artist's work and an artist's opinion.

    Otherwise, I would have had to give up my psychotic obsession with Pearl Jam.

  • SIV||

    Thanks for posting this Michael.Ike deserves a front page obituary all over the place.
    I hope they show people how signicant he actually was in music and dispel the popular notion that
    he is nothing but a wanted poster for wife beating.

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    SIV, I don't care how effing good his music was. I will not shed tears for someone who physically abused a person he claimed to love. O.J. Simpson was pretty funny in the Naked Gun movies too, that doesn't mean I don't think he belongs in jail. O, that's right, he is looking for the real person who tried to rob memorabilia at the point of a gun.

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    Taktix, there is a difference between physical abuse and opinion. Ike Turner could claim we didn't land on the Moon or that the Earth was flat and I would disagree but be willing to listen to his music. This is different. This is the initiation of physical force, something I thought libertarians of any stripe were against.

  • SIV||

    If any one artist can be said to have invented rock n roll Ike tops a list of musical giants.

    He achieved musical immortality just by dragging a middle aged sharecropper into a recording studio for the first time (Howlin' Wolf).


    Assuming Tina's allegations are true, only the first instance of abuse would be "non-consensual"

  • ||

    Assuming Tina's allegations are true, only the first instance of abuse would be "non-consensual"

    That's bullshit, and you know it. After my first wife pissed away the rent money the first time, I consented when she did it the second? You obviously know little, if anthing, about dysfunctional relationships.

  • Another Phil||

    Assuming Tina's allegations are true, only the first instance of abuse would be "non-consensual"

    Possibly true, in a pedantic sense. That doesn't mean she enjoyed it or that Ike wasn't an abusive asshole.

  • ||

    Plant Immigration Rights Supporter,

    I didn't say my position was based on any logic or... ahem, Reason.

    Purely utilitarian on this one...

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    "Assuming Tina's allegations are true, only the first instance of abuse would be "non-consensual""

    SIV, psychology is a complex animal and do not claim to be an expert but I know enough about it to know that your statement is simply false in many cases (individual results may vary.) Abusers play mind games, they know how to play on fear, pity and they know the abusee far better than most outside observers do. Yes, Tina Turner certainly had the financial resources to move out but psychology is far more complex than an accounting book.

  • SIV||

    I refuse to continue participating in a threadjack to domestic abusive relationships.

    I'm going to listen to Ike turner's music and mourn the passing of a great man.

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    "I'm going to listen to Ike turner's music and mourn the passing of a great man."

    So who are you going to mourn the passing of?

  • ||

    What Ike did in his private life shouldn't affect the legacy of his professional accomplishments.

    That dude could rock!

  • Nutter||

  • 3 X 7, Baby||

    Ike Turner certainly isn't the only artist who has been accused of being an asshole. Great talent and flawed personalities often go hand-in-hand. Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Chuck Berry, James Taylor, Elvis Presley, Richard Pryor, George Jones, Phil Spector, John Lennon, Brian Jones ... off the top of my head, just a few people in the pop culture world who are considered greats and about whom I've read accounts of less than pleasant behavior towards other people.
    I don't think it's excusing any nasty things Ike or any other talented artists did by recognizing their talent. If that were the case, I think a lot of greats wouldn't be able to be recognized.

  • Jesse Walker||

    This is the initiation of physical force, something I thought libertarians of any stripe were against.

    We are. Doesn't change the fact that his music was great.

  • ||

    By all accounts he's been on good behavior since he got out of prison in 1993...okay, this might date me but he was the sample for Salt N Pepa's "Shoop", toured with Gorillaz...he was still kicking it in his 70s.

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    I can recognize the fact that someone was influential and not wish that he "rest in peace." I do not believe in Heaven or Hell, but if I am wrong and a Hell exists, that is where he belongs. No amount of musical genius can change what he did.

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    "toured with Gorillaz..."

    Damn it, I like the Gorillaz. If that is true I just lost respect for them.

  • Charles Oliver||

    RIP to an immensely talented man.

  • ||

    My husband and I call this the "Wagner Problem." Wagner was one of the two most influential composers of the 19th Century, and his practices at his Bayreuth theater determined how the world behaves at theater productions to this day. his music is still influential, especially in the movies, and not just "Ride of the Valkyries." Still, he was an adulterous, anti-Semitic*, conniving, dishonest manipulator and a generally rotten person. His widow bankrolled Hitler.

    So, at what point does an artist's level of assholery overcome his artistic achievements? Ike Turner was a rather run-of-the-mill bastard, and Tina got away and enjoyed a great deal of success on her own, so I'd say his music is the more important part of his legacy.

    *He wasn't even a consistent anti-Semite, since his favorite conductor at Bayreuth was the son of the chief Rabbi of Munich.

  • Kim Scarborough||

    Ike Turner had nothing to do with "River Deep, Mountain High". When Ike & Tina moved to Philles, Spector basically paid Ike off to get lost. Ike's name was on the single and he got royalties, but he had zero to do with the composition, production, or performance.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I like Twain's quote on Wagner: "his music is better than it sounds."

    Wagner was definitely an innovator, but I still prefer the music of Mendelsohn, whom Wagner trashed in Das Judenthum in der Musik. Mendelsohn was nowhere near the innovator Wagner was, but he had a much better ear for melody - you don't have to listen to 8 hours of Mendelsohn to hear 15 minutes of beautiful music.

    A person's flaws shouldn't dim their achievements - especially if they make an attempt to change. (Admittedly, I don't know if Ike did.)

  • ||

    If you are a talented or famous guy inclined to beating the hell out of a woman, you are better served by selecting a woman without notable talent or fame. That way, her account of getting the hell beat out of her is far less likely to garner any attention.

  • ||

    BP, I prefer Mendlesohn, too. I didn't know the Twain quote. I've a "Complete Works" of Mr. Clemens here at the house; I'll have to look that one up.

  • ||

    Kim is right, Ike had little to do with River Deep, Mountain High, which was more Phil Spector and Jack Nitzche. But hey, what an album, and what a song; and his A Fool in Love remains a highlight of the set.

  • ||

    "Without Ike Turner, baby, there'd be no rhythm and blues!"--Bonnie Bramlett(a white Ikette at age fifteen).

  • ||

    If you are a talented or famous guy inclined to beating the hell out of a woman, you are better served by selecting a woman without notable talent or fame. That way, her account of getting the hell beat out of her is far less likely to garner any attention.

    This has been another Deep Thoughts, with Jack Handy.

    Plant Immigration Rights Supporter - Did Ike owe you money or something?

  • Sam Kinison||

    I don't support wife beating.

    But I UNDERSTAND IT!!!

  • ||

    "If you are a talented or famous guy inclined to beating the hell out of a woman, you are better served by selecting a woman without notable talent or fame. That way, her account of getting the hell beat out of her is far less likely to garner any attention."

    I guess that is why James Taylor beat the hell out of Carly Simon and Jackson Brown beat the hell out of Darrell Hannah and pretty much got away with it. I would say either choose the right woman, be a white guy, or don't beat a woman who will later write a book about the whole thing that is made into a movie.

  • Sam Kinison||

    I mean, I know what turns Mr. Hand into Mr. Fist ...

  • ||

    I wonder if what distinguished Ike Turner from his contemporaries was that his wife went on to be a big star and have a platform to talk about the abuse she suffered.

    How many of those bluesmen, R&B stars and rock n' rollers were just as abusive to wives/girlfriends and we just never got to hear about it?

  • ||

    So much ignorance...

    Ike Turner invented Rock n' Roll. Then he had some spare time so he invented Soul music. He's had more influence on the world than can be imagined.

  • ed||

    Don't be so quick to judge someone you've never met.

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
    Heh...heh...
    Ha..
    Good one.

  • Plant Immigration RIghts Suppo||

    "Plant Immigration Rights Supporter - Did Ike owe you money or something?"

    No, I just get pissed off when spousal abusers get the slightest bit of respect from anyone.

  • ||

    """Ike Turner invented Rock n' Roll.""""

    Tell that to Little Richard.

    Ed, good one indeed, most of us on H&R judge all sorts of people we never met. Presidents, Vice-Presidents, memebers of Congress, members of sports teams, members of the military, policer officers, news anchors, other H&R posters, ect, ect. The list is long and it's fun to do too.

  • T||

    Being judgmental about people I've never met is one of the few guilt-free pleasures I have left. Don't take that from me.

  • Late to the Party||

    It is OK to be judgemental about people you've never met as long as they are assholes, creeps, slimeballs or generally horrible people. Otherwise it is unfair.

  • ||

    so you mean,

    "Ike Beats Tina to Death"?

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