Friday, December 14, 2007

Tina's shadow hangs over Ike

As expected. the UK newspapers have given quite a bit of space to obituaries of Ike Turner. All of them recognise his unique place in the evolution of blues and rock and roll, but the shadow of Tina and the abuse he allegedly handed out to her hangs over them. The Times, for example, heads its obit with 'Musician whose reputation for beating his singer wife, Tina, came to overshadow his notable contributions to rock and roll'
The Independent has 'Rock'n'roll pioneer better known for his violent partnership with Tina'
The Guardian says 'Tina Turner's infamous ex-husband, he also played a key creative role in rock and roll and blues history',,2227324,00.html
The Daily Telegraph has 'Pioneer of rock'n'roll who came to be overshadowed by Tina Turner, the wife he abused'
Such a pity that Ike's legacy should be tainted by the Tina claims, particularly since there seems little real evidence that the abuse actually took place. As Steve 'Sandy' Lee, who knew both Ike and Tina well, pointed out : "Ike "battered" Tina regularly- by handing her $20,000 to go shopping for clothes - and drive the Rolls Royce, too. Take the Ikettes, and here's another $10,000 - get them some new outfits.Tina was Ike's size. With no question, she could have knocked him out cold. She might have been 1" or 2" shorter, but she was built like a tank."
Of course, in light of the film and Ike's well known drugs problem it's hard to ignore the claims completely. But I can only hope that as time goes by it's Ike's music and his contribution to the evolution of rock and roll, blues and soul that he is remembered for.
On the subject of obituaries, here's one in The Times on Bobby Relf:


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