Death of a Legend: Ike Turner

IKE & TINA 1966

For those who didn't know the Ike and Tina story saw the movie and knew Ike only as the drug snorting and boozing husband of super songstress Tina Tuner. Ike Turner died at the age of 76 year old. No immediate cause of death has been reported.

He felt the world forgot all his credits and only saw the monster that the movie "What's Love Got To Do With It" portrayed him to be. Based on the book of the same name and written by Tina Turner, Ike felt he got a bad deal and all his life's work had been disrespected by his former wife.

Although he readily admits his drug and alcohol abuse, wife beater he claims he was not.

Ike attemted to salvage his reputation years after the movie and along with his band Kings of Rythm took home a Grammy in 2007 in the blue category for "Risin' With The Blues".

Years after-the-fact, Turner who's now a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is credited by many rock historians with making the first rock 'n' roll record, "Rocket 88," in 1951.

But as would be the case for most of his career, Turner, a prolific session guitarist and piano player, was not the star on the record — it was recorded with Turner's band but credited to singer Jackie Brenston.

And as fate would have it, history does repeat itself when later it would be another singer — a young woman named Anna Mae Bullock (Tina Turner). Life with the songstress bought him a fortune but cost him his fame.

The two met when Bullock was fresh out of the country and only 18-years-old. The two would later marry and in 1959 and quickly made the husky-voiced woman the lead of his band and revamping the wide-eyed country girl into a sexy Tina Turner. Her stage persona was highlighted by short skirts and stiletto heels that made her legs her most visible asset(many years later they were insured for millions). But despite the glamorous image, she still sang with the grit and fervor of a rock singer with a singe of soul.

Ike fathered two sons while married to Tina while producing a string of hits. The first, "A Fool In Love," was a top R&B song in 1959, and others followed, including "I Idolize You" and "It's Gonna Work Out Fine." It was their version of "Proud Mary," a cover of the Creedence Clearwater Revival hit, that became their signature song and won them a Grammy for best R&B vocal performance by a group.

While their public life depicted a powerful, dynamic duo, Tina Turner would later charge that her husband was an overbearing wife abuser and cocaine addict.

In her 1987 autobiography, "I, Tina," she painted a vivid depiction of life at Ike's hands. She told stories of suffering a broken nose and sexual abuse. In the movie and the book, the climax came after a the memorable yet vicious fight between the pair in the back seat of a car in Las Vegas, where they were scheduled to perform.

It was the only time she ever fought back.

After the two broke up, both fell on hard times. It wasn't until later that Tina revived her career while Ike still struggled. It was
Lawrence Fishburne's staggering depiction of Ike Turner that gave life to Turner's reputation as a rock villain. However, he never
regain that star status he once lavished with Tina.

In a downward spiral, the combination of drug and alcohol abuse found Ike in jail where in 1989 he served 17 months behind bars.

In interviews toward the end of his life, Turner acknowledged having made many mistakes, but maintained he was still
able to carry himself with pride.

In an interview with the AP, he says, "I know what I am in my heart. And I know regardless of what I've done, good and bad, it took it all to make me what I am

Born: November 5, 1931 in Clarksdale, Mississippi
Musical Influence: Perkins, Pinetop
First Instrument: Piano, 40's
First Hit Record: "Rocket 88", It's Gonna Work Out Fine, Proud Mary, Nutbush City Limits, I've Been Loving You to Long, Fool in Love name a few
Artists Worked With: Otis Rush, Little Milton, Rolling Stones, Tyrone Davis, Elton John, Santana, Roberta Flack Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, Bill Cosby, Elvis, Eric Clapton, Yardbirds, Janis Joplin, Miles Davis, Tina Turner & more..
Book Release: Bio,"Takin Back My Name" 1998.
Awards Received: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: 1990 for "Rocket 88", BMI Award for Shoop, sung by Salt & Pepper,
2002- Grammy Nomination-Best Traditional Blues Album
2002- W.C. Handy multi Catagory Nominations
Walk of Fame Star- St. Louis-2002
Personal: Favorites:
Place: San Marcos -Home
Guitar: Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecastor, PRS Guitars
Song: Judy Blue Eyes (Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young)
Good Vibrations (Beach Boys), Who are You (The Who)
Favorite Motto: "A man with courage is a Majority."
Favorite Quote: "If you wasn't born with it you can do with out it."
Died: December 12, 2007 in San Marcos, California

Rest In Peace Ike Turner