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Come together: Electrifying footage of Ike and Tina Turner

As 1968 rolled around, Ike and Tina had been performing as the “Ike & Tina Turner Revue” since the early 60s, doing tons of television appearances but they were only treading water, especially in America. Their luck had started to change in England in 1966 when they had a big hit on their hands in the UK thanks to producer Phil Spector and the song “River Deep – Mountain High” (written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich—the prolific husband and wife songwriting team who gave us, among other earwigs, “Da Doo Ron Ron.”). Though Ike is credited on “River Deep – Mountain High,” he was allegedly paid $20,000 by Spector to fuck off during the session which according to Tina was about as much fun as “carving furniture.” Spector considers the song to be his single greatest achievement, but when the single didn’t do that much in the U.S. this is what seemed to prompt his withdrawal from the music industry. That didn’t stop the Rolling Stones from tapping the Revue to open a dozen shows for them during their British tour that same year. (Where do you think Mick got his moves from? Tina Turner and Inez Foxx!)

Still, the Revue was still technically without a hit in the U.S. Undaunted, Ike, Tina and the band would take up a residency in Las Vegas. They also recorded a few albums that year and in 1969 including, The Hunter, which would yield a Grammy nomination for Tina for her vocal work on the title track. Ike would also get a Grammy nod in the Best Rhythm & Blues Instrumental Performance category for his record A Black Man’s Soul while leading his other funky outfit, Ike Turner & The Kings of Rhythm. At the end of 1969, the busy Revue was touring yet again with The Rolling Stones.

Here’s a clip of Tina’s absolutely incendiary performance of Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” taken from Gimme Shelter documentary.

Much more Ike & Tina after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb
11:02 am
Ike and Tina Turner cover Sly Stone, the Beatles and the Stones with steel-beam-melting intensity
10:46 am

Some eminently wise and decent person uploaded two complete episodes of Playboy After Dark to YouTube, and the back-to-back shows are full of delights for lovers of yesterday’s showbiz talents. Sammy Davis, Jr., Anthony Newley, Jerry Lewis, Louis Nye, Patty Duke and a very young Rex Reed all stop by the party. And who’s that smoking a cigar by the piano? Better watch your language and pull up your pants: it’s alleged serial rapist Bill Cosby, and it looks like he’s fixing up a batch of his signature Hello Friend cocktails!

What I suspect will interest DM’s readers most, though, is the white-hot, sheer steel-beam-melting intensity of Ike and Tina Turner’s performances, which are scattered like globs of napalm throughout the first of these broadcasts. Tina explains their incendiary music in terms of cooking with grease, both in the kitchen and onstage:

HUGH HEFNER: Now, the word “soul” has become kind of a popular term related to the music scene today, but you’ve got a word of your own: uh, “grease.”

TINA TURNER: Right. [Laughs]

HUGH: And I’m not familiar with it. What…

TINA: Well, let’s say… with meat, say, with cooking, like when you boil your vegetables—

HUGH: Well, I understand grease with cooking.

TINA: Okay, so we’re gonna use cooking first. In order to boil your vegetables, you still must have the grease, right? It starts from the cooking at home. Okay, so I have a term of saying, like, “Nothing is no good without the grease.” So that’s from there.

HUGH: I dig.

TINA: Now, another way of saying the grease is that—most black people, we say things, we say it top service, we don’t cover it, we don’t go around, we say it like exactly what it is. It’s nothing—like, say, for instance, sweat. We say “sweat.”

HUGH: Like Ike was saying earlier, you don’t perspire, you sweat.

TINA: Right. So, in other words, when you say “grease,” it means getting down to the nitty-gritty, the actual thing, not hinting, just saying exactly what.


The Ike & Tina Turner Revue’s set consists entirely of singles released in 1969. Along with their famous (“nice and rough”) version of CCR’s “Proud Mary,” the Revue sets fire to three songs that would appear on the following year’s mighty Come Together LP: Sly and the Family Stone’s “I Want to Take You Higher,” the Beatles’ “Come Together,” and (with Doug Kershaw on fiddle) the Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women.” Having burned these songs to the ground, the Revue dances lustily (greasily?) upon their ashes. Have mercy!

The songs:

“I Want to Take You Higher” (1:30)
interview (37:36)
“Come Together” (39:30)
“Proud Mary” (43:00)
“Honky Tonk Women” (45:55)

Posted by Oliver Hall
10:46 am