Best Wishes to Tiffany Turner
NOTE: I made an
error. My reference to 1975 was wrong - it should have been 1976.
This is corrected below.
I loved Ike.
I loved him like my big brother, my music
teacher, sometimes my father, my friend, and the very best bandleader alive.
I also loved Ike for some other reasons.
He always played straight with me. If we agreed on $2,000.00, that's what he paid me. Sometimes, he gave me a bonus, too.
When he told me somebody would be waiting for me at Los Angeles airport, they were always right there.
When Ike spoke with my wife, Rebecca, she almost always mentioned to me that Ike was a gentleman - polite, funny, friendly, and
Sometimes, he complimented me to Rebecca, and sometimes, he thanked her for letting me come out to
California to work with him.
Occasionally, he'd joke with her, and tell her I couldn't play worth a damn - I needed to stop all that bass fishing and
start practicing keyboards. They'd definitely laugh about that, and so would I.
Ike was profane, but that was normal talk in my (our) world.
(Actually, Rebecca only met Ike two or three times,
but this happened frequently .... Ike might call me
(at home, in Memphis or Mississippi), or Rebecca might call me (at Ike's house or studio in California). They spoke pretty often before I got to answer
the phone. Sometimes - depending on circumstances - we'd ALL be on the phone, talking and laughing.)
As I reflect on it, there's only one possible reason that Rebecca would have ever even told me this: it must be true.
In honor of Ike Turner - thank you for treating my wife like a lady .... always a gentleman to
the love of my life.
And .... thank you for your hours of caring and compassion after Rebecca died.
There were one or two things I didn't love
about Ike, too - mainly the excessive coke.
I liked snorting coke with Ike, but as far as I was concerned,
too much of anything is just too much.
With Ike, "too much" wasn't nearly enough. I loved him, but that's
ADDENDUM: On Page IV are two (2) links to some East St. Louis newspaper articles,
written in March, 2005 and February, 2010.
did not write those articles - but the authors who did write them (these are exact quotes) specifically refer to Ann Bullock as a "teenage groupie",
and "She was a teeny-bopper and a groupie,". "Redmond says he never saw Ike punch Tina at the Manhattan, but they
sure argued a lot."
Obviously, Ann was agitating - pushing Ike Turner's buttons - as far back as
before "A Fool In
That should give you, the reader, something to think about. Go read
the articles - see for yourself.
Ike was a very dominant, controlling person regarding his show. I've heard Ike called a lot of lot of derogatory names and
criticized repeatedly, by musicians that would not follow Ike's rules.
Maybe I grew up understanding and accepting that the LEADER makes the
RULES. The group FOLLOWS the rules. I didn't have a problem understanding who the leader was. Ike certainly was demanding,
and, as a result, a lot of musicians were fined and/or fired.
Most of them thought Ike was a real bastard - but some actually realized that their own actions were the real issue.
understood Ike, and don't
ever recall any real problems with him. We argued pretty often - the arguments were unimportant, but they sure were profane!
Having spoken with many other musicians (session players and sidemen from other groups), Ike was no better or worse in this regard than most of the R&B "names" - Ray Charles,
James Brown, Joe Tex, Wilson Pickett, Albert King - the list goes on and on.
Being so demanding was clearly the basis for the high turnover of
musicians - and it wasn't limited to Ike.
In fact, it wasn't even limited to musicians or background singers. Include roadies (the guys who set up the musical
equipment), sound system guys, lighting guys, stage techs - anyone at all that could affect the show. Everybody gave at least 110%
- or they had to deal with the consequences.
Ike was a perfectionist. He was very serious about any issue that concerned the I&TT Revue. Maybe my
respect for his rules was a factor in how well we got along with each other for so many years.
I worked for him -
well, maybe that's not exactly right -
I worked for myself. I played
keyboards with him - from 1969 until 1976. I didn't work
full time - I only worked when it fit into my schedule. I was
"hired" and "fired" pretty often. You can read
the reason why on Page II. In a manner of thinking, I "hired" and "fired" myself.
I cut the last 4 Ike and Tina records in existence. We had an unusual relationship - he didn't take shit from anybody, and
I didn't take shit from him. Maybe that's why we got along fine. I
know I told him at least 12 times to kiss my ass and go fuck himself, and he
did the same - probably 25 times.
And we always remained friends. There was an underlying respect - that never changed.
I regularly called him on his birthday - this year I was 3 days late. In the first week of December, I called him
again, and he was busy recording a new song. He played it for me
over the phone. It was some kind of reggae track, very different
from his usual R&B music. He asked me to call back in about 3
hours, but I didn't. Our time zones are 3 hours apart, and I went
to sleep. That was the last time I talked to Ike.
I received an email on December
12, telling me Ike died. It had a link in it to some
disgusting website where people could write "comments". I
looked at the comments and got sick. I've never seen such
disrespect towards someone who just passed away.
I found some pictures. They
ought to educate you. The sensationalized movie made plenty of
money, but it sure didn't tell you the truth.
Here are two messages I wrote to a
From: Steve Leigh <steve at sl-prokeys dot com>
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 13:26:25 -0500
Subject: [SS] Ike Turner
At 11:42 AM 12/13/2007, you wrote:
>Am absolutely appalled by the tenor of most of the
comments under that
>piece, and indeed under many other pieces
announcing the man's death.
>People writing in, genuinely taking pleasure in
speaking ill of the dead,
>"good riddance here" and "another one bites the
dust" there. Sickening is
I'm amazed at this disrespectful insanity. I played
for I&TT. I lived in their house. Tina (Little Ann)
was known as "Ditta". She often made me lunch. At no
time was there any violence that *I* know of. If
there was, I'd be honest about it.
Arguments - yes. EVERYBODY who believes in
anything argues. I argued with Ike about keyboard
parts on *every song we cut*.
I didn't witness every single moment in the life of
Ike and Tina. I do have eyes, though. I think I can
recognize a woman who has been beaten, crying, or
obviously battered. 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
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.
I lived in their house for a short period of time. I
heard some arguing, and at the studio, there was
some VERBAL abuse at *certain* times - there was a
reason for it, and most adults would understand the
reason. "Rough talk" was commonplace talk for
everybody in the I&TT Revue at the time. No shortage
PEOPLE WATCHED A *MOVIE* ON TV. Now because of a
Walt Disney production - they know it all. They
aren't logical enough to realize the movie is based
on *some* facts - and it's overflowing with
"entertainment" and exaggerations. That's what
Why would anyone believe it? Simple - it made good
entertainment at the time, and THAT was a time for
I *lived* at 4263 Olympiad Drive, Baldwin Hills for
a short time. Bronze castings of Tina's hands were
the front door handles to their home. The fishtank
was on your left as you went through the front
doors, and made a left bend along the hall leading
into the den. Ann (Tina) liked those fish - that's
why Ike spent thousands having a whole wall made
into a fishtank for her. The piano was on your
right, with tape and stereo equipment on shelves
above it. This isn't coming from somebody with an
"opinion". I LIVED there. I could tell you some
things about their home, family, Bolic recording
studios, who did what and when, Rhonda, Ditta, Ann
Thomas, and members of the band. I could tell you
about how much coke went up our noses, the fines,
the rehearsals, traveling to gigs, on the plane, in
a bus, having fun, and putting on shows that blew
These people don't know - a few of you do - and
the rest are puppets. Use your brains - don't tell
somebody who lived it what the TRUTH is. ANYBODY can
contact me - steve at sl-prokeys dot com - and I'll
straighten you out. I'll tell you what REALITY is -
I lived right in the middle of it. THEY DIDN'T.
It's sickening to look at that website and see Ike
degraded in such a way. Nobody said he was perfect -
but he was nothing like what's described.
If any of you knew him, played with him, snorted
with him, and argued with him, you'd know Ike was a
hell of a man. I did all of 'em. I went back and
forth with Ike a lot of times in 7 years. Sometimes
I'd get fired, sometimes, I'd tell him to go ****
himself, and walk out. I was fired more than I was
hired, that's for sure.
Does anybody know how many times he helped the band
players? How many times he loaned money, bought
cars, paid their rent, got them out of trouble, paid
medical bills, paid for the delivery of their kids,
and never was repaid? Anybody know about the annual
I&TT July 4th picnics?
Anybody know how TINY Ike was in the old days? The
movie shows Ike being huge - Ike weighed less than
130 lbs. from 1969-1976 when I played. I actually
used to wear some of his clothes when he
offered. I'm small - at that time I weighed about
110. I'm about 1" shorter than Ike.
All those comments make me sick. Like most
"comments", they come from ignorant fools - most of
which weren't even born yet when the I&TT Revue
From: Steve Leigh <steve at sl-prokeys dot com>
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 15:39:24 -0500
Subject: [SS] Ike Turner 2
Thank you for the private mail I've been receiving.
I want to tell you a story. It's going to be hard,
because I don't know how much profanity this list
can take, and I'm not telling a story to offend
anyone. I'll tell it like it is, and I hope the list
moderator and every member of the list can overlook
(I changed my mind about the profanity. Let your own
In the 1970s, we were in the studio cutting rhythm
section tracks. Few people know that Ike was out of
his head when he got coked up in the studio.
Actually, we all were. By that I mean we HAD the
song, but he'd change parts, redo things that were
already fine, snort more, and after 38 different
clavinet parts (for example), we'd RECUT the same
Goddamn part that was the original. I can't easily
portray the environment - there was always an ounce
or two of coke at the end of the recording console,
and we dipped in constantly - CONSTANTLY. Everything
made sense, yet recording was unreal. It was as if
Ike could not stop searching for "that part". Jackie
(Clark - guitar) would record a part. Ike loved it.
20 minutes later, Ike wanted to change it just a
little, so Jackie changed it. Within an hour, the
original part felt better, and Ike wanted to recut
the original part. Soko (Richardson - drums) had to
deal with the same uncertainties. I remember one
session when Soko disappeared. He might have gone
upstairs to get some sleep, I don't know. Ike came
out of nowhere - he wanted a hi-hat (open/close
thing) - so I played it. But this was crazy - we
weren't doing drum or percussion parts at the time,
we were doing *keyboard tracks*. Maybe I'm saying
Ike's mind - musically - flew around like a jet. If
it came into his head - no matter what it was - we
had to get it on tape instantly. Am I making any
So back to the story. Most of the band had been in
the studio for about 3 days. I don't think we ate
any food, but a lot of coke keeps you from getting
hungry. Maybe we all had a few sodas, but somebody
might have gone out and brought back $100 worth of
hamburgers, that's how Ike was in the studio. He was
focused on a song, and sent somebody out to get
something if we got hungry. The point is, once we
were "flowing", we lived that song for however many
days it took. Try and imagine yourself inside this
bubble of intensity. Nobody knew if it was day or
night - no windows in a studio, no clock. It might
be Wednesday or Thursday. Who cares?
Tina came into the studio. "Ike, I just made up some
soup. You want some?"
First of all, that was a mistake, and everybody in
the band knew it. Sessions with Ike were like
surgery in an operating room: DO NOT DISTURB, UNDER
ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, FOR ANY REASON.
Everybody knew that, Tina did, too.
But it didn't stop.
Tina: "Ike you haven't eaten for 3 days. I'll
bring some soup down here for you and the guys."
Tina: "It won't take but a few minutes, y'all can
have some fresh soup. Jackie? Sandy? You want some
By now, everybody in the band is looking at walls
and the ceiling. Something is happening here,
somebody is stepping across the line.
After another 4 or 5 tries, Ike finally exploded.
By now, we'd all forgotten the groove we were in,
and the Goddamn song might as well have been called
Ike got up, went face to face with Tina, and called
her every name in the book. (This is where I'm
leaving out the words. You just imagine the worst,
and add 100) Then he invented some names. She tried
backtalking him and he threw her (not physically,
but threateningly) out of the Goddamn studio.
THAT IS *THE* MOST VIOLENT EPISODE I EVER REMEMBER
with Ike and Tina. But if you've read this far, then
let me explain a fact or two.
Tina craved attention. She couldn't stand it when we
were in the studio and she was ignored for a few
days at a time. She'd do anything for attention -
good, bad, or whatever. If one of us went out of the
studio to the bathroom, she'd start talking - not
wanting us to go back in the studio. She NEEDED
attention all the time.
This caused a lot of problems.
Take what I write seriously.
YouTube link - WATCH IT. Violent scenes galore - only from the bullshit
Laurence Fishburne - AT LEAST TWICE the size of Ike - Angela
Bassett - about ONE HALF the size of Tina.
You want to BELIEVE the bullshit movie? That's your
choice. There are lots of suckers out there.
But I KNOW better
- and that bullshit movie doesn't fool me for even one second.
P.T. Barnum: "A sucker is born every minute."
this one too.
People Don't Like The Truth
May, 2008 addition
Sometimes, truth is
more than people want to hear. It interferes with
the fantasy world they've created in their minds.
The message below was found on the internet. It
specifically refers to me by name, and to the pages I've
written about Ike. Predictably, it was written by
an anonymous asshole.
I copied the text in
GREEN, and added my own
rebuttal text in BLUE.
came to this site via The Guardian and while I'm mad
about the music your showcasing
You're MAD about a website that "showcases" music? WHO THE
HELL ARE YOU?
Some no-name, anonymous asshole that dictates what music goes on
I've found something
really distasteful in the attempts here and elsewhere to
rehabilitate Ike Turner by denigrating Tina.
haven't seen Ike
"rehabilitated" or Tina "denigrated" in any way.
FAR from it.
Try READING: Ike is given
respect AND criticized
throughout these pages.
The 2 page tribute by Steve Leigh is just one example.
As if the fact that Tina interrupts a recording session
or that Ike buys her expensive dresses somehow justifies
his violence toward her.
haven't justified violence.
not believe in violence - I'm completely against it.
been a victim of violence, and have lifetime damage as a
I don't know
factually that violence existed, with one exception
which is written below. If it did exist, I have no
factual knowledge of the surrounding
I know what I saw - with my own eyes.
Interrupting a recording session is NOT PERMITTED.
It's a "law", understood and accepted by everyone in the
To illustrate that simply: if you
were on an operating table, in surgery, and the doctor's
wife walked in, asking if he wanted lunch - OR FOR ANY
OTHER REASON - would that be acceptable?
sane people would answer "NO".
Throughout his account of the Ike and Tina years she
sounds like she's trapped in a cage, a gilded one
admittedly at times, but a cage nonetheless.
was in a "cage", it was a "cage" she
made the most of the "cage", and did everything to
preserve the "cage" for as long as possible. Ike
provided the world's nicest "cage" for her.
The attack on her musicality around Nutbush City Limits
is wide of the mark too - Tina has never made any claim
to be a songwriter but to assert she wouldnt know what
key the song is in is just beyond belief.
wrote about this subject below, but I'll reiterate.
YES - 7 of 10 songs on the Nutbush album show Tina
listed as the only songwriter.
Tina "claims" credit for writing the songs.
she did not write them.
Keyboard and guitar players play chords. Songs are
written with chord progressions. Tina did not
play keyboards or guitar.
Ike Turner wrote the 7
songs with contributions and input from us - "us" means
Ike gave Tina
full songwriter credit for reasons which I may add to
this page at another time.
Tina certainly did
write some lyrics.
anyone - anywhere - anytime - can show me how a
non-musician can write the chords to a song, it's time
to put up or shut up.
Just put your
your mouth is, and let's see it.
who has seen her perform live knows there she's a source
of profound musicality.
No, I don't agree. She's
a source of what Ike Turner "profoundly"
trained her to
do over many, many years.
and just how much has her voice improved over the thirty
years since she left Ike when those of most
contemporaries has suffered decline (Aretha, Dusty,
improvement at all. She sounds about the same to me.
She obviously found different -
and commercially profitable - material to sing, and eventually became a WHITE POP MUSIC attraction.
All that really changed
was PRODUCTION: Ike wasn't steering her into black R&B - Roger Davies
was steering her into WHITE POP.
Just because Mr Leigh didn't witness the abuse doesn't
mean it didnt happen.
And it doesn't mean it DID happen, either.
Bill Wyman, Gladys Knight, PP
Arnold, Cher have all testified to the abuse she
Where did they "testify"? In some interview? Or in a court of law - under oath?
there's a harrowing eyewitness account from Etta James in her memoir (Rage to Survive) of one such
Consider Etta James. (click
the link) I read her
1995 book, too.
She claims to be the daughter of Rudolph Wanderone - Minnesota Fats - a
world famous pool hustler.
And Minnesota Fats claims exactly the opposite.
Etta James CLEARLY describes Ike
yelling at Tina. Big deal - Ike yelled at everybody.
THAT'S a "harrowing" fact.
Her book claims that Tina showed Etta a huge diamond ring which Ike bought for her.
So Ike punched Tina in the face - with a closed fist - and the swelling started instantly.
And - according to Etta James - Ike nearly broke Tina's finger off, removing the diamond ring.
Does it make any sense?
IF Ike really did this, there's got to be more to this story - like
a reason why. What's the reason? Etta James left that out.
Sorry - I'm not buying this shit.
Musically, I think Etta James was phenomenal - I always did. I saw her live shows several times.
I have a lot of respect for Etta the singer.
I don't have much respect for Etta "the author" or Etta the junkie.
• Since the 1960s (possibly earlier), she was a heroin
(also other drugs and alcohol)
• She was continuously in and out of drug rehabilitation centers.
• She had numerous legal problems and arrests during the early 1970s, due
to her heroin addiction.
• Artis Mills (her husband), took all responsibility
when they were both arrested in 1972 for heroin possession.
• Artis Mills served a 10 year prison sentence FOR her.
• In 1974, Etta James was sentenced to drug treatment instead of serving
• She was in the Tarzana Psychiatric Hospital for 17 months, and went
through drug treatment.
• In her book, she said that the time she spent in the hospital "changed
her life". (Yeah, it sure did.)
• After leaving drug treatment, her drug abuse continued - she was
involved with a man who was also using drugs.
• In 1988, she entered the Betty Ford Center for drug treatment.
• In 2010, she received treatment for dependency on painkillers - which
happen to be (you guessed it) .... drugs.
When she co-authored "her" book, I'm almost positive she was in a
rehab center. She also had Alzheimer's disease (dementia) and plenty of other problems. I feel very sad about Etta's problems.
also feel sad that Etta James was a long term junkie - about 50 years of constant drugs.
This radio show contains
verbatim quotes - word-for-word - from Etta James' book, regarding Ike. AND I DON'T BELIEVE THOSE WORDS.
Can you say "EXAGGERATION"? I sure can.
I've made myself clear - I did not live
with Ike 24/7.
If abuse existed, I did not
hear about it, or see any visual evidence of it.
I never saw bruising,
black eyes, swelling, bandages, or any indication of
In my experiences,
never touched Tina,
except to show affection - hugs and kisses. That's
and heard arguments. Confrontations were verbal -
profane and violent to some - but
Tina unquestionably contributed
to the escalation of those confrontations.
By all means let's hear of Ike's musical achievements
but let's not deny the anguish he inflicted on Tina.
This is BULLSHIT. Let's not deny the anguish Tina inflicted on Ike.
Let's all be fair and honest,
realistic, and equitable.
refusing all public comment on Ike's death I didn't see
that as a lack of class on Tina's part, I saw it as an
act of grace and dignity which is typical of the woman.
Personally, I think the
anonymous asshole writer is nothing but a polarized groupie with too
much to say - but no actual facts.
pity that Ike, and those who still deny his actions, are
so lacking in such qualities.
Excuse me, asshole. Obviously you can't grasp the fact that Ike DIED on December 12, 2007.
I really don't think he's able to confirm, deny, or make any comments anymore.
pity that more REAL people - people with NAMES - not ASSHOLES - people who lived with the truth -
don't speak up.
This is Ike. All
125 pounds of him. Take a look.
Ike was like the little kid - the little wimp - the runt - who gets sand kicked in his face at the beach
by big guys.
I'm 5 foot 6 inches tall. When I played with Ike, I
weighed about 110 pounds. Sometimes, Ike used to loan me his clothes
to wear onstage.
He was about 1" taller than me. I
used a safety pin so his pants would fit me - to pull in 1" at the waist. If I wore a belt, I didn't even need a safety pin.
shirts fit me perfectly, but his shoes were too big.
when we were in San Francisco, we went shopping.
He bought fringed buckskin jackets -
one in every color available.
He emptied the
store for his size, he just bought
all of them. He asked me what color I liked,
and bought an extra one for me.
carried about 15 jackets back to the St. Francis Hotel
that afternoon. I think we looked like a
walking down the street.
carefully - this doesn't look like Laurence Fishburne - the one you saw in the bullshit movie, does it?
Laurence Fishburne is at least 6 feet tall, and a VERY BIG man.
we're missing close to 10" in height, and over 150 pounds.
The bullshit movie - a multi-million dollar
for Disney Productions - was NOT accurate.
It was NOT a National Geographic documentary.
It was NOT a
It was entertainment - and that's what movies are. That's why
they're made. ENTERTAINMENT. Some facts, but not
This isn't a movie.
Here's Ike in the hallway at Bolic, on LaBrea, in Inglewood.
I knew the place well - I spent days, sometimes weeks, there.
could describe almost every detail - the Flickinger consoles, the 3M and Scully machines, the pool table
room (which even had a vintage Wurlitzer jukebox), the rental studio, Ike's private studio, closed circuit video cameras, the
that slid open to go up to the hidden apartment (you had
to know the secret phone number to dial to get the "wall"
to slide open), the attic
Take a look at Ike. He just doesn't
seem big enough to kick the shit out of anybody.
Ike's sitting on the
left, no shirt on. Tina's standing on the right, in
a white robe.
Photographic proof doesn't
leave a lot of room for uncertainty. Tina was
powerful enough to knock the living shit out of Ike anytime she
You might not have known that? The movie showed a tiny little woman as "Tina", and a
monster is shown
Well, that's what the bullshit movie showed - how about
The guy standing next to Tina,
talking to me, was Soko Richardson, the drummer.
Soko was a big man - about 270 pounds.
With ease, he could have picked up Ike by his
choked the life out of him - with ONE HAND.
And THAT'S no joke.
(Recognize that skinny little white guy sitting on the floor
This is part of Ike's genius - but you'd have to see it to appreciate it.
They're doing an intro to "Please, Please",
called "The Wedding". (#10, below)
Ike created an entire visual/musical
interplay, having Tina tell a whole story, explaining about ....
"The onlyist man I ever loved
- he's marrying my best girlfriend".
"He said, Tina .... Tina darling .... I'll always
reserve a certain little spot .... in the corner of my
"And when the wedding was over, everybody was
throwing rice .... Me? I threw a brick."
During this kind of interplay, every time Tina turned back to face the audience,
Ike shook his head "yes" or "no",
made quiet remarks into the mic, and made facial expressions to create
the whole story which led into the song. Listen to 10, just below
- you'll learn fast.
This was absolutely
priceless. Those little skits were
funny - some were positively unbelievable.
The I&TT Revue knocked people
for a loop.
Audiences went wild. Ike knew what they
I'm proud to have played my small
part in it all.
LIVE at Basin Street, San Francisco
(note: the album cover picture is backwards - Ike played guitar right-handed)
The Kings of
Sweet Soul Music
Heard It Through The Grapevine
There Was A Time
Fool In Love
A different show - a partially different group.
This time, Ike hired a bass trombone player.
Listen to that fat 'bone
BURPING on the bottom of "Son".
That just blows me away.
Son of A Preacher Man -
Lovin' You Too Long
You Got Me Hummin
controlled by Ike. Every note, the clothing, the
dance steps - nothing at all was left to chance.
Tina came up with dance routines with the Ikettes
- but Ike improved on them.
The entire I&TT Revue was a product of Ike's mind,
it was all Ike.
Ike invented fog machines and strobe lighting for the
stage. His early "strobe light" was a spotlight
and a fan mounted disc with a hole cut in it.
took him years to "discover" fire extinguishers for fog.
his ideas of what, how, and when.
That's how he did the
impossible: he created the world's most awesome LIVE SHOW, and
didn't even need a hit record!
I&TT sold out arenas regularly.
Ike did what nobody in the music business ever did -
before or since.
What is it that people
don't understand? I can explain it - but who will
in charge of a multi-million dollar business. He
directly supported dozens of people and their families
with the I&TT Revue.
If they didn't work, people
starved. Most of the guys in the group and the Ikettes screwed up plenty - it was just the life we
Can anyone understand?
We were not normal.
different. We were musicians.
We didn't work in offices.
We didn't work in a grocery store, insurance company,
used car lot, a
restaurant, or the corner store.
We worked with the I&TT Revue.
You have no idea what
kind of crazy things happened which could affect the
contracts for the I&TT Revue.
use your BRAIN: once a contract was signed, the I&TT Revue
either fulfilled the contract, or the lawsuits began.
Big, monster lawsuits. In effect, Ike's ass was on the line, and any member of
the Revue could cause a disaster at any moment.
Don't think for a second that this didn't happen - it
Does anybody actually believe Ike
handed out fines like confetti because he enjoyed
Do you think he fined everybody because he
needed or wanted the money?
Get serious - it
wasn't like that. Ike was trying to maintain order in
a chaotic situation.
A quick way to get some
attention is directly through your wallet.
Ask yourself these
questions logically: How the hell could
the I&TT Revue get on stage at 8pm tonight when the bass
player was arrested at 5pm? Can Ike send
Rhonda to bail him out of jail, and get him onstage?
What about when
everyone is at the airport, the plane leaves in 10
minutes, and 4 group members haven't even shown up at the
airport? Now what? They're
starting to board the plane, what's happening? Who
has to make the decisions, handle the situations?
Ike only had two
choices: ignore it, and let the Revue fall apart, or do
something about it. Ike dominated.
the answer to everything - dominance.
Control every part of the business, and everyone
connected to it, or the business would fail.
Few people know how many times Ike got his players out
of jail, paid their lawyers, paid their fines, their
rent, bought gifts for everyone,
reached in his pocket and gave help to anyone and
Ike bought people houses, cars, paid
medical bills to have their kids delivered.
people who knew Ike knew of his kindness and generosity.
Tina doesn't look too brutalized
here. Ike used to buy $8,000.00 gowns for her, and cut them up
with scissors to create a wild stage appearance. Everybody talks
about "sex appeal". Ike designed, invented, and created it
like this picture. I don't remember where it was taken, but it's a
good picture, due to the sign on the wall.
I never saw a "choker" before I met Ike.
My wife, Rebecca, and I
made some from leather, pearl buttons, and metal studs.
Ike's wearing one of two we made for him.
The other one was very
simple - just
two rows of grey pearl buttons on a black leather band, and it snapped behind
things like that meant more to both of us than you'd ever understand.
had one identical to Ike's. When I wore mine and
he wore his, we both laughed.
Ike bought me a coke box.
It's a small block of wood with a lid that fits so tight, coke can't
spill out of it.
It holds about 2 grams, and it's exactly like his
- but his was a little larger. I'm holding it in my hand right
now, in between typing.
Ike was never legally married to Tina.
- but I could be wrong - that
California has a "common law" statute. If you
live with someone for seven (7) or more years, that
IS considered "married" by state law. WAIT!
I'm not a lawyer - so DO NOT take this
The "wedding" was a prank, in a restaurant in Tijuana,
Ike, Tina, and some others went down
there to see if this "donkey making love with a woman"
real or fake.
A waiter came to the table, asked if
they wanted their picture taken.
Ike gave the guy a few
took their picture, and said, "I now pronounce you man
That's the "wedding" that never happened.
In 1988, the movie,
"What's Love Got To Do With It?" required a legal
release from Ike.
Ike was paid $45,000. to sign a
contract which absolutely prohibited him from suing
At that time, the money seemed
like a fortune to Ike, he signed without consulting a
Contrary to RUMORS, Ike was
certainly not a consultant to that movie.
Sadder and Sadder
The news that Ike
died of cocaine toxicity and other complications
only makes me sadder than I was.
seen Ike for nearly 5 years, but we talked regularly. We never spoke
I hoped in my heart he'd
had enough - I really believed he was done with
it forever. But apparently I was wrong.
I read several news reports of the San
Diego Medical Examiner, confirming cocaine
toxicity along with contributing conditions of
high blood pressure and emphysema.
I never denied
snorting with Ike. I liked it - it made me
feel good, and when I was around him, we'd definitely snort.
I couldn't keep up with Ike, that's for sure, but I made
When I wasn't around him, I'd
occasionally snort with other musicians - but it was occasional.
I learned - back in the early 1970s -
DRUGS AREN'T FOR ME.
I didn't want
to live that lifestyle - day after day after day.
Weeks turn into months, and then
months become years.
I hope anyone who
reads this can learn a lesson. Drugs - not
only cocaine - can start out being "just a
And they can grow into a 30
year addiction, too. They can cost you a
lot more than the money in your bank account.
Ike spent more money in one rehab facility than
most people earn in 10 years - and he
still went back to coke.
As much as I
love Ike, and I DO love him, he had one critical flaw: he let
cocaine control him.
My REAL feelings are clear - IKE FUCKED UP
himself - for fucking COCAINE
Goddamn sorry that I don't even have WORDS to
expound on this.
I wish I could have been a better friend for
I wish I could have done something -
- to help him leave that fucking shit alone
It would have been
to get in a fistfight with him - and get my
ass beat to shit - if
it meant no more coke for Ike.
you'll never know how sad I am that I could
studio - 32x8 mixers, Mackie HR824
Right: Ike's home
studio - more elaborate 8 mixer, Mackie HR824 monitors.
Dallas - July 2, 1976
Would anybody like to
Anyone want to know why Ike
and Tina had a bloody battle in a limo in Dallas,
I've known the
facts for years, and so have
many, many others.
I love Ike, but I completely agree with
Tina on the issues concerning cocaine.
Tina had decided that Ike's constant use of coke
and sexual behaviors was so far
out of hand, that she wanted to leave.
right. Ike couldn't go a half a day
Probably because of the unlimited coke, he had women around him regularly.
Nonstop, free cocaine draws a whole lot of "friends" in a hurry.
I'm not absolutely positive the other women
had sexual relations with Ike, so there's no point in writing about it.
For me, that wasn't the real issue -
To be honest, I
felt a lot like Tina, but I kept my thoughts and feelings about cocaine to
I only discussed them
privately - with my wife.
There was non-stop,
ever-increasing coke in his world, and as much as I
love and respect Ike, his musical abilities, and
even his dominant, controlling personality - the coke worried me. There was just too much coke.
too much coke.
loved his lifestyle.
There was no way I was going to make him slow down or stop.
I couldn't change Ike. Who the hell was
I was a
keyboard player that Ike paid a lot of money for
If I had talked to him, he wouldn't have heard one word of it.
loved his lifestyle.
The details of how and why start months earlier.
Ike owned the name "Tina Turner", and
had power of attorney over her, as well.
the time, their recording contract with United
Artists (Liberty) was ending.
Ike negotiated a new, 5 year recording deal with
Cream Records for $150,000. per year, with options.
What that meant, in plain English,
was that Tina would be tied to Ike for at least 5
more years, if he signed that record contract.
They were headed to Dallas to play
concerts. They left on Thursday.
new recording contract would be signed on Monday,
when they returned from Texas.
exactly 4 days to either get free, or be locked into
5 more years with Ike.
I wasn't there. I heard it from the
horse's mouth, and I believe Ike.
Tina did any and everything to provoke Ike.
She'd known for years exactly how to push his
buttons and get him furious.
Ike had major
problems with his nose for many years, due to so much
cocaine abuse, and he was frequently in pain and
bleeding from his nose.
I'd seen it myself -
blood and mucus coming from his nose, in his mustache,
dripping off his chin.
When this happened, it
was disgusting, and I always got him tissues
and wet paper towels, and helped him clean himself up.
It was so bad, that the membrane between
his nostrils was gone, due to cocaine.
Ike literally burned part of the inside of his nose
away with cocaine.
addicted to coke. I don't think anyone would ever
Tina took the opportunity,
and it went on for hours.
It began on the way to
Los Angeles airport, continued during the flight
from Los Angeles to Dallas, and also after they got
into the limo to go to the hotel.
She wouldn't give
Ike a tissue. She turned her nose up at him.
She laughed at him. She ignored him.
She looked out the window,
as if Ike wasn't sitting there in pain, bleeding.
intentionally pushed every button in the book, and
made sure Ike would blow up. So Ike blew up.
In the limo, Ike slapped the shit out of her.
didn't sit there to be slapped.
right on top of Ike, with both of her knees in his
chest, and pounded the Goddamn DOGSHIT out of Ike with her
Ike said they went around like prizefighters for
awhile. Both of Ike's eyes were cut and bleeding,
(from Tina's jewelry)
besides his nose.
They arrived at the hotel, went up to their suite, and Ike fainted.
When he woke up, Tina had run away. (allegedly, with $0.68 - but maybe somebody overlooked the $20,000.00 Gold American Express
card. Ike, Rhonda, and Tina all had one.)
But Ike got the
last word .... several years later, he put
together a new group (I was invited, but declined),
and recorded THIS
ANYONE can figure out it's
about Tina. And the lyrics TELL THE
Tina just couldn't
cope with it. The ending of the song says
"Sorry" is RIGHT. Ike
gave her what she wanted - and it was just too
much for her to handle.
Ann Bullock - Tina Turner
In my experience, Ann was a nice,
polite, charming woman. I don't ever recall her
smoking or drinking, and she rarely used profanity.
To me, she did
- on occasion - seem quite argumentative with Ike. She definitely
"pushed his buttons".
I never saw her take
any drugs - positively not cocaine.
Ann seemed very lady-like in the
years that I knew
But - as a playing musician - I was more
"Ike's", so Ann and I rarely had any discussions
about anything of any meaning.
When we talked,
we basically chatted about nothing. Occasionally, she brought up
the "cocaine" issue.
I kept my mouth shut. That wasn't an issue for
to discuss with Ann.
Maybe some people know the real history, maybe not.
I wasn't there personally, so I'm
relating stories that came from different sources:
Ike, Ann, Ikettes, people in the group, old friends, and public facts.
Years back, in East St. Louis, Ike had the hottest
group that ever hit a stage.
The name of the
group was "Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm".
the group went, the crowds followed. Ike sold out every place
he played - that's how good his group was.
Musically, Ike owned St. Louis and the surrounding
Ann Bullock lived in St. Louis, too. Ann, and her sister, Alline, were going out with
musicians in Ike's group.
During a break one
night, somebody gave Ann a microphone, and Ike heard her sing.
At that time, Ann was going out
with one of Ike's sax players, Raymond Hill.
Soon, she was also
learning plenty about real singing, phrasing, dynamics, stage presence, choreography, and fronting Ike's show.
Ike trained Ann
He trained her singing, her dancing, her stage moves, her hand and facial movements, her spoken
interaction with an audience.
He created her visual effect: sexy legs, ripped up gowns, wigs, makeup .... everything was a result of Ike's
professional vision for his show.
And EVERYTHING in Ike's professional vision brought the focus directly to Ann and the Ikettes.
Ike lived in the
background onstage - he wanted to stay in the background. He was the director. That's exactly how Ike planned it.
Berry Gordy (Motown) did exactly the same thing with his acts.
TRAINING. YEARS of TRAINING.
Do some reading and studying - you'll discover I'm right .... and truthful.
She occasionally sang a few songs, onstage, with Ike's group, and this
went on for quite awhile - several years, actually.
At some point, Ann
became pregnant by Raymond. Her mother threw her
out of the house.
(Raymond, incidentally, beat up Ann regularly, until he disappeared back to Mississippi with a broken leg.)
Ann didn't have any money,
she was living in a garage in an alley.
(Raymond) Craig Hill was born, she worked at some kind of menial
job - a nurse assistant - but didn't have enough
money to make ends meet.
When Ike discovered
this, he moved her into
his house, and gave her some money every week.
Ann was NOT part of Ike's group. At the time,
Ike didn't want or need a female vocalist. Ann
"sat in" occasionally, and sang a few songs
At about this time, Ike wrote a song, "A Fool In
Love", for a singer named Art Lassiter.
Lassiter never showed up for the recording session,
(which Ike paid for - meaning musicians, studio
rental, tape, etc.).
After considerable begging and pleading, Ike allowed Ann to do the vocal track. It was supposed
to be temporary, until Lassiter could do the vocal.
BUT - Juggy Murray from Sue Records heard
it, and wanted to release it with Ann's vocal.
Ike got his advance check (about $20,000.00) from Sue Records .... and here's where it gets
The record started selling - so Ike had to go out on
the road -
"the chitlin' circuit" - to increase record sales.
Ike had some kind of fixation on that Tarzan and
Jane theme - a "Nyoka of the Jungle" fetish - so he invented
the name "Tina" for Ann.
He patented the names
"Tina Turner", "Ike
and Tina Turner", and later he patented the name "Ikettes",
Because of the record, suddenly
Turner and the Kings of Rhythm" became the "Ike and
Tina Turner Revue".
The record sold pretty well, and that's how Ike and
Tina Turner began.
If Lassiter had
shown up to record, everything might have been
It was an unusual accident
and coincidence - history was written because
somebody didn't show up for a recording session.
Right about this time, Ike also got Ann pregnant. She gave birth to Ike's son, Ronnie. (The only child of Ike Turner and
Ann Bullock. Later, Ike legally adopted Raymond's child (Craig), and supported four (4) children as his own, including the two (2) children from
his prior "wife", Lorraine.)
Ann Bullock: a teenager, the unwed mother of two children. (promiscuous? you
But, thanks to Ike, she had a record headed up the R&B charts.
Somehow, I think
Ann forgot her roots - she forgot where she came from,
forgot how she became who she became.
musician, I saw Ann in a certain way. Ann
seemed like a nice, polite, personable woman.
Ann was a lady.
A respectable lady with dignity.
But she never seemed to have an original thought of
her own in the world I lived in - music .... and
that makes perfect sense.
Musically, Ike controlled
everything - so Ann's ideas, if she ever had
any - weren't too applicable.
She had maids,
babysitters. She didn't have the problems that the rest of the world
has to cope with.
She had any and everything
I think Ann really
wanted something that she couldn't have. She
wanted to change Ike.
wanted Ike to be a "typical, conventional"
her. I believe Ann wanted to exclusively own Ike.
In the beginning, they started out as
friends, buddies. In time, they became working
In the old days, Ann used to fix Ike up with
different women all the time - FOR SEX
Maybe you better read THAT again -
She always knew what he was,
what he liked, what he wanted. Ike's appetite
for different women was insatiable.
have grown to love Ike romantically, but Ike loved Ann like
a sister. Ike
constantly had different women around him. That never stopped.
I believe that Ann changed -
and Ike didn't: women, cars, jewelry, clothes, a wild lifestyle, crazy partying, and the real disaster: cocaine.
(keep in mind that I first met Ike in 1969 -
he was already addicted to coke)
I honestly think this became more of an issue for Ann
as years went by. In the beginning, I
think they both understood what Ike was.
time, I think it became a
humiliating, embarrassing situation for Ann, because
Ike's extreme behaviors were pretty obvious.
Nothing could slow Ike down -
and the coke
just added to it.
Maybe she forgot that Ike was
right there for her when she had TB, pneumonia, yellow
jaundice, the times she tried to commit suicide, anytime she
was in the hospital, all the ups and all the downs.
forgot that after the physical violence in Dallas, Ann
wanted to continue with the I&TT Revue - but not as
She wanted to move out, get a
house for her and the kids, live her own life, and
only be "Tina Turner" onstage.
as a womanizer.
But - based on my knowledge - he kept
his activities PRIVATE.
took his coke orgies and freaky women off to a hotel
suite someplace. (but - that's assuming "coke
orgies" and "freaky women")
Ike didn't put any of this in anyone's face -
but Ann, and everyone else, could ASSUME what was happening.
And they might
have been right. Or they might have been
I know a little about some of this -
I was there. But I CAN'T be absolutely positive WHAT
Ike was doing in those hotel rooms.
I never asked, and Ike never said a word about
Anyone could imagine what Ike was
doing, but nobody ever saw it, or knew for
Maybe Ike was in a hotel suite writing a song - nobody really knew
except Ike and whoever was in the suite with him.
Personally, I think Ike was
probably compulsive about women.
But I could be wrong - I'll never really
know. Or I could be right.
I think Ann forgot
about the details of the divorce.
She - not
Ike - made it clear that she wanted nothing.
Nothing. No houses, no studio, no
properties, no investments, no royalties, nothing at
She wanted nothing except the name "Tina
Turner", and that's just what the court awarded to
her - exactly what she asked for.
the times after Dallas when they had lunch,
talked things out, the various times that Ike tried to help
Maybe she forgot the day of
the divorce, in the courthouse, she was sitting by
Ike's side, holding his hand, having a civilized discussion with him.
think Ann "remembered" what would sell the book she
wrote - with plenty of editorial help, or, if you
prefer the word, "spin".
She didn't write her book herself
- instead (much like she used Ike) she had a CO-WRITER,
Words in Ann's book say a lot
of things - but my eyes never saw
A lot of Ann's book is accurate. Ike's daily use of cocaine did increase from "excessive"
to "absolutely unbelievable".
And, after four (4) days of non-stop coke,
meaning no sleep and very little food, Ike did become
argumentative and temperamental.
This especially happened in the studio,
during a "run".
I had to deal with it myself, while I was trying to cut
keyboard parts that he wanted. We argued about all of them.
The more Ike snorted, the less
he even knew what parts he wanted. They changed
in 60 seconds.
Unless you've gone face-to-face in an argument with Ike,
you'll NEVER know.
I've always loved him, and I've always
said and stood behind the same thing. TOO MUCH IS TOO FUCKING
January, 2013 Addition
I wrote this above, on December 13, 2007, in the first email
(at the top of this page), and I'd
like to expand.
"I do have eyes, though. I think I can recognize a
woman who has been beaten, crying, or obviously battered."
I recently read Ann's book again. I'm pretty
sure I've read it no less than nine (9) times.
There are many factual
mistakes throughout her book - places, details, people's names, which instrument they played,
Am I writing that Ann is a LIAR?
NO, I AM NOT.
I am writing that - to the best of
my knowledge - there are many mistakes and exaggerations
in her book.
I think the book is
extremely exaggerated. I can't agree with her never-ending accusations of beatings,
black eyes, swollen, bloody lips, nose, and face, bruising, and the endless physical
I spent a lot of time with Ike, Ann, and
the Revue from 1969-1976.
I cannot UNDERSTAND why I never saw
any evidence of all these beatings.
Ann's book also claims repeated beatings of
secretaries - but I never saw any evidence of that, either.
I just don't understand how all these injuries
were somehow HIDDEN from view.
Below is another email which I recently received. I
edited it. I did not change any words. I did remove quite a bit
of the original text.
some points, and made some text bold.
(If anyone doubts the validity of this email, I will
forward it on request.)
[ full name/email removed ]
Subject: I just finished reading your comments on Ike and Tina
To: <stephenleigh at verizon dot net>
Original-recipient: rfc822;stephenleigh at verizon dot net
First and foremost, I am sorry to hear about the loss of your wife and best
friend. I hope you are doing well. I lost my mom at a young age and know very
well what loss feels like.
Maybe, I have no right asking or commenting but I felt compelled to write to
you after reading Tina's book, listening to Ike on the Howard Stern show from
years back and then reading your information.
I am a retired HCLieutenant in the
Fire Department and I knew in Tina's book where she had written "Ike broke her jaw and she went
on stage to sing". Well, I have seen many a broken jaws,
nose etc... and there is no way your gonna sing with your jaw broke.
I feel like the most honest answers
were from you. [ text removed ]
I also didnt understand when Ike said Tina had sex with women and about 5
years ago in an interview Tina stated she was very in touch with her masculine
side. I am just confused about this whole bisexual thing. Do you know?
• ATTENTION, WORLD! •
I know nothing whatsoever about Ann's
I never did. I never will. It's none of my business. I don't
want to know.
Some things are private.
I am glad you wrote about drugs
and the danger because at 18 I was with the drummer at the time [
text removed ]. I was dating the drummer [
text removed ] and he gave me alot of cocaine and he snorted
alot of heroin with [ text removed ] ( I
didnt touch heroin, it scared me). [ text removed ]
I went back home and to college and it was the best
decision I ever made.
thanks for sharing,
Cecile [ full name/email removed ]
Without Ike Turner, who
would "Tina" have ever been?
Based on her own words, I believe she would have been a nurse.
I believe it's doubtful Ann would have ever been a singer.
This A Discrepancy?
On the "Nutbush City Limits"
album, full songwriter credit on 7 of the
10 songs is given to Ann.
Does Ann play
guitar or keyboards? How could she "write" a
Maybe she co-wrote - but somebody
had to come up with the chord progression for these
I believe she came up with some,
possibly most, of the lyrics,
but somebody had to write the music for the lyrics.
Would anyone care to guess who?
anyone demonstrate exactly how you
write a song when you can't play an instrument?
Anyone certainly could write words and maybe come up
with a melody
line - but what goes under those words?
Major changes? Minor? What chord
progression - which is a part of EVERY SONG - did
I'd bet $5 she doesn't even know
what key the songs she "wrote" are in.
There's a whole story
here, too. It's about Ike's "staff writers". I'll add it someday.
What Is Abuse?
that. You have your own mind, your own
I can offer some thoughts, maybe you
can relate to them, maybe not. Maybe you're so
young, you can't remember the 1950s.
have to ask your parents or grandparents to
Long ago, parents
spanked their kids. Sometimes, the kids had to
go to a tree, and bring back a switch for their
Sometimes Daddy beat the kid's
bottom with a belt. Some kids got a wooden
paddle until they couldn't sit down for awhile.
The word "ABUSE"
means something completely, totally different
than it did 50 years ago.
Without going into
detail, let's consider that the United States was
born in 1776.
Normal, acceptable social
the United States, from 1776, provided that men
controlled and dominated their women and their
Right or wrong, that tradition went on for about 200
"liberated" sometime in the late 1960s. They
burned their bras at demonstrations - now that makes
a lot of sense.
Go buy a bra, then burn it.
But it's hard to
break tradition. Think of the millions of
people that grew up to be good, productive members
of our population - the same ones whose asses got
whipped when they were young.
punishment was an everyday event.
recall the school principal whacking kids with
rulers and a paddle - before he called your
parents and you went home for a real ass
Think about Ike
Turner, who was born in 1931 - a time when Daddy or
Mommy would beat some ass over the slightest
And the more the infractions, the
more ass beating took place.
It wasn't limited
to Ike, Mississippi, black people, Clarksdale, or
any other regional or racial delineation.
Think about TINA -
Ann Bullock. You think maybe HER mama
didn't beat her ass when she fucked
up? WAKE UP, PEOPLE.
was life - NORMAL life - for normal people,
everywhere in America
justification of physical violence. It's only facts.
you are old enough to know that I write the truth.
Probably, most of you are
Maybe your parents sent you
emails if you fucked up for the 73rd time.
Maybe they gave you "time outs" when you got busted
in high school with a bag of pot and some LSD.
Maybe you got a little
scolding to go with it.
I don't know. I don't
YOU figure it all