Ike Turner was batshit crazy.
Lost in the black eye of his infamous history of domestic violence is this. Ike was an extremely accomplished and wickedly talented musician. A legend, even. There are his two Grammy Awards spanning an amazing 35 years a part. There’s his Rock & Rock Hall of Fame induction in 1991 alongside ex-wife, Tina Turner. And unbeknownst to many nowadays, he’s credited as one of the founding fathers of Rock and R&B. B.B. King went as far as labeling Ike “the best bandleader I’ve ever seen” in John Collis’ 2003 biography, Ike Turner: King of Rhythm.
But, again, Ike Turner was batshit crazy.
Credit Ike’s childhood where his father was reportedly ambushed by a white mob and left for dead (which may or may not have happened depending on who’s telling the story).
Credit his mother remarrying to Philip Reeves, who was a raging alcoholic and found himself arguing and fighting with Ike often.
Credit his explicit drug addiction to coke and crack cocaine for well over 15 years, a plight producing 17 months in jail between 1989 and 1991. The same addiction that allegedly saw him spending $56,000 per month on coke in the ’70s, though not all for personal usage.
Or credit Miss Boozie, the woman who introduced Ike to sex at six-years-old.
Whatever the primary inspiration, an elixir of demons spawned Ike into the alleged monster he’s immortalized as today. Search the words “Ike Turner interview” on YouTube and a long list of clips emerge. Most are worth watching off the strength Ike was a captivating figure, despite the outlandish and outright ignorant statements he casts about himself and the life he adopted as his own.
Ike Turner was batshit crazy, yo. But he’s also an enthralling listen and watch.
Tina’s ex-husband defends himself from allegations made in her book and the 1993 biopic about their marriage, What’s Love Got To Do With It, claiming many of the stories were hilariously exaggerated. More amazing than what he says is the confirmation Ike wholeheartedly believed what he was selling. And perhaps some degree of truth resides in Ike’s claims. Wanting to hear more of Ike’s side in arguably the most infamous scandal of domestic violence in Hollywood history is a common emotion by the end of the clip. He may have been a train wreck, but he was a damn great train wreck.
So one more time for the road. Ike Turner was bat…nevermind. It’s better to let Ike do the convincing anyway.