Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Ike Turner Wifebeating Hall of Fame

Steely Dan's Donald Fagen has an obit of Ike Turner in Slate. According to Fagen, Turner's contribution to the history of popular music was mostly his organizational skills. Turner had a knack for recognizing talent and getting bands to recording dates and gigs on time and in their suits.

And they were great bands.

But Fagen believes that Ike never "got" the problem of hitting Tiny Turner "Obviously, there was something Ike just didn't get about the whole hitting problem."

But that's nonsense.

Fagen provides a telltale quote from Ike's book:
Sure, I've slapped Tina. … We had fights and there have been times when I punched her without thinking. … But I never beat her. … I did no more to Tina than I would mind somebody doing to my mother in the same circumstances.

I've heard the same thing from my own father in relation to my mother. Ike claims he was absolutely within his rights when he "punched her without thinking." But he also knew it was wrong. Otherwise, he wouldn't have rationalized the beatings in relation to his own mother. Turner just never believed that he would lose control to the extent that people would condemn him as a wifebeater. He never thought he would look like a chump.

But that was Ike Turner--great at getting bands to gigs, not such a special musician, and wife-beating chump. He deserves to be forgotten.


Anonymous said...

Who better than a dead guy to attack? That way, he can't defend himself.

Anonymous said...

I think it's racist to single out Ike Turner for wife-beating when there are so many more white wife-beaters out there. Why not throw in Phil Specter too? At least he's alive.