Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Ike & Tina Turner & The Ikettes - There Was a Time \ African Boos \ Funky Street

Example
Ike & Tina Turner
Greetings.
First off, we're still MOVING.
The switch over to the Wordpress version of the Funky16Corners blog is underway, and will be complete and final in a week or so. This version will remain up as a repository and forwarding site, but the Blogger tool has become progressively more unreliable, and I've tired of dealing with is.
Please adjust your links/bookmarks accordingly to point to
See you there...
Larry
Hey, hey, hey..... It’s Wednesday morning, and I am feeling about as well as anyone whose two-year-old son decided to wake him up at 5:45AM, i.e. I am tired. My eyes feel like two tennis balls, and the urge to crawl under my desk and take a nap is almost impossible to resist. However, the need to remain gainfully employed, and the inner pilot light that ignites my ‘The blog must go on’ impulse is maintaining just enough of a connection between my ears, brain and fingers to get today’s entry typed out. The only remedy, of course, is to open up what beer-swilling, ham-fisted goons normally refer to as a “can of whoopass”, or what I like to call – coincidentally – a “can of whoopass”. This may betray the fact that sometime in my cloudy past I may have aspired to – and achieved – beer-swilling, ham-fisted goon-hood, but that is a risk I must take, because if there is a can of whoopass near enough to grab, it has a label that reads: Ike and Tina Turner Revue, Handle with Caution! That’s right chillun. By clicking on today’s MP3 link, you will be unleashing into your computer (and of course your ears) a blast of just over six minutes of absolutely, unrelentingly, spine-twisting, brain-softening, eye-popping soul power. It may have been recorded more than 35 years ago, but like a bottle of ripple, it has only gotten more powerful (maybe even dangerous). I have dropped some Ike and Tina action in this space before, and though I bow to their power without hesitation, it is only fair to say that when it comes to the Turners, I am often conflicted as to what category they and their music should inhabit. They are certainly soulful, but are they “soul”? While capable of undeniably funky moments, are they “funk”? Hmmmmmm.... Does anyone but me care about these distinctions? Perhaps not, but I’m gonna keep writing anyway. Ike and Tina Turner, by sheer force of talent and personality, managed to embrace all aspects of black music during their prime, while simultaneously transcending labels. They were purely rhythm and blues, but their sound passed through (and marked) soul, funk and even rock’n’roll. They managed to create explosive and popular music that while rooted in roadhouses and chittlin’ circuit theaters almost always ended up going in other directions. How much of this power resulted from their famously contentious and violent partnership, is not for me to say. Despite Ike’s obvious talent, he was reportedly a wife-beating asshole, tyrant and all around unpleasant individual, and I can’t imagine this inspiring Tina to do anything other than pack a bag, grab her kids and hit the road (which she eventually did). The only answer – for me, anyway – is that they were both very talented, and they managed to create dynamic music in spite of their problems. That said, they also managed to put together a shit-hot act, a large part of which was their backing group the Ikettes. Though I can’t say with any certainty which Ikettes are performing on today’s selection, but I can says that over the years their ranks included Clydie King, Vanetta Fields, Jo Armstead, P.P. Arnold and Bonnie Bramlett, and that they managed to crank out some outstanding 45s under their own name (and later as the Mirettes). Today’s selection(s) hails from a 1969 Minit LP, ‘In Person: Ike and Tina Turner and the Ikettes’. Though by this time the Ike & Tina Turner Revue was playing psychedelic ballrooms and festivals, they were still hitting the supper clubs, and as things open up, the appropriate vibe seems to be in place. The band is vamping on a vague approximation of King Curtis’s ‘Soul Serenade’ and KSOL DJ Herb Campbell – who sounds like he’s chairing the local Kiwanis– is greeted by polite applause as he comes out to introduce the band. He calls out the Ikettes, who take the stage and thank the audience. Then, it happens. Forgetting that they’re in a supper club and not looking out over a sea of muddy hippies, the band turns the volume up to 11, and proceeds to explode into a cover of James Brown’s ‘There Was a Time’. I can only imagine some of the tuxedoed swells in the audience gagging on their cocktail onions as the band tears into the song at about 150 miles per hour. ‘There Was a Time’ is one of my fave JB songs, and I’m here to tell you that the Ikettes more than do it justice. They take the song and turn it into an extended intro – warning? – as Tina is preparing to take the stage. The Ikettes finish up, and Campbell returns to the stage to bring Tina on. ‘The beautiful, talented, Queen of Soul, Miss Tina Turner!’ Tina walks on – I’m assuming, this is after all a record – and the band fires back up and take things at an even faster rate (if that’s possible). There’s an extended vamp, with Ike bending the strings, and the drummer (whoever he was) laying down a hard, fast groove, and you can imagine Tina and the Ikettes doing that frantic Pony-variation that they did so well. Tina drops in and starts things up.
One used to be the Shotgun Two used to be the bad boogaloo Three used to be the swingin’ Shingaling Four used to be the Funky Four Corners Down on Funky Street Diggin’ the funky beat Down on Funky Street Where the grooviest people meet! OUCH! It like Arthur Conley is there on the stage, his face streaked with tears as Tina and the Ikettes are dancing all over prone, shattered form. It’s that powerful. And then, after two (very) short verses, the whole affair comes to an abrupt end. The audience sits there, eyelids peeled back, lapels afire, wondering why they gave up a chance to see Robert Goulet to subject themselves to the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, for which they were obviously not prepared. It’s just like that sometimes.
* PS I'm not exactly which part of this medley "African Boos" is, unless that's what Ike decided to call the part of the song where the band is vamping on 'There Was a Time', which in all hoesty just should have been called 'There Was a Time'.

7 Comments:

Blogger LoRezSky said...

i was just spending a boring afternoon at the office with boogaloo-all to do, and then along comes this track. got my butt shaking on the poorely-constructed ikea chair, tap-tapping along on my desk in way-too-loud manner, getting the old juices flowing in preparation for thank-god-it's-friday night ... thx a bundle

6/23/2006 08:56:00 PM  
Anonymous bkoutlaw2@aol.com said...

HAVE MERCY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I thought I was THE ONLY person who knew about this album. HA! Ha! This is my first time coming to your page and what a pleasure it is to see something written about my favorite vocalist of all time, the unbelievable TINA TURNER. Man, that entire album should be re-released on cd. The Ikettes are KILLING "There Was A Time", with each girl taking a verse. And just as you described... I can see Tina just ripping into "Funky Street", face screwed up and all. There was absolutely nothing like them. Again, that entire album is CRAZY. Their version of "Respect" is just a killer, with Tina preaching to the audience. And when she does the "All I Could Do Was Cry" medley.... shoot, the show could've just shut down after that. No need to do anything else.
P.S. There is an out-take from that album of Tina doing "I've Been Loving You Too Long". It was released on a compilation album in the 80's called WORKING TOGETHER. Man, it is totally devastating. I wish I could get that on cd as well.

12/15/2006 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger Stephanie Thompson said...

What ever happened to the ikettes. I know Vera Hamilton who used to be an ikette do you know if she is still singing if so where?

6/21/2007 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger the ikette said...

hello I am an Ikette for life. I do know Vera but not sure if she is still singing. I can find out if you email me I will let you know.

The Real Ikette
STONYE

9/19/2007 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Thomas said...

Do you happen to have an mp3 of the Ike & Tina Turner medley "All I Could Do Is Cry/Please Please Please/Baby, I Love You" from the Ike & Tina Turner Story collection. Let me know yes or no at evensozero9@gmail.com. Thanks in advance! :)

7/31/2008 03:06:00 AM  
Blogger bestonline323 said...

Tina Turner’s return to the stage after “retiring” eight years ago probably came more out of economic necessities than artistic drive at this point…or a need to give back to the fans. But she gave back anyway, during her recent appearance at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles (October 13th) as part of her current tour.

The two-part, two-hour show spanned her entire career, from the early ’60s through the mid-’90s or so. Her band, which included some musicians who’ve at least been with her since her comeback in the ’80s (based on the video footage from that period) was mighty muscular and not all Vegas flash, though several production numbers were way over-the-top nonsense — nonsense a good part of the audience ate up.

But she was at her best just delivering those songs, showing off those legs that last on, even at 68 years old (she turns 69 in November). Pretty good for a senior. She had her dancers — her “flowers,” she called them — but they never got in the way. Also some acrobatic boys, “The Ninjas,” who did bits of flailing business between her various outfit changes.

Cheers,
Betty
supper works

10/23/2008 03:38:00 AM  
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9/25/2009 11:09:00 AM  

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