Monthly Archives: June 2021

A summer evening with Ike and Tina

Listening to Ike and Tina Turner in their prime is a good way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon. But of all my records, why that one today?

50 years ago tonight, on Saturday, June 26, 1971, Ike and Tina performed a show at the Dane County Coliseum in Madison, Wisconsin.

Newspaper ad for Ike and Tina Turner concert in Madison, Wisconsin, on June 26, 1971

The show drew a crowd of about 3,500 to the Coliseum, about half full.

Some takeaways from the reviews that appeared in the two Madison papers the following Monday:

— The heavy British rock of the opening act, The Grease Band, “really didn’t belong on the bill” and was nothing to write home about.

— The Kings of Rhythm, Ike and Tina’s backing band, was introduced first. Then the Ikettes, who performed a couple of numbers. Then Ike. And then … “the hardest-working young girl in show business today! … Tina!

— One reviewer notes Tina’s introduction and immediately turns to Tina’s appearance …

Part of review of Ike and Tina Turner show, Madison, Wisconsin, June 26, 1971

Tina Turner is 31. Come on, man.

— The Ike and Tina Turner Revue summons “vicarious white fantasies of Harlem’s Apollo Theater in the early ’60s.” 

OhhhhhhhhhK.

— One reviewer mentions “Rollin’ on the River” as one of the songs performed and declares it “better than the original.” 

Oh, you mean “Proud Mary.” Come on, man.

— Tina ends the Madison show by “dancing off stage in rapid-fire strobelights and a burst of artificial fog.” But that was it. No encore. Which led to this complaint: “There were unfortunately not enough minutes of this hard work. Tina was on stage only about 45 minutes.”

I wouldn’t complain about seeing Ike and Tina Turner for 45 minutes. But had one popped for the best seats, that’s about $36.50 in today’s dollars. Whether 45 minutes of Ike and Tina in their prime is getting your money’s worth, well, that’s a judgment call for the ages.

The emcee tells the Madison crowd that the show will be roughly the same as that heard on “What You Hear Is What You Get,” a live record from Carnegie Hall that’s just about to be released. That’s the record I listened to on this rainy summer afternoon.

“What You Hear Is What You Get,” Ike and Tina Turner, 1971.

What you hear on the record as Tina dances off stage after a furious cover of Otis Redding’s “Respect” is the emcee — the hype man — shouting “Miss Tina Turner and the Ikettes, ladies and gentlemen! Tina Turner and the Ikettes! Miss Tina Turner! Tina Turner! Tina Turner! Tina Turner! Tina Turner! Tina Turner!”

You know a lot of the songs on this record. I don’t know whether they performed this less-often-heard song in Madison, but on the record, Tina, the Ikettes and Ike do a slow burner of a cover of “A Love Like Yours (Don’t Come Knocking Everyday),” which Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote for Martha and the Vandellas.

Dig it!

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It’s my birthday, too, yeah

Paul McCartney wrote “When I’m Sixty-Four” when he was 14.

From that vantage point, 64 must have seemed ancient, almost unthinkable. Paul turned 79 just three days ago. Perhaps now he just smiles knowingly at what 14-year-old Paul was thinking.

It was written in 1956, a time before the Beatles and a time before me. I came along a year later.

Today is my birthday. I am 64. I don’t feel 64. Maybe 24.

Every day, though, I’m reminded that none of us are getting any younger. B-Side Records in Madison, Wisconsin, does a daily history post on Facebook, highlighting a record released on that day and then the day’s birthdays.

The record of the day for this June 21: “The self-titled debut by Unknown Mortal Orchestra,” released on this day in 2011. It’s a “neo-psych-pop project” by New Zealand musician Ruban Nielson that came after his punk band The Mint Chicks broke up. Not knowing any of that makes me feel a little older.

The birthdays are listed in chronological order from oldest to youngest. It usually turns out that the artists who are dead or older than me are the ones I know best. Once they start getting younger than me, then it’s hit or miss.

The June 21 birthdays: “Jon Hiseman (Colosseum) b. 1944; Augustus Pablo b. 1954; Lil Bub b. 2011; Lalo Schifrin is 89; Eddie Adcock is 83; Eumir Deodato is 78; Ray Davies (The Kinks) is 77; Joey Molland (Badfinger) is 74; Greg Munford (Strawberry Alarm Clock) is 72; Joey Kramer (Aerosmith) is 71; Alan Silson (Smokie) and Nils Lofgren (Grin / E Street Band) are 70; Mark Brzezicki (Big Country) is 64; Marcella Detroit (Shakespear’s Sister) and Kathy Mattea are 62; Manu Chao (Mano Negra) and Sascha Koneitzko (KMFDM) and Kip Winger (Winger) are 60; Pat Sansone (Wilco / The Autumn Defense) is 52; Eric Reed and Pete Rock and Bill Borowski (Knuckel Drager / Charlemagne) are 51; Juliette Lewis (Juliette and the Licks) is 48; Neely Jenkins (Tilly and the Wall) is 47; Mike Einziger (Incubus) is 45; Brandon Flowers (The Killers) is 40; Lana Del Rey is 36.”

Today is a good day. I know most of those who are 64 or older, or dead. Of the younger crowd, I know Marcella Detroit, Kathy Mattea, Kip Winger, Juliette Lewis, Brandon Flowers and Lana Del Rey. Not knowing about the rest, well, that also makes me feel a little older. I’ll get over it.

Fun fact: The Beatles didn’t record “When I’m Sixty-Four” until 1966. That’s 10 years after it was written. Even then, 24-year-old Paul probably just smiled knowingly at what 14-year-old Paul was thinking.

So please enjoy this version from “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” the 2-LP edition, 2017 re-release of the 1967 original. This record was a birthday gift from four years ago.

“When I’m Sixty-Four (Take 2),” from Side 4. Recorded Dec. 6, 1966.

From the liner notes: “The foundation of the track was established by recording onto track one: bass played by Paul, kick drum and hi-hat by Ringo (Starr) and electric guitar from John (Lennon); track two contained piano by Paul; track three had Ringo’s brushes on a snare drum and Paul’s vocal was on track four. In later sessions, clarinets, tubular bells and vocals were added. When the song was mixed, the tape was played back at a higher speed. As a result, the key rose by a semitone. On this disc, take two is heard at its normal speed in the original key of C.”

 

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