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Remembering Ike Turner

Remembering Ike Turner

Date: Mar 10 2008

Themes: Music, News, Pop Culture

Intro

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2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Ike Turner is one of the unsung heroes of American music. When you hear the words, “Rolling on the river,” you can’t help but imagine Tina Turner’s tough and tense voice shouting them. But behind her, playing guitar and doing backup vocals, was her husband, Ike, the creative leader of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue.

But Ike made headlines as often as he made hit singles. He frequently hit Tina and cheated on her. He even spent some time in jail for drug use in the 1990s. Unfortunately, Ike never kicked his drug habit. He died of an overdose late last year.

Listen to Beren and Jason talk about Ike’s death and career.

Dialog

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.

Beren

Beren

Jason

Jason

Beren:  So, uh, Ike Turner died of a cocaine overdose.

Jason:  A cocaine overdose?

Beren:  Uh, yeah, he was like 68 years old.

Jason:  Whoa. What 68-year-old dies of a cocaine overdose?

Beren:  I don’t know. He’s considered James Brown’s contemporary. Back in the day Ike Turner was considered a really, really good band leader. He had a team of crack musicians behind him and, of course, Tina.

Jason:  That’s what he’s most famous for. Is kind of being an abusive husband.

Beren:  Yeah. It’s not sad that that overshadows his work as a musician. I think it should, but it’s kind of interesting that he is such a talented person but the mistakes he made have diminished what he gave to R&B and soul music. That’s crazy. Because you think about James Brown, you know, there’s a guy who would take the police on hundred-mile chases, high on PCP, and when he died, people were calling him “the Godfather of Soul.”

Jason:  Totally. He’s remembered for his musical contributions, but Ike…you can’t think of the name Ike Turner without thinking about him…

Beren:  ...being a wife beater, basically.

Jason:  Do you think that’s a good thing?

Beren:  I think that’s a good thing. I think the annals of music, when people look back on it, he’ll definitely be noted when people are talking about soul, like, ‘60s soul and R&B and the birth of even, like, hip hop and really good funk. But I also think people will always say, “Oh, if he hadn’t beat Tina he could have done so much more.” Because I think it really stalled his career too when she left him and that’s why you don’t hear of him as the co-godfather of soul. Rest in peace, Ike.

 

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Discussion

Jason hadn’t heard yet that Ike Turner had died. He’s surprised to learn that the musician died of a cocaine overdose because he seems too old to do cocaine. In fact, Ike was older than Beren thought he was. He was actually 76, not 68.

Beren explains that Ike used to be as well-known and respected as James Brown. Of course, now he’s most widely known as Tina’s abusive husband. Beren thinks that his music won’t be left out of music history and that he deserves the damaged reputation he has. But she makes it clear that she respects him by saying, “Rest in peace,” at the end of the dialog.

Which do you think is more important, the music a star makes, or the successes and failures of their personal lives?

 

Comments

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aljensen

aljensen

United States

Personally, I think getting high on Angel Dust and leading the cops on a 100 mile an hour chase is kinda cool. Besides, you can't have a "co-Godfather" of anything. There can be only one!

12:46 AM Mar 10 2008 |

aljensen

aljensen

United States

Personally, I think getting high on Angel Dust and leading the cops on a 100 mile an hour chase is kinda cool. Besides, you can't have a "co-Godfather" of anything. There can be only one!

12:46 AM Mar 10 2008 |

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