Today’s Guest: Bob Gruen, photographer, documentary director, Ike & Tina – On The Road: 1971-72
Mr. Media is recorded live before a studio audience of former Ikettes who have finally noticed my smooth moves on the dance floor and while wearing a headset… in the NEW new media capital of the world… St. Petersburg, Florida!
My buddy Jeff Chabon used to do marketing and promotion for Fantasma Productions in West Palm Beach, Florida. Whenever he could, Jeff arranged for me to have amazing tickets to concerts that Fantasma brought to the Tampa Bay area. (And I always paid full price; newspaper rules, folks.)
The show that made the greatest impact on me? It had to be standing in the second row for a Tina Turner concert. I’m thinking it was around 1986, when I was the music critic for the Tampa Tribune.
Tina was at the height of the What’s Love Got to Do With It era, a time when we learned all kinds of unpleasant things about her relationship with ex-husband Ike Turner.
BOB GRUEN podcast excerpt: “Ike Turner was a very generous person and a very creative person… If someone needed something and he had it, he gave it. A car, a house, help getting rid of a boyfriend, whatever it was… He got a really bad rap in the movie ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It.’ The movie didn’t make that up; it could have been subtitled, ‘What Happens to A Good Guy Who Takes Too Much Cocaine’.”
Standing there, looking up those long, long legs, watching her shake, shimmy and belt out all the classics, was mesmerizing. Amazing. Astonishing. Intoxicating.
Damn, she was hot.
So I couldn’t help but be interested in watching rock photog Bob Gruen and Nadya Gruen’s new film, Ike & Tina: On the Road 1971-72.
It’s a hybrid of a classic concert footage interposed with the Ike & Tina Turner Revue on the road, plus extremely rare footage of the Turners at home with their children. I wouldn’t call it a documentary, per se; it lacks a narrative or even a narrator.
But the presence of a young, raw Tina Turner – Annie Mae Bullock – makes it thoroughly compelling. I love this woman; I guess I always have. She’s so dynamic, so explosive on the stage and yet so sweet and unassuming in the rest of her life.
If you’re as fascinated by Ike & Tina as an act – and Tina as a person – as I am, you must get this film. And wait till you hear the story behind it.