On Tuesday, Ike Turner died at the age of 76 in his San Marcos home (not to far from my parents' place in good ole Encinitas). I couldn't help but feel a little twinge of sadness, because ole Ike provided me with one of the best stories I was able to tell in recent years. In fact, after I wrote it up on my blog, my pal Scott Thill posted it in his e-zine (Morphizm.com) and it's still something that people ask me about today.
So I'm going to reprint it here for you, so that we can all reminisce together. And I'm including the autographed picture, so you can maybe tell me what the hell he meant by what he wrote on it.
Big wheels keep on turnin'~
20 July 04
My Private Dancer
Today is my last day at my current position. I'm moving on to a better one (with a touch more money), and one with a whole new set of interesting issues. But let me tell you about some of my misadventures with this job.
Some of what I do during the day is handle phone calls from cracked out songwriters who may have had a hit for about 32 seconds, 18 years ago. And since one of my bosses -- the guy who is supposed to handle these calls -- refuses to talk to them, I get to pass on the good news that they won't be getting a check from us anytime soon.
"How the fuck am I supposed to feed my chilluns, beeyatch?" "But I'm on the street; can't ya give me a couple thousand?" Stuff like that.
Now they aren’t all crazy -- some of the nice folks I’ve chatted up are Glenn Frey, Irene Cara, Afrika Bambaata, and Kool (leader of The Gang). From time to time, however, the nutcase on the other line is also a name that I recognize.
On this particular day, it was Ike Turner.
What made this call special was that it came on my private line. That was because my boss' line was busy, and good ol' Ike told the receptionist that he had better talk to the person who could interrupt that phone call, because a call from Ike Turner was more important than a call from anyone else. Damn straight!
And that person was me. So as I'm telling Ike that my boss is on a conference call, he interrupts to say, "Baby, you have a beautiful voice. Is that why they put you on this phone?" "Yep, you know it." "Well, maybe I'll just come on down to the offices there and see your boss myself." I told Mr. Turner that I'd have my boss call him to set up an appointment as soon as I could.
Cut to 28 minutes later.
I received a call from our receptionist that Mr. Ike Turner was downstairs. I passed on the info that my boss was in a meeting and couldn't be interrupted, but it turned out that Ike wanted ME to come downstairs to help him out. As I came out of the elevator, I was greeted with, "Well, there's my lovely voice! And a lovely lady too..." (Sigh.) I told him my boss was in a meeting, and he said that he just wanted two things: to find out if "some woman" was stealing his money, and to meet that voice on the other end of the line.
I was leaning against a counter, and pretty soon he was leaning up against the other side of me. And that man was all bling, let me tell you. He was wearing loads of gold chains, a gold bracelet the width of my hand, and a freakin' Super Bowl-sized ring encrusted with diamonds which I just kept imagining hitting the side of Tina's head. So he asked me if I would find out what address we had on record for him, "just in case that bitch, Beatrice, is trying to run off with my money." I said sure.
While he was rubbing my arm, I asked him if the number he'd left me earlier was a good one to call, and he said, "Oh no, baby, I'm gonna give you my real phone number. Junior!" He snapped his fingers and the guy I thought was his assistant, but turned out to be Ike Jr., ran over with a couple promo shots. "Which one of these do you want?"
I took the concert shot instead of the still shot of him posing with a guitar. "I should have known you'd like the action shot, honey," he said with a wink. He wrote down two phone numbers. "Now this one is my home number in San Diego. And this one is my cell. That way you can reach me, anytime. Now what's your name, baby?" I told him, and he signed the picture:
"To Mo, I Love Mo're (that you!), Love, Ike Turner"
I'm not sure what that means, exactly. But if you want to call Ike for any production needs or advice on the ladies, I've got his number.