We Like Ike

The true confessions of über-pimp, badass mother and rock & roll legend Ike Turner

"The next thing I knew, I was waking up looking for it. Everywhere we'd play, I'd have a big bowl of cocaine there, and people would steal it. I was all mental. And then the next thing I knew, I had a hole through my nose. After that, I started smoking it. And then, man, all I did was sit up philosophizing and procrastinating. I started going downhill; my whole career went downhill. I used to pray, man, that if I could just get by three days without it, I would never do it again. But I would always lie to myself and say, 'Oh, Tommy's coming over, or Jan is coming over; they're going to want some,' and I'd order some. The best thing that ever happened to me was when I went to jail. When I went to jail, I got my three days. That was the last time, in '89. I haven't looked back since. Anybody that's doing drugs, that's hooked on drugs -- well, all I know about it, cocaine -- they want to get off. But addiction, man, it's unreal. A lot of people hit rock bottom, they think that they can't get up. But I'm a living example, man. I hit rock bottom. I went all the way down. The best thing that ever happened to me was me getting my life back."

With the changes in Turner's personal life and his current musical resurgence, his comeback is complete. But his life still has its odd twists and turns. He was stopped by a policeman recently while driving from St. Louis to California at a particularly dangerous clip. "I was driving 120 mph," he says with a laugh, "and he had been trying to catch me for 30 or 40 miles. So finally some trucks had me blocked so I couldn't get by. Then, there he was, right on my bumper. He asked for my driver's license and said, 'Ike Turner ... oh man.' He didn't give me a ticket; he just said, 'I just want to thank you -- you've given us so much.' As we got to talking, it turns out he was conceived -- his mother and daddy got him -- on a night that they came to an Ike & Tina concert. Another policeman stopped me one time when we were doing 110. Believe me, in my car, you can't tell you going that fast. So when we got pulled over, you know what he wanted? He didn't give us no ticket. He just wanted me to give him a hug!

Ike in 1993 at a San Diego nightclub: "The mistake I made was those years I was away, scared to go play."
Jon Freeman/Getty
Ike in 1993 at a San Diego nightclub: "The mistake I made was those years I was away, scared to go play."
Ike Turner: Clean as a broke-dick dog
Paul Harris/Getty
Ike Turner: Clean as a broke-dick dog


Sunday, May 20. Turner also appears at Vintage Vinyl for a meet-and-greet from 4-4:30 p.m. Sunday.

"All in all, though, I don't regret any part of my life, because it took it all to make me what I am today. And I love me today, man."

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