From the archives: Nice 'n rough: Ike and Tina Turner onstage in Frankfurt
Stars and Stripes February 6, 1971
She comes on like a tornado, bursting onstage in a white-and-gold, beaded micromini, her lithe, caramel-colored torso swaying, her arms undulating to the rhythm of “Son of a Preacher Man.”
Constantly moving, she shouts, she stomps, her tawny hair flying and her body glistening in the hot lights.
This is Tina Turner, 31, onetime choir singer from Tennessee, the mother of five children and all sex and soul.
Her voice — loud, sure, rough, reminiscent of old time gospel shouters — caresses the lyrics: “Heeee’s the only one who could evah reeeech me,” she moans ecstatically, stroking the mike as the Brothers in the audience shout “Right on.”
“... The sonnn uva preeecha man,” glancing flirtatiously at the guitarist, Ike Turner, her husband, arranger and partner of 12 years, the son of a Mississippi minister.
“Ohhhh babbbeee, a luv like yours don’t come knock, knock, knockin’ every’dayyy ...”
Then Tina switches gears to a slow, heart-rending blues, “Worries and troubles ...” reflecting the long decade of paying their dues in honky-tonk clubs and one-night stands, “... won’t let me be.”
But now they’ve reached the top, a spread in Life, records like “Working Together” on the Top 40 charts, plans for a movie, international concert tours — Frankfurt last week, Stuttgart, Munich next Wednesday.
Backed by the Rhythm Kings and three leggy chicks called the Ikettes, the funky, raucous tunes tumble on: “Come Together” ... “Mountain High” ... Ike and Tina take “Proud Mary,” rip it up and rework it. “We never do anything nice ‘n’ easy,” purrs Tina backstage later. “We do it nice ‘n’ rough.”
“You know,” adds Ike, “we work and live together — that’s a 24-hour operation, and it’s not easy, but we got a beautiful thing going.”
Like, say, pouring electricity into the audience with Jimmy Read’s “Baby, What You Want Me to Do.”
Ah, Tina, baby, as if you didn’t know.