Ike Turner is gone. Predictably, people can’t stop talking about That Movie and about Tina. One thing I keep hearing is that, though Ike was a great musician and pioneer, all people can talk about is his abusive nature and drug habit. What a shame that is, these voices say.
I am about to say something possibly controversial: is that a shame? Really?
People who knew Ike defend him by saying: “Haven’t you ever made a mistake?” Yeah, I have, lots of them. But if my mistakes caused pain, both physical and emotional, to someone else, I don’t expect people to forgive and forget or overlook them altogether if I don’t ever apologize.
Did Ike ever apologize? Did Ike ever admit that he was in the wrong and that, perhaps, beating his wife was really not a proper thing to do? I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. I do know that he wrote a book wherein he said “I never did that thing that was in the movie” but I don’t know if he ever admitted the spousal abuse and what, if any, amends he attempted to make to the victim of his attacks. (Why yes, I am taking Tina’s words as the truth.)
If he did admit what he did, make an apology, and other such things in that direction, then yeah, I think we can then focus on the positive aspects of his life. But if he has spent all these years denying what he did and possibly going on to do it to other people, then no. I don’t give a flying fuck how much good music he made in that case. I really don’t.
I am tired of people using the “But he was a great artist” line whenever someone who is, otherwise, a despicable human being, writes a song or a book or a poem that they like. I hate to break Godwin’s Law here, but even Hitler wrote some nice poetry and drew some pretty pictures (and he was nice to animals).