Thursday, June 11, 2015

flip, flop, fit to drop

------------------- [excerpt from Tina Turner's autobiography] ---------------

Before long, Rhonda too was touring with the Revue, alternating with Ann Cain as road manager.  For a white suburban kid from southern California, those excursions -- particularly into the Deep South -- were astonishing experiences.

Rhonda Graam
You had to get the money from the owners before the band went back on after intermission, or you might not get it at all. 

And then you had to watch where you put it, or they'd take it back from you.  In the South, we'd only play black places -- a black group couldn't play white clubs down there in that period -- and there was always a lot of drinking and fighting.  I remember one guy getting his ear cut off while I was standing there at the door, trying to clock the house.  There was a club in Waco, Texas,

that had this great big cop at the door, and a woman cop with him:  He'd frisk the guys and she would frisk the girls.  And the stuff they found!...I'd be sitting on a stool, clocking the door, and underneath the stool there'd be this dishpan, and these two cops would be throwing knives and razor blades and all this stuff into it. 

There was always an amazing collection of weapons by the end of the night....I mean, I saw everything down there.


[excerpt 2] -------------- The touring, vital to Ike at a time of diminishing hits, virtually never stopped.  The Revue's annual routine was unvarying.  First there would be ninety days of dates in and around L.A. --

at local white clubs like the Cinnamon Cinder and black establishments like the 5-4 Ballroom, interspersed with out-and-back excursions to San Diego and El Monte, and north to Bakersfield and San Francisco. 

Then came ninety days of hard-core one-nighters all around the country -- kicking off someplace in Arizona, usually, then striking out through New Mexico, Texas, and on into the Deep South, following the seaboard up through the Carolinas, and curving around from New York and Pennsylvania into Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois,

then dropping down into Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma, and finally lurching to the North to cover Denver before heading home -- and right into another ninety days of local dates. 

At the end of each year, there would be maybe a week off in Los Angeles -- a week in which Revue members were of course expected to be on call for rehearsals and recording.

...There were no roadies, so band members had to hump their own equipment onstage and then hump it back out to the bus again after each show.  Since there was no technical crew either, Duke, the bus driver, was expected -- after driving perhaps seven hundred miles to get to a gig -- to stay awake and man the spotlights, then get back behind the wheel and drive another several hundred miles to the next club. 

Sometimes, when the bus entered a straight-away, Duke would lash a rope to the wheel, knot it around the window post, and get up to pace the aisle for a while, just a keep himself awake. ---------- [end excerpt]

Flip Flop, fit to drop
Come on baby won't you let it rock?

Oh yeah!  Oh yeah!
From San Jose down to Santa Fe,
Kiss me quick baby won't-cha make my day
Down to new Orleans with the Dixie Dean,
'Cross to Dallas, Texas with the butter queen

...Gonna roll this joint, gonna get down low,
Round and round and round we'll go...

{"Rip This Joint" - M. Jagger / K. Richards}
{I, Tina.  Tina Turner with Kurt Loder.}


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