Brent Engel wroke this story for the Hannibal Courier-Post (MO) for the Tuesday, December 18, 2007, edition. He interviewed Mike Marx, who remembered when Ike and Tina Turner performed in Hannibal. In the accompanying photo, Mike is pictured with Ike.
Author: BRENT ENGEL Of the Courier-Post
Ike Turner was a complicated soul.
A Hannibal man remembers him in much easier times.
Turner died last week at 76, (in 2007)
most likely of emphysema. Many are surprised the enigmatic star lived that long. A memorial service is planned for Thursday in Los Angeles.
The Ike and Tina Turner Revue performed several times in Hannibal, including a magical night more than 40 years ago that Mike Marx remembers well.
"It was like electricity," said Marx, 64, owner of Mike Marx Enterprises. "It was magnetic. Tina moved like nobody else has moved."
In the early 1960s, Marx made extra money by booking local bands. He produced shows with acts such as Dick and Dee Dee, Paul and Paula, The Dovells, Betty Everett and Dick Robey of The Castaways.
In 1965, Marx returned to Hannibal on break from college in California to help his father run the family grocery in East Hannibal, Ill.
Ike and Tina brought the Revue to the Admiral Coontz Armory, and Marx was representing a local band called Goldilocks and the Three Bears. At intermission, he convinced Ike to let the the group peform using the Revue's instruments.
"You couldn't think of doing that today," Marx said. "They'd say 'Are you crazy?"
Ike and Tina praised the performance. Afterward, the Hannibal boys had their pictures taken with the celebrities. Lou Rennau, the lead singer and the "Goldilocks" of the group because of his blond hair, still lives in Hannibal.
Marx remembers Ike and Tina "seemed very close and they were both really nice." The Revue was popular throughout the 1960s, and its hits included "It's Gonna Work Out Fine," "River Deep, Mountain High" and an enthralling cover of the Creedence Clearwater Revival song "Proud Mary."
Tina later had phenomenol success in the 1980s as a solo act after recounting years of physical abuse by a cocaine-addicted Ike . Both are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Marx last saw Tina perform at a club in St. Louis in 1968, but he visited with Ike after a show last year in Wisconsin. By then, Ikehad cleaned up his act. It reminded Marx of the old days.
"He was still just as gracious as he was back then," Marx said. "You always hear these stories about people, but I have to judge by how they treat me, not by what I hear."
Marx moved back to Hannibal a few years ago after three decades as a publicist and personal manager in Los Angeles. He's worked with some of the biggest people in show business.
Now, Marx has his sights set on developing a nationally-syndicated television variety show that would be based in Hannibal.
"I think people are hungry for it," Marx said. "There's not a whole lot on that the whole family can sit down and watch."
And music still "gets my juices going," he adds. "I guess that's where I get my energy."
Caption: Photo: Contributed photo Ike Turner and Mike Marx. (Contributed photo) (Contributed photo)