Rock Stars' Troublesome Family and Friends
Wednesday, the NAACP released an extensive, in-depth study of the main six groups which provide the lion's share of support for the infamous Tea Party movement, and the results of their study are not encouraging. It chronicles a great deal of cross-pollination between Tea Party and white supremacist organizations, including leaders and spokesmen with ties to the Minutemen, modern-day segregationists the Council of Conservative Citizens and, of course, the Ku Klux Klan.
These connections don't seem to be integral parts of the Tea Party's infrastructure, however, as much as chance associations more likely brought about by the Tea Party's sprawling grass-roots nature. In other words: You get a few bad apples in every bunch, and fringe degenerates frequently attach themselves to more successful moderate movements for the sake of mainstream publicity.
The Tea Party itself is not a racist organization, but it's no real surprise that it and white supremacist groups - both largely made up of frightened, xenophobic white people terrified of losing their power base - would experience some overlap, membership-wise.
Likewise, rock stars often find themselves tainted by the actions and reputations of certain family and friends. Here are a few examples of rock stars who maybe should have kept better company.
5. Tina Turner: Bad Taste In Husbands
When young Anna Mae Bullock started singing for Ike Turner at the tender age of 18, she couldn't have suspected the fame - and pain - the frontman of Ike Turner & the Kings of Rhythm would bring her. Married in 1962 (or 1958; records are unclear), Ike and the newly rechristened Tina Turner formed a successful performing duo which, according to Tina's autobiography I, Tina, included regular beatings from Ike behind the scenes.
Ike at first denied ever having abused Tina, then admitted he'd "slapped her around," even had "punched her to the ground," but hadn't ever "beat" her. Seems like a confusing statement, but interestingly enough abusers of that era seem to have an extremely specific definition of the word "beating" - Michael Jackson's abusive father and notorious dog turd Joe defined it as "striking with a hard object."
In any case, Tina got tired of Ike's shit and left him, and Ike went on to get married anywhere between four and 13 more times before spending time in prison on drug charges and eventually dying in 2007 from a cocaine overdose at the ripe old age of 76. Good God, that's hardcore. In another lifetime, Ike would have made a fine biker.
4. Jimi Hendrix: Brother Leon, Keeper of the (Sputtering) Flame
When Jimi Hendrix died in 1970, his brother Leon almost didn't make his funeral - he was in jail for stealing a fur coat. After becoming addicted to drugs and getting screwed out of any inheritance whatsoever from his brother's estate, Leon eventually remembered the significance of his last name and sobered up enough to start capitalizing on it. For years, he's been writing and performing with the Leon Hendrix Band and dedicating every performance to his brother, just in case you'd forgotten the association.
His 2006 album Keeper of the Flame was mediocre-bordering-on-bad, but Leon refuses to go away. You see, Jimi appeared to him in a vision, enshrouded in purple flame, and told him to take up the guitar. So you understand, Leon can hardly refuse.