We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Success! You're on the list.



You don’t have to like Ike Turner to acknowledge his seminal place in rock history. After all, Turner was there at the beginning—that’s his piano propelling 1951’s incendiary “Rocket 88,” which is generally cited as one of the first examples of rock ‘n’ roll. From his early days at Sun Studios to his glorious, stormy years with the Ike and Tina Revue, Turner established himself as a bandleader, instrumentalist, and showman (his trademark: doing back flips while playing guitar). And hey, not many people can say they played Altamont, inspired a young guitar-slinger named Hendrix, and appeared on Chef Aid: The South Park Album. It’s too bad that his musical reputation lies in tatters because of his personal one. Call it tragedy or justice—to listen to Turner’s amazing guitar and piano work is to concede that one can simultaneously be both a gifted artist and a shit. It’s been 51 rocky years since “Rocket 88,” but Turner will prove he’s still rolling at 7:30 p.m. at the Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $20. (703) 549-7500. (Michael Little)