Although Tina Turner didn’t bring her high-powered show to the stages of Long Beach after her profile skyrocketed with the release of a rollicking “Proud Mary” in 1970, the singer, who died Wednesday at the age of 83, spent a lot of time in her early career entertaining nightclub audiences on the smaller stages in town.
Former youngsters recall the Ike and Tina Turner Revue performing shows at the legendary Cinnamon Cinder in 1965 and 1968, when owner and DJ Bob Eubanks paid the sprawling revue, which ranged from 10 to 20 musicians, dancers and singers, some $1,700 per performance—a pretty hefty fee in those days, several decades before concertgoers would shell out that much for a Taylor Swift ticket far from the stage. That club, on the Traffic Circle, also hosted other upcoming rock bands, including Buffalo Springfield, the Seeds and more. It opened on Dec. 6, 1962, with a performance by the Beach Boys.
Ike and Tina’s more frequent home in Long Beach was The Limit, a nightclub on Atlantic Avenue in Bixby Knolls that had booked such major acts as Jackie Wilson, Otis Redding, Bo Diddley and Linda Ronstadt. That club was owned by brothers Frank and Dave Adlesh, mostly on the back of Dave, who had signed a $95,000 signing bonus as a catcher for the Houston Colt 45s.
Frank, who died in 2020, recalled that he, too, had to pay the Turner Revue $1,700, but, he said, those were the days when cocktails sold for $1.50 and beers for 50 cents.
Ike and Tina, however, were big draws, packing The Limit when they performed there about 10 times throughout the 1960s until the club closed in 1971.
They played at a few other clubs during the mid-1960s, including a show at the Rusty Rooster on Lakewood and Artesia boulevards on June 11, 1964, a show at Naples’ 2nd Street East club at Naples Plaza and Second Street in 1967 and a June 22, 1967 date at the Pink Carousel on Paramount Boulevard in Downey.
In the band’s earlier days, in its first Long Beach appearance, it scored a slot on the bill of the historic Ritchie Valens Memorial Concert at the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium on Dec. 31, 1961, with the Rivingtons, the Carlos Brothers and, in their first paid appearance, the Beach Boys.