Thursday, July 19, 2007

Honoring Ike Turner

Was Mayor Slay right to turn down a request to make September 2nd "Ike Turner Day" in St. Louis when Ike is in town to play at the Big Muddy Blues Festival? Looks like he rejected the idea after lobbying from women who don't want a wife-abuser honored like that -- but the Mayor hasn't offered any explanation for his decision.

Tom "Papa" Ray, owner of Vintage Vinyl, thinks the Mayor was wrong. As he explained on my KMOX show this afternoon, our town honors Charles Lindbergh for his aviation feats without regard for his adultery/bigamy/anti-semitism. Listen.


So, the question is, what should be considered when giving someone a public honor? Do Ike's musical accomplishments qualify him, as they did when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 and the St. Louis Walk of Fame in 2001 -- or does his history as a wife-beater disqualify him?

What about Chuck Berry, who had his own legal problems? Or the drug history of Ray Charles, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix? Since Heather Mills accuses Paul McCartney of hitting her during their marriage, would Slay deny McCartney a day in his honor if he came back to St. Louis?

Our studio is right across the street from the Archgrounds, a/k/a the Jefferson National Expansion Material -- named after President Thomas Jefferson who, while one of our greatest founding fathers, was also a slaveowner who had sex with slave Sally Hemings.

These mayoral proclamations, by the way, are not along the lines of the Medal Of Honor. Even Slay admits that the threshold for them is very low.

Comments?