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By Maxayn Lewis

From the very first time I saw Tina & Ike's show I knew I was going to work with them. No, I had never met them, and I was only sixteen. But something in my spirit gave me the cue. Flash forward a couple of years, and on a random Saturday morning, I get a phone call from Ike Turner, saying I had been referred by one of my local fans from a neighboring state, and the head of the Musicians' Union. A world tour? I had never been farther than Kansas City, MO to visit my uncle! To say that it was a surreal experience, would an understatement. So, after the call, I went back to bed, after all, it was Saturday, the only day I didn't have to get up early. But after a few minutes, the reality hit me, and I jump out of bed and started worrying about everything!! But later, I began to realize this was meant to be. I was eighteen and this was the beginning of my life's journey. Later that day I met Ike & Tina, and they hired me on the spot, and informed me to get ready to travel after their show that night. But then Tina said wait, let's look at some wardrobe for me. She made up my face, chose a couple of custom made wigs, pulled a couple of her dresses from the wardrobe rack, and had me try it all on. Thigh-high silver leather boots, silver fishnet hose, and silver leather mini-dress. Instantly, when I looked in the full length mirror, I was transformed, not just by the clothes, but totally. Tina looked at me and said, "You are meant to do this, and I hope you'll accept our offer". Thus began our friendship, laughing our faces off, with her teaching me, sometimes with words, but also by her example, her discipline, and professionalism. She loved fashion, art, great songs, great food, and always getting enough rest. She never partied, never smoked, or drank alcohol. Her intensity on stage was infectious and fun. It was the hardest job I'll ever love. On stage, Tina was rough and ready, but off stage, to those who knew her, she was an elegant, soft spoken woman, with a big laugh, and an even bigger heart.

Soar on in Peace and Power my dear friend.


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