PHOTOGRAPHER NORMAN SEEFF’S 1975 LOS ANGELES shoot with husband-and-wife R&B duo Ike and Tina Turner was among the most memorable of his storied career. “The footage was riveting,” he says. “They performed an amazing version of ‘Nutbush City Limits’ right there in my studio. There was incredible energy and vitality between them.” Seeff recalls that the couple’s contrasting personalities made their interactions all the more compelling. “Tina was a whirlwind of freedom and spontaneity,” he says. “She was teasing Ike, trying to get him to loosen up, but there was an edge about it. It was as if she was challenging him just a bit. It felt almost dangerous but at the same time ecstatically creative.” Ike, on the other hand, was reserved and controlled. “He was very charismatic,” Seeff says. “He had a regal, majestic quality about him, and a tremendous sense of who he was.” A planned shot of the pair kissing didn’t pan out—the two “never quite got there,” Seeff says. “I didn’t see love and affection between them as much as I saw an intense creative interaction.” Indeed, the Turners split acrimoniously just a year later; Ike Turner died in 2007. An image from the session adorned the cover of the 1997 compilation Bold Soul Sister: The Best of the Blue Thumb Recordings.

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