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Call And Response: PP Arnold

The one-time Ikette on breaking through in Britain, her relationship with Mick Jagger and why she’s still not speaking to Rod Stewart...

The first lady of Immediate, PP Arnold was born and raised in Watts, Los Angeles, honing her craft in her local church before running away with the Ike And Tina Turner Revue as an Ikette in 1964. She sang backing vocals on the side of their River Deep Mountain High album produced by Ike Turner – “I didn’t get to go into the studio with Phil Spector, who produced the other side,” she tells The Blues from her home in Spain. “I only got to meet him when we did the TAMI show.” In 1966, the Revue supported The Rolling Stones in the UK; Arnold remained in London and started recording songs for Andrew Loog Oldham’s Immediate. Covers of Cat Stevens’ The First Cut Is The Deepest in 1967 and Chip Taylor’s Angel Of The Morning in 1968, plus the Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane-penned If You Think You’re Groovy the same year yielded Top 30 hits and marked her out as an exceptional vocalist with the ability to touch the stoniest of hearts.

You’ve described joining The Ikettes as “a miracle”.
It gave me a way out of an abusive marriage. I went to the audition to help out a friend, we got the gig, four days later we were on the road and we never missed a step at that first show in Columbus, Ohio.

What was it about Ike and Tina that made you want to be a part of their Revue?
After the audition Tina said “come up and see the show”, and the moment they came out on stage they blew me away. Tina was amazing. She was a big influence on Mick Jagger, but I see a lot of Mick in her too.

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