Old Statler Hotel Bellhop Disagrees With Our Tina Turner Facts

In the June issue of the “print product,” Brendan McNally wrote about the old Statler Hotel and its mysterious owner, Richard Chiu. In a sidebar to McNally’s story, we mentioned that Tina Turner walked out on Ike at the Statler in 1976, a fact confirmed by Tina’s biography, written with Kurt Loder. (Though, according to Steve Blow, Sam Childers wrote in the history journal Legacies that it happened in 1975.) A man named Mike Collins wrote in to say that we got our date wrong. Says Collins:

Your article caught my eye because I was a bellman that summer of 1976, which was my senior year of high school. Andre the Giant checked in. I brought a roll-away to put at the end of his bed. Took about five minutes and I got a $20 tip.

Ike and Tina checked in with their entourage. Took about three hours in the sweltering heat up and down the elevator. When I finished, they said I was great and wanted me to help them when they left, at which time I would receive a big tip. A few days later, another three or so hours on a scorching summer day filling up taxis and limos (not to mention having to help them pack). Open the door to the limo for Ike and Tina, and they stiff me for six hours of back-breaking work. Nothing! So I can certainly attest to Ike and Tina leaving together. Too bad they both didn’t beat the crap out of each other!

Something don’t jibe here. But I bet we’ll sort it out in the comments.

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