The Changin’ Times of Ike White is a documentary about the bizarre and mysterious life of Ike White.
Unlike a lot of my friends, I don’t have a thorough knowledge about obscure one-hit records from the 70s, so I’d never heard of Ike White. He was a musician, a real multi-instrumentalist prodigy that got picked up by legendary producer Jerry Goldstein, who had him tipped to be the next Jimi Hendix. Only problem though, he was in prison serving a life sentence for murder.
It very much introduces you to the character of Ike, that he managed to get a record deal, record his album The Changin Times of Ike White, get married to his producer’s secretary, and knock her up, all from behind bars. There was a lot of buzz around him, and Stevie Wonder even came to visit him in jail after hearing his music, starting talk of a possible colab.
Then at the peak of his potential, he is paroled. You would think, “Yeay!”, world’s your oyster kinda thing. He’s went into prison with nothing, and came out with a wife, kids, and career. Happy story, right?
Wrong. He abandons his family and disappears. And there the story of Ike White tails off . . . until the documentary makers find him in 2014.
I would put solid money on this film being snapped up by Netflix for their expanding What The Fuck documentaries section. However strange it seems, it gets stranger.
He’s now living under another name, one of many, playing as a crappy lounge singer, married to a Russian mail order bride, both of them eccentric as fuck. He makes windchimes out of disco balls, and decorates the bedroom in a neon seascape. The whole house is the most gorgeous explosion of kitsch tat, it has to be seen to be believed. And the road between that place and this . . . it’s even weirder.
An even handed look at a complex, charismatic, violent and chameleonic man.