The Changing Times of Ike White (Daniel Vernon, 2019): UK, USA

Reviewed by Benjamin Bearman at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2020.

Image result for ike whiteThe Life and Times of Ike White is a colorful tale of a man, musician, and lover with much greater ups and downs than that of the average male artist. His music career started a great deal different than you would expect, it started while he was in prison. Ike was described as ahead of his time, with a lot of potential. White had done unthinkable things to people. While an inmate at Tehachapi State Prison he was allowed to play his harmonica and guitar, but only after finishing his jobs.

The film is comprised of contemporary interview footage mixed with actual film footage of his life, along with photo montages of Ike’s life and his many love affairs. A record producer who worked with Jimi Hendrix Starts to work with Ike and records him in a first class mobile recording unit, inside San Louis Obispo Prison. White played many instruments such as the bass, guitar, keys, drums, and vocals. His music is what kept him out of the prison of his mind. It was his escape. He believed to find a way. A way to change, to carry on. Ike married his producer’s secretary inside prison. She convinced Stevie Wonder to get involved and he supplied Ike a better attorney. Photo montage of the day he was realeased from prison embracing his wife and daughter plays.

Ike wasn’t as focused on his music after his release. He could have been a star. His album faded into obscurity and Ike disappeared.

Flash forward to 2014, word of Ike comes about, as he is renamed to David Ontiveres, using his mother’s maiden name. By this time White has one other alias, David Maestro. Footage of who appears to be a braided haired Maestro singing the lyrics “I guess you’ve wondered where I’ve been,” from the song,”What You Won’t Do for Love.” Contemporary footage of the search and finding of Ike, now David, plays. – Cuts to interview with an updated visual of David’s face and now wife Lana. David expressed that he has been documenting his life since he was out of prison, which reveals some but not all questions of his past. He knew he had a story to tell.

Ike’s life was struck short. Only to leave more questions than answers on the table for Lana to piece together.

Learn what she finds out in The Life and Times of Ike White.

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