Arena: The Changin’ Times of Ike White (Monday) had an extraordinary story to tell — but one that, halfway through the documentary, already seemed to be complete. So, you might well have thought at that point, how would it fill the rest of the time? The answer, it transpired, was by taking an even more jaw-dropping turn.
In the 1970s, Ike White was serving life for murder in a Californian prison when reports of his musical talent reached the record producer Jerry Goldstein. A prodigy on guitar, bass, drums and keyboards, White had until then been making most of his music in the prison’s gas chamber, which he was allowed to use as a rehearsal room. Now Goldstein brought in a state-of-the-art mobile studio and recorded White’s album Changin’ Times, released in 1976.