“Tura Thursday” is a regular series celebrating the legacy of the late, great Tura Satana, best known as Varla in the 1965 Russ Meyer cult classic Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!. This series is curated by Tura’s longtime manager, friend, confidant and CEO of Tura Satana Productions, Siouxzan Perry.
Following is an excerpt to the introduction to Tura Satana’s unpublished memoir My Kick Ass Life:
I never thought my life was that interesting until a few people pointed out that I led a life that very few ever get a chance to experience. I never thought of it that way, but I hope you will enjoy reading about some of the things that happened to me and what the outcome was once everything was through. I am just a simple person who was very lucky.
I remember sitting down with some friends many years ago. We were sitting and talking about life in general and someone said, “Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself Tura? I bet it would interesting to hear about some of the experiences that you had when you first starting dancing?” “I don’t think that you would be interested in what went on it my life. It would probably bore you to tears! Although I do remember this one time when I was dating Elvis.”
I didn’t realize I would still be talking almost three hours later and hadn’t really begun to scratch the surface of my life. When I realized what time it was, I said that I had to go. Everyone was still sitting there mesmerized by what I had been talking about. When I told them that it was midnight and that I turn into a witch at midnight they all laughed because I was trying to bring them back from a part of my life that I had been telling them about. All of a sudden, I get swamped by all the people there.
“You have to write this down. You have to tell your fans about this. So many of your fans would love to know about your life and what prompted you to be so good at being the villainess in Faster Pussycat Kill Kill. They would love to know that you are real and not just another body that Russ (Meyer) found. You have to write about your life so your fans can get to know you better.”
If they knew me better, they would probably decide that they had better things to do with their lives than read the story of my trials and tribulations?
“No, you have to write it down for them Tura!”
Okay, okay, I will write it down. I tried to do this several times and one time I had about 17 chapters done, when my computer crashed. I couldn’t recover any of what was lost, so I kind of lost interest in telling my story. I figured no one was really interested in it anyway. It turns out that I was wrong.
After several years, I ran into someone who thought my story was worth telling. That is my manager Siouxzan Perry. She told me I would be crazy not to let the public know what kind of life I lead. She started the ball rolling and then I met Jimmy McDonough. Now Jimmy is a writer in his own right, but during an interview for his book on Russ Meyer, he became so engrossed in my life that he said I had to write about my life. Thanks to both of them for their help and encouragement you are going to get to read about my life. I hope that some of what has happened to me will help someone out there, if only a little. It is a story about struggle, prejudice, hatred, and a lot of strife, but it is also about the good times and loves that can happen to a person during their lives. I am deeply grateful to everyone I met in my life, because each and every one of them has taught me to accept my life and to be thankful for what I have.
To my fans, I have to say that if not for you and the accolades that you have given me, I would not be where I am today. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. To all my friends and associates I have had the privilege to work with, I thank you as well. The people in the burlesque industry and the people in the film industry, from the grips, prop men, lighting men and assistant directors and assistant producers, to the directors and producers I have worked with, I tender my most profound thanks. Without your help and encouragement, I would not have accomplished what I have. Most of all I want to thank my parents and family. They always tried to help and encourage me in whatever I did. Their losses from this life have diminished this world just a little, but for me quite a lot. Thanks most of all to my father. He was the guiding light that helped me overcome the anger and taught me to accept who I am.
As you know, into each life a little rain must fall, but sometimes you don’t expect the downpour that comes. I have learned to roll with the punches and I hope that after you read my story, that you will learn to do the same, because eventually things will work out. Thanks to everyone.
Now read on, before I kick your butt!