“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.
Taken from the article: Tura Satana RIP – appreciation by Ian Johnston and interview by Marc Isted Written by Ian Johnston 6 February, 2011
In Tura’s words:
After the war (World War II) we were relocated to Chicago. I was 10 years old. I got raped by five guys. After that my father started to bounce me off the walls until I learned to protect myself. That’s how I learned Karate. Then I went and studied Ikido with Mr. Mugutchi in Hawaii. I think he’s still there, although most of the people I knew have fallen by the wayside, they get over it and I stay the same. I think they’re going to hate me.
But I studied that and got a gold belt in Ikido, but never tried for a belt in Karate, because my father bounced me off the walls, or I bounced him, one of the two. We finally got to the point where I could bounce him. He was 300 and something pounds and large but I finally got to the point where I could.
When I first went to high school the senior girls ganged up on me and they said, ‘We don’t want you in our school,’ so I asked, ‘Why not?’ and they said it was because their boyfriends were watching me. They didn’t like that so I wound up in a big fight and broke a couple of arms and a few ribs and ended up in reform school. God, they used to make us do embroidery, basket weaving and crocheting, just what I needed to learn!
A long time ago, before I started dancing, I was about 14 or 15 in Chicago. You either had to belong to a gang or die. We had leather motorcycle jackets, jeans and boots and we kicked butt. A lot of things on TV now portray what we used to do as kids, teenagers. Like they carry razor blades in their hair now, well, we used to strap them behind our necks, carry switchblades in our boots, always wore gloves, because you never knew who was going to punch you.
I think three of the girls who were in our gang are no more. They were Valerie, Rose and Eve. There were five of us, the three I mentioned and Angie. I used to go under the name of Kitty and kept them all in line. Like I said, I was doing Karate at home and was good at it. None of the other girls were. Come to think of it, none of the guys in the neighborhood could either. So it came in very handy.
When I first went in there were a couple of girls who were like ‘the big cheese,’ of course they weren’t for long as I wasn’t going to let anyone kick my butt. Pretty soon, none picked on me. One of the girls who was called Angel, she must have weighed 200 pounds and stood 5’11”. I weighed 130 pounds, and stood 5’5″. So weight and height ways she had me whipped, but thank God for my father. He taught me not to let anyone step on me.
Also I worked in St. Louis and Hawaii a lot, I don’t know why.
They used to call me a local girl in Hawaii. I wasn’t born there, but I love the Hawaiian people. I used to play there six months out of the year. I worked The Forbidden City and The Bertini Follies. It was fun. Now it seems all the people I knew are dead. I’m just waiting for me to go. I figure I’ve got a long way to go yet.
And enjoy this read from Sarah Kurchak from FIGHTLAND
To be continued… Next stop Hawaii..Tura on the beach with her “boys”…