Friday, 16 January 2015

RIP KIM FOWLEY | 1939 - 2015

We were sad to hear this morning that Kim Fowley, the Sunset Strip scenester, maverick genius & world class raconteur, had died at his Los Angeles home. He was 75. 
'Fowley was born in 1939 to Singin' in the Rain actor Douglas Fowley and actress Shelby Payne and grew up in Los Angeles and around southern California. After a bout with polio in 1957, he began a career in the music industry, producing his first single – the Renegades' "Charge" – in 1959. In the Sixties, worked with Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Seeds and Gene Vincent, among others, as well as launching his own solo career; his 1968 LP Outrageous, Fowley's third, was the only one to chart in the U.S. Fowley closed out the Sixties by MCing John Lennon's performance at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival, where he asked the audience to hold up its cigarette lighters, arguably starting the concert fad.

The Seventies found Fowley working with the Modern Lovers, Blue Cheer and Helen Reddy. He also co-wrote songs on Kiss' hit Destroyer and a "Escape" on Alice Cooper's Welcome to My Nightmare. Fowley and the Runaways severed their ties in 1977, after which he set out to find another group he could market as a novelty. Although he worked with a few groups over the ensuing decades and continued to put out his own solo LPs, none reached the success or notoriety of the Runaways.

In the 2000s, he tried his hands at experimental film, and in 2012, he won a special jury prize for innovation and audaciousness at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival for his films Golden Road to Nowhere and BlackRoomDoom. In 2014, Fowley made an appearance in Beyoncé's "Haunted" video.'

We did a show with Kim at In The City 2003, 'Rocket To Stardom'. We said at the time:  "legendary singer, songwriter, producer, blagger & all round music genius is coming to town, to show us how to put on a real show"

As he himself described it over many early morning LA to Manchester phone calls, "Rocket To Stardom will feature the return of the American Syd Barrett STEVEN T & I'm also promising drag queens, midgets, dancing girls, dwarfs, very special guests & famous friends..."

  We'll post some photos and, if we can find them, reviews from the night later on. Click here for an interview with Kim on Spectropop that was done that weekend.

SoftPreist was a big Kim Fowley fan & often played his tracks, especially this one: 

UPDATE: Just found this page on Kim Fowley's own website that documents his trip to Europe in 2003 - visiting Manchester, In The City & of course below:
The Bodyguard & Stevie T
Kim at aA
Kim's In The City pass

Kim and Charlie outside aA @ Gardens Hotel 2003 

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