There are two kinds of people in the world.. Those that know and those that want to know. Kim Fowley happens to be the one that “knows”; his detractors who claim he is a swindler, a Charlton, a two-bit hustler, a snake in the grass, a misanthrope are part of the latter group of “wannaknows”. Fowley, though he wouldn’t know this but he is in actuality a Life Coach of Rock n’ Roll.
His toughness, which is often misconstrued as arrogance has helped the careers of many stars. Regardless of the medium he has the pastiche and bravado of a Japanese anime’. Sequestered within the bowels of the great city of Los Angeles, Jim Morrison of the Doors once said, “Whoever controls the media controls the mad.”
It would take forever to go through Mr. Fowley’s dossier but I will tell you this, and be sure to remember, his genius is real and by no means is he a “one hit wonder.”
The concocted band,The Hollywood Argyles, that featured Kim Fowley production and went immediately #1 on Billboard Pop and #3 on the soul chart.
Kim currently has mastered the new media with a brilliant radio show heard weekly on the Sirius/XM network. I’ve listened and I’m convinced that he is the gondolier that propels the course of Rock n’ Roll. Accuse him of being a beat poet, a shaman and a prognosticator you will hear between his psycho-babble, rock relevance as like Moses witnessed God at the burning bush. Kim handsomely stated to us, “Live Tomorrow as it is today.”
Ordained by The Vatican… Father Fowley
His book, “Lord of Garbage, is broken down into three volumes. In volume one he festoons between his life and poetry which once you start reading you can’t put it down. He also dedicated his book to his hero Alan Freed who was claimed to be the first radio D.J. to play Rock n’ Roll on the radio. The book is now available for electronic download through Kindle.
“The Lord of Garbage” as told by Kim Fowley
Alan Freed.. home of the Moon Doggies
Growing up in Los Angeles he didn’t have the greatest of family conditions. He had contacted polio twice and beat it both times. During his interview with Rock Bands of L.A. com Kim candidly spoke about his abusive father, Douglas Fowley, the pinnacle of a B-actor, who got into a fist fight with his son during a script reading session, and beat the fuck out of him with one punch! Yes, Kim Fowley is a fighter in every esoteric sense. When other kids were schlepped by their parents to little league, Kim was learning martial arts which enabled him to have the fortitude to fight anyone in his way. He hadn’t spoken to his father between the years of 1959 to 1994 and continued to have a strained relationship till his death in 1998. If his arithmetic is correct he’s had 10 sets of parents.
When we spoke of films he articulated that he could identify most with James Fox’s character from the rock/gangster epic, starring a young androgynous Mick Jagger, “Performance”.
The Original Movie trailer from the film, “Performance”
Mick Jagger of “Performance”
In only Fowley’s way, he was able to connect the dots and said that the role was actually depicting Don Arden, who was a gangster that managed some of rocks greatest bands. His tactics were hard boiled to say the least and he had been referred to as the “Don of Rock n’ Roll”, “The Al Capone of Rock” and “The Godfather of Pop”. Rock music and gangsters have always sat at the same table since the 50’s.
Don Arden the “Al Copone of Rock”
Fowley concludes in his book the art of his survival, “I am better than Elvis, I’m Better than JFK and I’m better than the Beatles. BECAUSE I EXIST”; which coincidently was the starting point of EST personality development that had its heyday as the bastard step child of Scientology.
Elvis.. The King of Rock n’ Roll
The word eisegesis, which is derived from the analyzing of Greek mythology and can be extrapolated to the history of Rock n’ Roll. This is commonly referred to as reading into the text. As it pertains to Fowley, he always gets a story right and presents it under the diaphanous auspices of being the life coach of rock that we mentioned earlier. Sometimes he may seem cruel to students of rock but understand that he is always authentic and genuine. His coaching is far kinder and more pertinent than those television talent shows which has done nothing more than create fake stars and dilute the waters of great musical artistry.
The World Famous Whisky a Go Go and Pandora’s Box
During the glory days of the L.A. rock scene during the 60’s Fowley’s presence bellowed on the Sunset Strip. Clubs like the world famous Whisky a’ Go Go and Pandora’s Box were rocking to the tunes of The Doors, The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield. Fowley’s Zelig like character was present and orchestrated trends that only he knew how. When the riots on Sunset Blvd. had occurred it was perceived by young, local rock music fans as an infringement on their civil rights, and on Saturday, November 12, 1966, fliers were distributed along the Strip inviting people to demonstrate later that day. The L.A. Times reported that as
The Riot on the Sunset Strip
many as 1,000 youthful demonstrators, including such celebrities as Jack Nicholson and Peter Fonda (who were afterwards handcuffed by police), erupted in protest against the perceived repressive enforcement of these recently invoked curfew laws. These riots were the inspiration for songs by Buffalo Springfield’s first hit, “For What it’s Worth”, Frank Zappa’s, “Plastic People” and the Monkees, “Daily Nightly”. While this mayhem was occurring, Fowley was present sporting a shaved head and the outer regalia of his street gang, “The Pagans of W. L.A..”
Jack Nicholson and Peter Fonda- Fowley the Animal God of the Streets
Kim’s tenure of being the animal God of the streets has lasted for decades. He was instrumental in creating the mega-hype for The Runaways and their role in rock history has becomes more substantial all because of Fowley. Dissenters would never recognize that he was ahead of his time; all of his time. Nonetheless, he had the where with all to forge ahead and continue to create icons of rock.
Kim Fowley.. The Sultan of Rock
Fowley currently is in the title fight of his life. He sadly has cancer of the prostate and bladder but if you think he was going to roll up and be the victim of pity.. you are sadly mistaken! Jokingly he refers to himself as “Robocop” but in all due reality he is really “Robo-pop”. As anointed a self-prophesy of music’s future he claimed that the radio outlets for rock n’ roll has sadly diminished as also its fan base. Kim gave a figure of rock music followers in America to the tune of merely six digits. The nation that invented rock n’ roll has been infiltrated by the beats of hip-hop, rap and dub-step which leaves as the last great American band, Nirvana. Our view here at the clubhouse of Rock Bands of L.A. com isn’t as bleak as he pontificated but we agreed that the future doesn’t look good until a band can capture the hearts and minds of the masses to generate Rock Music’s great hope.
At times Kim is a self-congratulator and in a twisted way he conveys the archetypes, metaphors and similes of rock n’ roll into the mere bold colors of black, red, purple and dark blue. I suppose that Prince would fall into the “purple” color. Fowley’s “bigger than life” creations of the all-girl rock band were the Runaways. Interestingly, their role in rock history became so much more important as the decades went by.
On the urban palette of rock culture Kim Fowley will paint a picture of impressionistic proportions; it includes a new sensation of alienation experienced by inhabitants of the great musical epicenter known as Los Angeles and simultaneously created a musical path of relevance. His lucid explanations of man vs. machine should be rolled up and placed in a time capsule and buried until the 30th Century. The sultan of rock will be the pundit among the disadvantaged who will seek the understanding of the world from the 20th and 21st centuries. Because of this Kim Fowley’s alter egos of “Robo-pop”, a life coach and soothsayer will be remembered and revered as some of the greatest writings of the epoch.
Kim Fowley the “30th Century Man” as performed by L.A. local band, Jigsaw Seen.
I really like Kim and in a short time I have grown to like him as a new friend and I feel for his health and it would be my dream to enable Kim Fowley to proselytize his brilliance to a world of “wannaknows”.