Kim Fowley's hoss is impossible to tether. Six-and-a-half-feet tall, resembling the worst nightmare in The Phantom Of The Paradise, too ugly for the agency, Fowley was born on the day Hitler invaded Poland. He grew up in the last Babylonian days of Tarnished Hollywood.
Kim Fowley’s hoss is impossible to tether. Six-and-a-half-feet tall, resembling the worst nightmare in The Phantom Of The Paradise, too ugly for the agency, Fowley was born on the day Hitler invaded Poland. He grew up in the last Babylonian days of Tarnished Hollywood. His dad played Doc Holliday in the TV series, Wyatt Earp, and sent young Kim to finishing school, where he shared an inkwell with Nancy Sinatra.
Fuelled on Elvis, Frankie Lymon and that whole American Graffiti drive-in fumble, Fowley befriended fellow freak Phil Spector before embarking on his quest to justify girlfriend Candice Bergen’s assertion that he would make “dog crap rock and roll records”.
Kim’s throwaway cult status is given a drastic makeover here, as the 32 tracks break all the rules of pop normalcy. His accidental legend does him a great disservice, too, since these gory gems are a full-fat rave, bringing to mind the vile gag?”Where’s the party?” “It’s in your mouth, and everyone’s coming.”
Flitting between sultry LA, Swinging London (he stood in the audience at the Richmond Athletic Club with Eric Clapton watching the Stones, worked with Cat Stevens and PJ Proby’s hairdresser Spider) and the black country rock of pre-Slade incarnation the N’Betweens, Fowley was there. His million sellers like “Alley-Oop” and B.Bumble & The Stingers’ “Nut Rocker” are the jukebox gems on a depraved string of pearls.
Never keen to cast his shadow in any one place, Kim rubbed alongside The Seeds, Them, The Soft Machine and The Rivingtons?whose “Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow” bookends this fantastically weird collection. Even a solo Kim was worth his salt. Imagine Ted Nugent fronting the Velvets with Mars Bonfire on guitar and you’ve got “Animal Man”. He broke all the moulds and he didn’t take non-prescription drugs. The teenage crippled Lord Byron will finally have his day.