The most incredible mind in the history of rock n’ roll turns three quarters of a century today! Truly the greatest living treasure/encyclopedia of pop culture, and creator of it is still sharp as a tack! Here’s a run down of who Mr. Fowley is, taken from my liner notes from the new Kim Fowley compilation (Volume Four!) Technicolor Grease: Lost Treasures from the Vaults 1959-1969, Vol. 4 on Norton Records
As impossible as it may seem, the last living Rock N Roll computer is alive, in our midst and featured on this LP. The thought that one man’s every waking hour from the very first days of Rock N Roll to right this minute as you read this have been entrenched & dedicated to the original concept of the Outrageous teenage rampage, a finger in every pie musical & otherwise, is mind numbing. Mr. Fowley has a perfect grasp of every type of music & has produced/instigated/created it all. From rocking’ instrumentals, surf music, soul (real soul, yeah), real greasy rhythm & blues, rockabilly, tuff teen garage, all the stuff we dig including inventing the art of making insane anti-records aimed at failing, for his own amusement.
But wait! He didn’t ever stop. He was the star of the 1st Mothers LP (“Help I’m A Rock”) and on into demented psychedelia, Glitter Rock, Punk & more. He has had his finger in the big gold pies too. And the music we hate, much to his credit. Turn around & there’s Kim writing a Kiss song, or something with Nirvana! Yup. Kim techno music haha yes, even that. The guy never sleeps & has a grasp on it all.
NO ONE has gone all the way except Kim. And he retains unreal factoid minutiae. He will ramble off on any obscure Rock N Roll singer at length and always tell you something you don’t know. Ask him the same question twice? You will get a whole new set of answers. Fact check ‘em (if even possible) and it all checks out. I don’t know if he’s human & i’m not sure if Mr. Fowley was the original alien dumped on this planet to steer us whenever lost back in the WRONG direction. It’s all in that big Frankenstein head of his. And in that big Frankenstein heart that he hid so well for so long. But I have seen it folks! It is real.
Approaching 75, he has slowed down a little but will never stop. As we have spent our lives searching & researching Kim has been inventing & reinventing, always making trouble. It’s all one thing to him, one continuous movement, one mission. Even if we want to stop it at 1966, he will never understand what that means. It stops when Kim stops. When he stops much will halt & NOTHING will ever be the same. Kim Fowley has all the answers. Here are 16 of them.
The first three volumes (One Man’s Garbage, Another Man’s Gold and King of the Creeps) are a perfect primer of the inside and WAY outside of rock ‘n’ roll from the very beginning, as I said, the man has done it all. Norton Records book division Kicks Books has put out what is literally, to these eyes, the best rock n’ roll autobiography I’ve ever read in my life! Lord of Garbage (which also comes with its own signature Garbage perfume, as all Kicks books do) is part one of a multi-volume autobiography, and goes from 1939-1969 and is more shocking, more interesting, informative and insane than anything I’ve ever read. And it’s not even into the 1970’s yet! The last volume has been instructed to come out just after his death. If that day ever comes.
Though he has been battling cancer recently, he has, as he done before, kicked its ass. He has also been making underground films that you can see on YouTube (including Black Room Doom, Dollboy: The Movie, Satan Of Silverlake, The Golden Road To Nowhere, Frankenstein Goes Surfing, Trailer Park’s On Fire and Jukebox California). Kim was portrayed by actor Michael Shannon in the 2010 film The Runaways. Also check out his radio show on Sirius radio.
Our Animal Man never stops and never will! Please join us in celebrating the man that has more energy than three 25 year olds! Kim Fowley, happy 75th!
Below, the author wishes the Animal Man a happy 71st birthday: