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Happy Birthday Kim Fowley: The Lord of Garbage turns 75 today!
07.21.2014
03:10 pm

Topics:
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
Kim Fowley

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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.
 
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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:

 

Posted by Howie Pyro | Leave a comment
‘Lord of Garbage’: Smell just like sleazy rock legend Kim Fowley with his ‘Garbage’ perfume
03.14.2014
04:00 pm

Topics:
Books

Tags:
Kim Fowley


 
Over the weekend, I read the first installment of Kim Fowley’s amazing autobiography, Lord of Garbage (Kicks Books) and it’s the best rock and roll book I’ve read since… since…since I don’t know. Maybe it’s the best rock and roll book I’ve ever read. I sure as hell can’t wait for volumes two and three, that’s for certain. The first book covers Kim’s life from his birth in 1939 to 1969 when he was thirty and in the thick of it. It has been said of him that he is the “Zelig” of rock and roll and this is, of course, a pretty good shorthand to describe what you’ll get here. There is a fascinating anecdote about someone famous on nearly every page and it’s big, big fun. I highly recommend it. The man has lived an incredible life.

But I noticed a curious curio being advertised in the back of the book, a “Garbage” fragrance courtesy of man himself.

Yes, that’s right, Kim Fowley, infamous cult figure, “Animal Man” of Hollywood, manager of The Runaways, songwriter and record producer of world renown and a man generally described as “sleazy” by just about everyone, including Kim himself, has his own perfume:

The brooding complexity of Kim Fowley’s signature scent is reflected in this fruity but absurd potion that suits lads and ladies alike. Sprinkle on a pillow before sleep, and all will become evident. Packaged with authentic black PVC garbage bag and a record spindle.

“Fruity but absurd”?!? That must smell incredible! Maybe the next scent he comes out with should be called “Foul”?
 

 
When I interviewed the legendary rock-n-roll raconteur in 2011—maybe “interviewed” is the wrong word because you just sort of hit “play” with Kim—I don’t recall him smelling particularly good or bad, but he did ask me to drop him off afterwards at the “LA Exotica” convention going on in downtown Los Angeles. He’d been there the day before, picked up two women and had a threesome with them (he was 71 at the time and beaming with devilish pride). As we drove down the 10 freeway towards the convention center, he explained that his goal that day was a second helping, of, as he put it, “dirty pussy.”

Kim Fowley does not disappoint in person, neither does he disappoint on the printed page. Miss his essential Lord of Garbage at your own risk.

The awesome LA Record has a comic strip adaptation of Lord of Garbage here.

“Animal Man”

“Bubble Gum” (as covered by Sonic Youth)

Kim Fowley’s entire Animal God Of The Streets album. This man is an unheralded genius. Listen to this! It will change your life!

“The Great Telephone Robbery”—prank calls by Kim Fowley from the Good Clean Fun album

Below, the two parts of the 2011 interview mentioned above. Thrill to gossipy stories of Sly Stone and Doris Day; Sonny and Cher; Cat Stevens, Led Zeppelin, Gene Vincent and more:

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Duglas T. Stewart: The incredible pop life of a BMX Bandit

Duglas_T_Stewart
 
We seek to write the perfect sentence. The one that opens the paragraph, like a key in a door, to places undiscovered. It was how to begin this story on Duglas T Stewart, the lead singer and mainstay of BMX Bandits, whether with a fact or a quote, or oblique reference that would set the scene to unfurl his tale.

Duglas has written his fair share of perfect sentences - in dozens of songs over his twenty-five-year career with BMX Bandits. From the first singles in 1986, the debut album C86 in 1989, through to Bee Stings in 2007, Duglas has been at the center of an incredible family of talented musicians who have together created some of the most beautiful, toe-tapping and joyous music of the past 3 decades.

In the early 1990s, when Nirvana was top of the tree, Kurt Cobain said:

’If I could be in any other band, it would be BMX Bandits.’

It was a tip of the hat to a man who is responsible for singing, writing and producing songs of the kind of beauty and fragility Cobain aspired to.

Not just Cobain, but Brian Wilson and Kim Fowley are also fans, with Fowley explaining his own definition of what it means to be a BMX Bandit:

’It means a nuclear submarine floating through chocolate syrup skies of spinach, raining raisins on a Chihuahua covered infinity of plaid waistcoats, with sunglasses and slow motion. It sort of means, pathos equals suburban integrity of loneliness punctuated by really nice melodies.’

But let’s not take Kim’s word for it, we decided to ask Duglas to tell Dangerous Minds his own version of his life and love as a BMX Bandit.

DM: What was your motivation to become a musician?

Duglas T. Stewart: ‘Initially it was two things. I heard Jonathan Richman in 1977 and it sounded so human and full of warmth and humor and beauty. It also seemed to fly in the face in the punk ethos of DESTROY. It really made a connection with me and I thought I’d like to try to do something that hopefully might make others feel like I did listening to Jonathan. Listening to his music gave me a sense of belonging. I felt less alone.

‘The other thing was I met Frances McKee, later of The Vaselines, and I thought she was incredible. I loved everything about her from her mischievous sense of humor to her slightly overlapping front teeth. She said to me one day she thought it would be fun being in a group, and so I thought I would start a group and she could be in it and that way I could spend more time with her and have a vehicle for expressing how she made me feel.

‘Also I had a lot of self belief so I knew if I started a group it would be way better and more interesting than any other local groups at that time.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

The fabulous BMX Bandits: Interview and performance of ‘(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)


 
More from Duglas on music, art & books, and from BMX Bandits, after the jump…
 
With thanks to Duglas T Stewart
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Is America dead?
10.11.2011
04:41 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Kim Fowley


 
Okay, you might have been expecting something else if you followed a text link here, but since you are here, have a listen to this utterly magnificent apocalypso-beatnik free-form freakout from Kim Fowley and TURN IT UP LOUD.

“Baby,
Is America dead?
Are we the brave new world
Or the end instead?
Baby,
Is America dead?”

Seth the Man writes, in a review of Fowley’s 1975 album Animal God of the Streets found at the Head Heritage site:

The epic “Is America Dead?” is as exploratory and totally off onto the furthest reaches of the thinnest branch of the associative free form tree as “When The Music’s Over” and just as true to its vision. Mentally checking his country’s pulse, the song suffers innumerable instrumental breakdowns, ravings, musings, deep truths, jokes, insults, snatches of patriotic hymns and…you name it: it’s all there, up against Kim’s streaming organ chords of flapping freak flag flying. “Is America Dead?” stretches out all the way to Europe and back as Kim ponders, fumbles, moans and freaks out uncontrollably, while the chorus continually asks and prods the song’s title’s question.

Hit play, crank it up loud and enjoy...

Read more: Animal God of the Streets: Kim Fowley (Head Heritage)
 

 
Thank you Elixer Sue!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Outrageous: Kim Fowley part 2
09.16.2011
02:49 pm

Topics:
History
Music
Pop Culture
Punk

Tags:
Kim Fowley

Another installment with cult figure Kim Fowley, record producer, rock impresario, songwriter and musician. Manager of The Runaways, “animal man” and the original Mayor of the Sunset Strip. “One of the most colorful characters in the annals of rock & roll.” Thrill to gossipy stories of Sly Stone and Doris Day; Sonny and Cher; Cat Stevens, Led Zeppelin, Gene Vincent and more.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Slade: Proto Punk Heroes of Glam Rock

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Slade never looked cool, but that wasn’t the point. They were four young lads out for a good time, and they wanted you to have a good time too. You can hear it on their classic album Slade Alive, when lead singer, Noddy Holder encourages everyone to get up, get ripping and really let themselves go. And during the 1970s, that’s just what their fans did.

Slade were Noddy Holder, Jimmy lea, Don Powell and the sequined Dave (“You write ‘em I’ll sell ‘em”) Hill. Between 1970 and 1975, they sold over 6.5 million records in the UK alone, chalking up 6 number ones, 3 of which went straight to the top of the charts - a feat not achieved since The Beatles - and this at a time of 3-day weeks, power cuts and food shortages.

For their energy, dynamism and 4-chord songs, Slade were more of an influence on Punk than Iggy and The Stooges. Just listen to the opening riff for “Cum on Feel the Noize”, it sounds like the start of a Sex Pistols track. Or try “Mama Weer All Crazee Now”. As latter-day Mod-Father and frontman for The Jam, Paul Weller noted:

“The whole punk rock thing really happened because of bands such as Slade and the like; rock bands that wouldn’t back off.”

Then there’s Noddy Holder, who may have looked like a grown-up Artful Dodger, but had a brilliant and unmistakable voice, which inspired Joey Ramone:

“I spent most of the early 70s listening to Slade Alive thinking to myself, ‘Wow - this is what I want to do. I want to make that kind of intensity for myself.’ A couple of years later I found myself at CBGB’s doing my best Noddy Holder.”

The tags were all there: Slade’s first single was produced by Kim Fowley; their manager, was ex-Animal, Chas Chandler, who had managed Jimi Hendrix; and their writing partnership of Holder and Lea was compared to the greats who’d gone before, one of which, Paul McCartney saw the future of pop divided between Slade and T.Rex, just like The Beatles and The Stones.

It should have been, but in 1973, drummer Don Powell was seriously injured in a car crash that tragically killed his girlfriend. Slade nearly split. Then, there was their film Flame, not a mop-top romp, but a long-hard look at the music business - it alienated fans though is now considered the “Citizen Kane of rock musicals”. Then, in a bid to conquer America, they spent 2 years Stateside, when Slade returned to the UK, Punk had taken over, and they were “old farts”, even though the Pistols’ Steve Jones thought that:

“Slade never compromised. We always had the feeling that they were on our side. I don’t know but I think we were right.”

It’s Slade is a well-deserved and refreshing reassessment of one Britain’s greatly under-rated bands, with excellent archive and contributions from Slade, Ozzy Osbourne, Toyah Wilcox and Noel Gallagher.
 

 
The rest of ‘It’s Slade’, plus bonus clips, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Outrageous: Kim Fowley returns!
04.25.2010
09:00 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Kim Fowley

He’s back! Kim Fowley, “the missing link between Chuck Berry and Orson Welles” returns for a second go ‘round. What does a typical day in the life of Kim Fowley consist of? Find out what he eats! Learn where the freaks are. Stories about Jimi and Janis, Alice Cooper, Charles Manson and more! And remember he doesn’t even take drugs…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Kim Fowley’s Dangerous Minds Theme Song
04.19.2010
09:32 pm

Topics:
Heroes
Music

Tags:
Kim Fowley
Dangerous Minds

 
Here’s a smashing excerpt from part two of Richard’s interview with the incomparable and incorrigible Kim Fowley. It’s a sure hit !

 

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Outrageous: Kim Fowley
04.12.2010
08:56 pm

Topics:
History
Music

Tags:
Kim Fowley

Cult figure Kim Fowley, record producer, rock impresario, songwriter and musician. Manager of The Runaways, Animal Man and the original Mayor of the Sunset Strip. “One of the most colorful characters in the annals of rock & roll.” Thrill to gossipy stories of Sly Stone and Doris Day; Sonny and Cher; Cat Stevens, Led Zeppelin, Gene Vincent and more. Part 1

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment