Thursday, January 15, 2015

Kim Fowley dead at 75

Kim Vincent Fowley
July 21, 1939 - January 15, 2015

Singer/songwriter and manager of the Runaways Kim Fowley has died after a short battle with bladder cancer. Fowley was 75. Fowley was born to actor Douglas Fowley and actress Shelby Payne. By the time Fowley was 20, he was already in the music industry. By the 1960's, Fowley found himself producing singles by artists such as the Murmaids with "Popsicles and Icicles" and the fictional Hollywood Argyles with "Alley Oop."  Fowley also produced singles by artists who would become famous years later such as Slade (as the In'Betweens) and Soft Machine. Sometime during the late 1960's, Fowley embarked on a solo career of his own with little success. 

Fowley is perhaps best known for managing all girl rock band the Runaways. It was in 1975 when Fowley met a young guitarist named Joan Jett. Jett would later be joined with drummer Sandy West, singer Cherie Currie, bassist Jackie Fox and guitarist Lita Ford- all of whom were recruited by Fowley. As the band recalls, Fowley was vulgar in his approach; teaching them how to deal with hecklers by throwing bottles and bricks at the group. In the end, the Runaways would end up becoming one of the first successful all-female rock bands. During the 1970s, Fowley co-wrote several songs for artists such as Kiss ("King of the Nighttime World" and "Do You Love Me") and Alice Cooper ("Escape"). Even after the Runaways' split, Fowley continued to work in music as a producer, manager and songwriter. 

It is sad to hear of Kim Fowley's passing. I was not aware of his illness until now. I've read and heard several stories about Kim: he was a character and sometimes an odd one. Despite being a strange and sometimes vulgar person, the guy was creative and I respect that. 

Rest in peace, Kim. 

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