Rock’s own prince of darkness lived by his own rules while inspiring several generations’ worth of musicians.
By Blurt Staff
It’s been known for some time that legendary rock impresario/manager/promoter/instigator Kim Fowley was of failing health; back in September we reported on how his erstwhile Runaways frontwoman Cherie Currie had taken him into her home temporarily for 24/7 hospice care. News broke this morning that Fowley died yesterday, Jan. 15, at the age of 75. The official cause of death was bladder cancer.
The LA Times reports: “Fowley had been periodically posting updates from his bed on his Facebook page, many featuring his wife, Kara Wright, manager of catalog development at Peer Music. Fowley’s death was announced on Twitter by Peer Music Chairman and CEO Ralph Peer II.”
It was a colorful career in music by any estimation. Fowley initially worked as a songwriter and producer (Skip & Flip’s “Cherry Pie” and The Argyles’ “Alley Oop” were among the hits he worked on), with everyone from the Byrds and the Beach Boys to the Mothers of Invention and Warren Zevon to Britain’s P.J. Proby and the Soft Machine falling under his notorious gaze.
And then of course came The Runaways in the mid ‘70s, a project that gave the world Currie, Lita Ford and Joan Jett. He assembled the all-girl glam-rock outfit in ’75, and while the alliance would only last a couple of years, history was made. In the years that followed Fowley would continue to operate as a kind of rock ‘n’ roll impresario and trickster, a role that also included a stint as one-half of the novelty duo Crazy White Man. He also hosted a Sirius Satellite Radio show each weekend, published part one of an autobiography (Lord of Garbage) and had himself portrayed by actor Michael Shannon in a film about the Runaways.