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Kim Fowley 1/2015

Kim FowleyJanuary 15, 2015 – Kim Fowley was born into an acting family in Los Angeles on July 21st 1939 and attended the University High School at the same time as singers Jan Berry and Dean Torrence, Nancy Sinatra, Bruce Johnston, as well as actors Ryan O’Neal, James Brolin and Sandra Dee. In 1957, he was diagnosed suffering with polio but, and after realize from treatment  became manager and publicist for a local band The Sleepwalkers which included Bruce Johnston, drummer Sandy Nelson and, occasionally, Phil Spector. In his early days he worked in various capacities for both Alan Freed and Berry Gordy. His first record as producer was “Charge” by The Renegades.

He also worked on occasion as a recording artist in the 1960s, with Gary S. Paxton, he recorded the novelty song “Alley Oop”, which reached No. 1 on the charts in 1960 and he was credited to the non-existent group The Hollywood Argyles.

In 1965, he wrote and produced a song about the psychedelic experience, “The Trip”, and later appeared on Frank Zappa’s first album ‘Freak Out!’. In the 60’he also worked with P.J. Proby, an early incarnation of Slade known as the N’Betweens, Gene Vincent, he appeared on hypephone on Frank Zappa’s first album Freak Out! and wrote the lyrics for the song “Portobello Road” recorded by Cat Stevens.

The 70s saw Kim produce three recordings, “At the Hop”, “Louie Louie” and “She’s So Fine” by Flash Cadillac & the Continental Kids, for the film American Graffiti. He also co-wrote songs for KISS, Helen Reddy, Alice Cooper, Leon Russell and Kris Kristofferson. He also made recordings with Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers. The 80s find Kim talent hunting in Australia and New Zealand and he worked with The Innocents, Candy, Steel Breeze, The Runaways and Shanghai. He was the one behind the rise of all-girl rockbands in the late 1970s. Kim is also featured in Mayor of the Sunset Strip, a 2003 documentary about the disc jockey Rodney Bingenheimer.

He became an experimental filmmaker after the DVD release of Mayor of the Sunset Strip. His written and directed works include: 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.

He also played three dozen gigs between June 2007 and February 2009 as the act Crazy White Man, a duo featuring him on vocals and Richard Rogers on guitar. In 2012, Kim won the Special Jury Prize at the 13th Melbourne Underground Film Festival for his two feature projects – Golden Road to Nowhere and Black Room Doom, and in 2014 he also made an appearance in Beyoncé’s music video “Haunted”.  Fowler has often been described as “one of the most colorful characters in the annals of rock & roll.

He died on January 15, 2015 at the age of 75 after a long battle with bladder cancer.

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