Musician/writer/producer Kim Fowley (born July 21, 1939), best known as the producer and promoter of all-girl group The Runaways in the ’70, died on January 15 after a long battle with bladder cancer. He was 75.
With a history in the music industry dating back to the early ‘60s in recent years Fowley could be heard presenting a program on Little Steven’s Underground Garage channel on Sirius XM radio.
“Kim Fowley is a big loss to me,” Van Zandt told Variety magazine. “A good friend. One of a kind. He’d been everywhere, done everything, knew everybody. He was working in the Underground Garage until last week. We should all have as full a life.”
Though not a successful artist in his own right Fowley was involved in chart records in the ’60s and ’70s and worked with artists such as Warren Zevon and Cat Stevens.
Fowley co-produced the No. 1 1960 novelty hit ‘Alley Oop,’ by the Hollywood Argyles and wrote B. Bumble and the Stingers’ instrumental Top 30 hit ‘Nut Rocker’ in 1962.
Fowley moved to London in the mid-’60s and penned the B-side of Cat Stevens’ debut single as well as producing The Belfast Gypsies, containing members of Van Morrison’s Them. Later, back in Los Angeles, he was a guest on the Mothers of Invention’s debut album Freak Out, produced Gene Vincent and The Seeds and co-wrote songs for Warren Zevon’s first and ill-fated album Wanted Dead or Alive. In 1972, he also produced early demos the Modern Lovers and produced by Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids for the soundtrack of George Lucas’ American Graffiti.
Fowley visited Australia in the early ’80s on a search for ‘the new Beatles or ABBA’ and produced several songs and secured a deal for the band Beathoven who changed their name to The Innocents.
Fowley appaered in the 2003 documentary Mayor of the Sunset Strip, about L.A. DJ Rodney Bingenheimer.