Unless you’re a rock history aficionado, you probably never even heard of Kim Fowley. He was, for the most part, a behind-the-scene kind of guy: writing music, producing records, managing bands, creating controversy and even recording his own music.
The names of those he worked with are well-known: Paul Revere & the Raiders, Cat Stevens, Frank Zappa, Steel Breeze. He had a hand in the 1960s novelty hit “Alley Oop” about a comic strip character, and later in life worked with bands like Kiss, Alice Cooper and experimental musician Ariel Pink.
But what Kim Fowley will always be remembered for is the Runaways, the penultimate 70s punk rock girl band. He got the band together, produced their first two albums, co-wrote Cherry Bomb with Joan Jett.
He had a host of friends, and just as many enemies, but he left an indelible mark on the landscape of popular music.