Kim Fowley

From Academic Kids

Kim Fowley (born 1942) is an American pop and rock singer, songwriter, and record producer, best known for helping record the 1966 novelty record They're Coming to Take me Away, Ha Ha, recorded by Jerry Samuels under the name of Napoleon XIV. The B-side consisted of the A-side played backwards. He was also involved in the recording of the novelty hit "Alley Oop" by The Hollywood Argyles in 1960. During the 1960's in Los Angeles, he produced probably hundreds of recordings that were released on singles. Only a few of them became hits. One of the most famous was "Popsicles and Icicles" by Los Angeles group The Murmaids, which was knocked out of the number one slot by The Beatles' first single on Capitol Records, I Want To Hold Your Hand. He also worked as a recording artist in the 1960's, issuing flower power albums such as "Love Is Alive and Well."

In 1966, he wrote and produced a cult record about the psychedelic movement, called The Trip. Though not a hit in the USA, it was a hit in Europe and oddly, one of the first releases on Island Records.

He was the manager of The Runaways, and wrote songs for KISS, Helen Reddy, Slade, and many others.</p>

His efforts as a solo artist since 1970 have sold poorly, but his albums of the 1970s such as "I'm Bad" and "International Heroes" have been cited as an influence on punk rock. Some of his new wave styled recordings of the late 1970s have been cited as prefiguring the electroclash genre, and electroclash band Add N to (X) featured Fowley as a guest on their "Loud Like Nature" album. He has tended to keep a lower profile in the 1990s and 2000s.

He is featured in Mayor of the Sunset Strip, a 2004 documentary about influential LA DJ Rodney Bingenheimer, in which Cherie Currie of the Runaways accuses him of being a misogynist. This may have been due to considerable litigation between the members of the Runaways and Fowley over various unsettled financial matters. Fowley currently lives in California and still works as a record producer for hire and occasional recording artist.


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