Kim Fowley has died. He was a record producer, singer and musician, he had been best known for his role behind a string of novelty and cult pop rock singles and managing The Runaways and L.A. Rock Icon, he was seventy five years old. It is said he was battling Cancer. Once described as one of the most colorful characters of rock & roll, charismatic and eccentric reportedly he was getting treatments, however at this time there has been no cause of death announced. Born in 1939, he was the son of Singin’ in the Rain actor Douglas Fowley and actress Shelby Payne
It was in 2014, when Billboard reported that Fowley had been receiving cancer treatments and that Runaways frontwoman Currie was the one caring for him.
At the time of the Billboard report, Currie said she was optimistic about Fowley’s condition, even though he had been hospitalized and was recording a radio show for SiriusXM’s Little Steven’s Garage channel from his bed.
“Kim Fowley is a big loss to me,” E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt said in a statement. “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. I wanted DJs that could tell stories first person. He was the ultimate realization of that concept. Rock Gypsy DNA. Reinventing himself whenever he felt restless. Which was always. One of the great characters of all time. Irreplaceable.”
“Kim was a great and often misunderstood individual,” Blondie drummer Clem Burke said in a statement. “When Blondie first came to Hollywood Kim was one of the legends we wanted to meet. We did meet him at the Tropicana motel and became friends. I had the privilege of sitting next to Kim at a screening at SXSW of the Runaways film. When it ended, I turned to Kim and told him he was the hero of the film. He seemed happy to hear that.”
In a 2012 interview with the San Diego Reader, Fowley characterized his own role in rock music.
“It’s necessary for a band to have charisma, and it’s necessary for a band to have a Kim Fowley in there someplace,” he said. “The behind-the-scenes people are as much a part of rock ‘n’ roll as the guys onstage…. Kim Fowley is a necessary evil.”
Ralph Peer, the chairman and CEO of Peer Music was the first to report on Fowley’s passing saying,
“He and his energy will be missed.” He confirmed the news with author Harvey Kubernik.
Watch Video! The real Kim Fowley on ‘The Runaways’ and so much more!