Someday he’s gonna be dignified and old. Happy birthday, Jonathan Richman

The Modern Lovers self titled debut is the greatest posthumously released Rock debut of all time. Not only that, the 1972 demos that they made separately with John Cale and Kim Fowley, and live recordings of the era, all have material absent from the official release that is equally astonishing. Taking an obvious love of the Velvet Underground, The Modern Lovers distinguished themselves in part with the awkward, anxious, forelorn and frustrated, but ultimately introspective and romantic lyrics of Jonathan Richman.

Richman possessed a mentality at odds with the times. To a peer group obsessed with drugs and sex, Richman proclaimed “I’m Straight”, and wrote of tradition, love and values, not unlike a pent-up, Boston based, Ray Davies, circa Waterloo Sunset or Village Green Preservation Society. In a time of long hairs and flamboyant fashion, he wore his hair short and his clothes were decidedly unhip, if not square. It was almost as if he was challenging the idea of Rock and Roll rebellion, from within that very format. Before long, such notions, and his poppier musical sensibilities would create friction with the original band, all of whom were much more comfortable with the era’s trends. Though the newer music of Richman was adopted by the Punk and New Wave crowds, his fellow original Modern Lovers subsequent bands, The Real Kids, The Cars and Talking Heads, were all clearly an active part of the new movement. Now, some forty years after the break up of the original band, it’s clear that Jonathan Richman had an aesthetic that he was pursuing, one that he continues to refine to this day, that is uniquely his.


I have a particularly fond, if bittersweet, memory of a Jonathan Richman show several years ago, and remember being particularly taken with this charming number about his youthful pretension.


Kiss and tell: The original Kings of The Night Time World, Kim Fowley and The Hollywood Stars

Since posting those Paul Stanley stage raps a few days ago, the traffic on this little blog has increased exponentially, apparently thanks to In tribute to that Kiss Army and the recently departed Kim Fowley, co-writer of the following song, I give you the original King of The Night Time World, by The Hollywood Stars

Kiss and Kim
kiss and kim
Hollywood Stars and Kim
hollywood stars and kim

Kim Fowley: The AMAZING Ugly Things interview

Thanks to Mike Stax for posting this to the internet, in the light of Kim’s passing. Even if you think you have no interest in him, this interview is an engrossing and hilarious read. With Kim going a mile a minute, the interview format is largely moot. Every story is merely a touching off point for Kim’s vast experiences. Names aren’t so much dropped, as bombed, and these are BIG names. Additionally, interviewer Mike Stax is able to wrest out some info on Kim’s lesser known productions, for the true Fowleyphile.

and how did I forget this gem in my previous post?

R.I.P. Rock and Roll Genius, Kim Fowley

Kim Fowley, has, as a solo artist, songwriter, producer, impressario, etc., been involved in what seems an endless assortment of hit, novelty, cult and totally obscure recordings, dating back to 1959. His immense discography includes work with, get ready for this… Paul Revere and The Raiders, Cat Stevens, The Seeds, The Mothers Of Invention, Slade, Soft Machine, Doug Sahm, Warren Zevon, Gene Vincent, The Byrds, ELP, Kiss, Alice Cooper, The Modern Lovers, Kris Kristofferson, Leon Russell, The Quick, and, of course, The Runaways. That is not even the tip of the iceberg for Fowley related recordings. He had an uncanny knack for being at the forefront of Rock and Roll movements (Surf, Garage, Psyche, Glam, Heavy Metal, Punk, etc) and was a vital participant in those scenes, appearing everywhere a buck could get made or a groupie would get laid.

With a career so long and varied, Fowley has alotta stories, amazing stories, and boy howdy can the man spin a yarn. Mike Stax’s, Ugly Things magazine, published an exhaustive interview with Fowley, where the name dropping stories were so totally out of control that everyone still clamored for more. Enter Norton Records publishing wing, who released the first part of his autobiography, Lord Of Garbage, last year. I’ve yet to acquire a copy but have zero hesitation in giving it the highest recommendation. As a performer or storyteller, the man never fails to entertain.

Kim being Kim

Outrageous: Kim Fowley from DANGEROUS MINDS on Vimeo.

Kim digging through some of his vinyl collection…

Check out the personalized “Robert Loves Kim” Runaways t-shirt that Robert Plant sports while hanging with Cherie Currie and Joan Jett
robert plant runaways