Kim Fowley has died aged 75. His mercurial career has covered so many aspects of the music business obituary writers are bound to focus in his most commercial era managing (inventing?) The Runaways. Here is his description of the band’s personalities: “Cherie Currie. Cherry bomb. Sex kitten. Brigitte Bardot in a trailer park. Joan Jett. The rock ‘n’ roll heart, street tough brunette. Sandy West. Miss California with a joint in her mouth and a chip on her shoulder. Lita Ford. The love child of Sophia Loren and Ritchie Blackmore. You do not wanna fuck with Lita.”
And of course Kim had worked with Blackmore. Back in the 60s when independent producer Derek Lawrence was not needed in the studio by Joe Meek, he chanced his arm with raucous Brit pop and instro singles designed to sell in America. He borrowed Ritchie (and other session guys), and put them in the studio with Kim in 1964, where they belted out Satan’s Holiday / Earthshaker, and called the “group” The Lancasters. These two sub four minute gems (that’s both sides together, neither track quite clocks up two minutes!) are mad. The a-side rocks up Hall Of The Mountain King, the flip has recently been included on a CD of Rare West Coast Surf Instrumentals. And the original is very collectable; the single fetches three figures on a good day. Kim and Ritchie get a co-credit on the label as you can see. I borrowed a mint copy off Derek Lawrence to dub from when we helped put together the collection of early Blackmore rarities on RPM (Take It) and was bowled over the hear it for the first time. Shame in some ways they couldn’t have done more with the partnership. But nice to leave behind gems like this.