"The Humor Existed So the Sound of Crying Wouldn’t Be So Noticeable."
Kim Fowley on the Inland Empire and Its Music
|Few people in the history of modern pop music can claim to have been there & done that more than Kim Fowley. To those needing a refresher course on Kim's CV or trying just to keep up with wherever his prodigious energies & imagination are currently taking him, a trip to www.kimfowley.net is strongly recommended.
PD: The Inland Empire is interesting not only for the number of musical artists that have come from there over the years, but for the nature of the music itself. While humor seems always evident, there also seems to be something spooky going on, too. Any comments?
RE: INLAND EMPIRE: nothin’ spooky goin’ on, just a lot of ignorance and isolation. After living for 5 years in New Orleans, LA no other American town or city could be called spooky. The isolation of the Inland Empire is only exceeded by the ignorance of the musicians-composers-vocalists living here.
You find the same thing in Canada. Canadian people always complain about America each and every day. Austria complains about Germany every single day. New Zealand complains about OZ every single day. Ireland complains about the UK each and every day. It’s the giant overwhelming the dwarf theory. The larger region overwhelms the smaller region, and the smaller place develops an immediate inferiority complex. All these folks in the smaller region either move or commute to the larger region or become overwhelmed, absorbed or consumed by the larger region.
These folks self-defeat themselves. They always seem to feel they are not good enough, they never admit it, they are in denial. When you introduce bigger region tricks to help them gain access, they fight you . I went through this for the last 12 months and have ceased working with new entry-levels from the Inland Empire. The artists I work with come from L.A and other locations. They see me as a Muscle Shoals-type situation. My current producer-partner is Roy Swedeen. By the 16th of July my new homepage entitled Adventures in Dreamland will have updates on our activities here. I’m turning into a version of Chris Darrow.. I’m concentrating on getting paid by outside region dollars to do recording work here… working on my catalogue.
The good thing about the Inland Empire is that there is a Zane Grey/B-Movie/Wild-West/Badlands/Redneck/Motorcycle/Surf Culture/Heavy Metal/Hard Rock/Roots Rock basis for musical exploration. The problem is, the bad outweighs the good with the entry-level new versions of these elements. Let the next version of Kim Fowley figure out how to domesticate these ignorant bastards, life is too short.
RE: KALEIDOSCOPE-Beefheart-Zappa: the humor existed so the sound of crying wouldn’t be so noticeable; you know that old cliché about “laughing instead of crying etc” maybe the allusion of spooky was really suppressed anger, but in reality is just a small town hate crime mentality set to music. Beefheart was from Lancaster, do you consider that town part of the Inland Empire? He was an unpleasant guy… highly overrated. Zappa was a cynical guy who didn't pay everyone all of their royalties. Note my name on the liner notes of Freak Out. I was guest artist.
RE: CHRIS DARROW: I met him at the Laurel Canyon party for the launch of Out on the Street Again by Sunshine Company… It was the same night that Arthur Brown confessed that he stole his stage act from me. I never saw the Kaleidoscope live. They had interesting recordings and cool art work . They were perceived as Psychedelic heroes of the West Coast underground at that time. They were jinxed to sell records at Epic because Epic was based in New York, so they didn’t have the proximity of New York City to rely on. Epic had a skeleton crew on the West Coast who didn’t do as good a job as NYC based Elektra did with the Doors.
Chris Darrow played on many Kim Fowley records. I don’t have all the titles handy at this moment, but some of the highlights were product by: “The Industrials”(CBS/Germany)-Dyan Diamond(MCA)-Frankenstein and the All-Star Monster Band(WEA/South Africa)
My most recent project that Chris and Chester played on was the soon-to-be -completed album by Big Orange and the Backyard Ramblers… It’s my version of a Bakersfield variation of O’ Brother Where Art Thou. The contributions of Chris and Chester are Coated With Grease-Darkness-Pain-Desert Angst… the lyric themes would make Wim Wenders proud. It's beyond Paris, Texas. It’s a David Lynch-Quentin Tarentino wet dream. Sometime in August I will have a homepage with sound files on my website www.kimfowley.com and you can hear for yourself. You will probably smoke dope-jack-off and set yourself on fire when you hear this shit.
RE: KIM FOWLEY’S THOUGHTS ON CHRIS DARROW: when I am found dead, Chris Darrow will tell people who I was. I believe he knows the difference between my overwhelming persona and my actual musical talent. Chris has a great insight into the mysteries of Women-Death-Pain-Poverty. Chris Darrow understands that The Rock N Roll Jukebox is a miniature temple that plays God’s music with the right unholy thrust. The Bamboo Garden of Chris Darrow causes women to strip naked and pose like female reptiles in the Inland Empire Sun… For this skill in creating his own Garden of Eden… Chris should win both the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize…
Kim Fowley: Redlands, CA USA Summer 2002