Backstage encounter with Kim Fowley, and other things that have to do with The R
by Iris Harrison,posted Oct 25 2011 1:43PM
The wind and rain are turning down my usual jovial mood. If it wasn't for the Portland premiere of "The Runaways" tonight I'd be really foul. A movie should help. I'll go check it out and report back. I hear the actresses nailed the performance.
Here's a fun fact from IMDB: "The producers only acquired the life story rights of Cherie Currie, Joan Jett, Sandy West and Kim Fowley. Band members Lita Ford and Jackie Fox were never approached for consultation on the film. When Fox protested the production moving ahead without her participation, producer Joan Jett threatened a lawsuit declaring that contrary to insinuation, no characters based on Fox or Ford appeared in the film."
This fascinates me. How can they tell the story of the band without the other two girls? Gloria met and hung out with Lita Ford when she was starting her solo career. Lita's pretty cool. I saw Joan Jett at the Oregon Jam at Autzen Stadium in 1980. I think it was 1980. Jeff Mitchell reminded me of that today. He was there too. That was the first time he met me. Many many years ago, my babies. I remember it was really hot that day, and I remember the headliner, Blue Oyster Cult, and the Godzilla blow up thing on stage. That's pretty much it for that day.
In 2003, I did meet the REAL Kim Fowley, the guy who discovered The Runaways, and who's character is portrayed in this movie, backstage at a Bruce Springsteen show at Dodger Stadium in L.A. My brother, Neil, was with me, and he made the comment that this very tall man dressed up in a suit backstage at this show had to be someone...important. He also had a bodyguard. So, I walked up and asked him who he was. He said that I wouldn't believe it. I said that I might. He handed me a card. Kim Fowley. The real Kim Fowley. Now, if you haven't read about the L.A. rock scene, or about Laurel Canyon, or about The Runaways, then you probably don't know who the heck he is. Actually the man has been around the rock scene from 1959 on. He produced, managed, wrote, and did arrangements for many artists through the years. He's sort of like the John Waters of the rock world. At least that's how it seemed to me. Way off center, and loving the fact that he was really...noticeable.
The Runaways actually fired him in 1977, and sued him for the rights to their name and royalties in the 90's and won. I wonder if they have mended any fences since then? The movie is based on Cherie Currie's memoirs, and I'm pretty interested to see the whole thing. Especially since Dakota Fanning plays Currie. I'll also be watching closely to see if Michael Shannon does a good job with Kim Fowley.
By the way, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts were on Letterman last month doing "Bad Reputation" and it just kicked ass! How does the woman do it? She's superhuman. No wonder she's getting her own "Ladies of the 80's" doll. Click below to get to the You Tube video of the performance.
Joan Jett on Letterman
Off to the show!