Kim Fowley seems to pop up at memorable moments of musical history like a Zelig-figure. In fact he is quoted as saying, "I sometimes think I'm playing the lead role in The Kim Fowley Story." He turned up in the film Treasure Of The Rio Grande at the age of ten, attended high school with Nancy Sinatra, Jan & Dean and Dick & Dee Dee, was in a high school group with Sandy Nelson and future-Beach Boy Bruce Johnston that Phil Spector sometimes sat in with on guitar, booked Eddie Cochran for his last ever US gig, hung out with PJ Proby, Terry Melcher and Gary Lewis, recorded Richard Berry, the Pharoahs and Paul Revere and the Raiders, became a food runner for Alan Freed, met Leonard Chess and Sonny Bono, was mentored by Paul Gayten, invited to BB King's house for ribs, dated Candice Bergen... and all by the time he was 23, by which time he had scored number one hits with Alley Oop by the Hollywood Argyles and Popsicles And Icicles by the Murmaids in the US, and Nut Rocker by B Bumble and the Stingers in the UK, and a string of other hits such as the Rivingtons' Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow, and of course, many interesting flops.
When the British Invasion came in 1963 he made "the first authentic American Beatles-soundalike record", Shush-Boomer by the Alpines, before realising he needed to be in England to tap into what was going on. In London he hooked up with Andrew Loog Oldham, sipped tea with Joe Meek, and produced records featuring unknowns like Dave Mason, Jim Capaldi and Ritchie Blackmore. When he returned in 1966 he recorded with former members of Them (he renamed them the Belfast Gypsies); produced a band called the N' Betweens who later became Slade; wrote with and recorded a new singer called Cat Stevens on what became the flipside of his first single, I Love My Dog; hustled Keith Moon and the Beatles promoting the Beach Boys; discovered the Soft Machine and produced their first single (the A-side was remade by Chas Chandler before it was released) and was in on the birth of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. He also made records under his own name, such as The Trip, which became something of an underground classic, and was briefly a member of the Mothers Of Invention on their Freak Out! album.
The mega-booklet by Rob Finnis makes this CD a good read as well as a highly-entertaining and varied 32-track selection of productions by one of the true legends of the Los Angeles scene, from Gene Vincent singing Ernest Tubbs to Buddy Rich's 13-year old daughter doing Wild Thing