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Runaways manager and known weirdo Kim Fowley passes away at age 75

It was a wild ride.


Audra Schroeder


Posted on Jan 16, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 6:13 pm CDT

On Thursday, Kim Fowley, legendary musician, producer, and manager of ’70s rock band the Runaways passed away after a battle with cancer. He was 75.

Fowley is perhaps best known as the man who put together the Runaways— which included a 15-year-old Joan Jett—in the ’70s. Their biggest hit, 1976’s “Cherry Bomb,” has been covered countless times since its release. A movie about the band, featuring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning, came out in 2010, and Michael Shannon‘s over-the-top portrayal doesn’t shy away from Fowley’s creepier behavior. The group split with Fowley in 1977. A few months ago, band member Cherie Currie posted to Facebook

Life is ironic. Kim Fowley was moved into my home a week ago Friday. I have been a 24/7 caregiver for him. Funny, I have not been a fan of this man for decades but time is the great equalizer. It has been an honor to be there for him. He is ill so please send prayers to him. He is as brilliant now as he has ever been. Caring for him keeps me from FB. Know I love you all and please send positive thoughts his way.

Fowley was more than just a Sunset Strip hustler. He also produced songs for Alice Cooper, Kiss, and Gene Vincent, and released his own music. 1968’s “Animal Man” is an excellent intro to his, uh, aesthetic.

His 1977 appearance on Tom Snyder’s Tomorrow Show is essential viewing. 

He also briefly appeared in Beyoncé‘s “Haunted” video last year. 

In this clip from 2013, he addressed his battle with cancer in the most Fowley-esque way possible. 

Photo via Lee Joseph/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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*First Published: Jan 16, 2015, 3:00 pm CST