Kim Fowley's Black Room Doom

I wonder if Kim Fowley has a sort of psychosexual Tourette Syndrome. The infamous record producer and sometime Svengali is capable of spouting brilliant philosophical observations of pop culture and human behavior. He has a sharp ear for talent and tunes and a wellspring of creativity that is little quenched at age 73. And then comes the “dogshit,” “pussy farts,” “butt plugs,” and repeated references to masturbation. He’s a high-speed train that seems to keep running off track. Except with Kim, the Oscar Wilde of Bmovies and teensploitation, vulgarity and perversion are the track.

I spent Friday afternoon with Kim and some of the smart, interesting, and of course very hot ladies of his latest band/film project, Black Room Doom — his answer to The Runaways movie. I’ve already been on the phone with Kim for many hours, interviewing him for Queens of Noise, the biography of the Runaways I’m writing. (If you know Kim at all, you know that a phone conversation with him is generally a marathon event.) Kim is undergoing regular treatments to keep cancer away from his bladder; the brush with mortality has him in a reflective mood. In person and in the movie, he said some incredibly poignant and haunting things about his own troubled childhood, as well as his “pimp” role (his word, not mine) as manager, etc., of the Runaways. He teared up several times. Then it was back to “bitches,” “assholes,” “pussies,” etc.

The interview and the film mix vulnerability and disgust. The original Mayor of the Sunset Strip and a child of small-time actor/hustlers, Fowley personifies a Hollywood that, as he said, is no longer really there. As the band’s name indicates, Black Room Doom is itself a sort of meditation on mortality. In corsets.

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