Kim Fowley On Egghead Music Geeks

kim-fowleyOT: There’s a great interview with producer Kim Fowley in this month’s edition of Mix, looking at the production of punk girl group The Runaways and the recording of Cherry Bomb.

The entire interview is full of great quotes, but this one from Fowley is classic:

I don’t care about the egghead aspect of your readership.

Eggheads, I am a moron, and I sold 102 million records not knowing anything about equipment, but I knew the song, I knew the tone of the voice and what tone and tempo and timbre was, and I understood there had to be some tuning, and I understood somebody had to buy it, and I always left holes in the arrangement so people could smoke dope, get drunk, fall in love, have fights, have sex, go for a ride, or if they’re lonely, keep from killing themselves.

You’re making records for the listener, not for yourselves, so get off of that, ‘Oh, we must have an Aphex Aural Exciter,’ or the modern equivalent of that demand.

Go get your own studio. Get your mom to buy you a Fostex and a manual, and you can start your own Failure Sound Studios upstairs in your baby brother’s nursery.

Fowley comes across as spectacularly douchebaggy, if you’re one of those eggheads he’s trashing.

But Kim Fowley’s sold 102 million records – so don’t get too hung up on needing that Aphex Aural Exciter.

25 thoughts on “Kim Fowley On Egghead Music Geeks

  1. I read the entire article and I'm still unclear about what his actual contributions were to those "102 million records sold" beyond "I don't engineer anything; I can't even drive a car. I sit there and dream and do conceptual supervision, and all the guys who are technical interpret it. "

    Wow. Nice gig. He really *is* a genius.

  2. I read the entire article and I'm still unclear about what his actual contributions were to those "102 million records sold" beyond "I don't engineer anything; I can't even drive a car. I sit there and dream and do conceptual supervision, and all the guys who are technical interpret it. "

    Wow. Nice gig. He really *is* a genius.

  3. At last someone who gets it. These words have never been more relevant than they are today. We are more spoiled than ever with a myriad of options for creating and modifying sound and music, but most people have completely forgotten what they were doing in the first place and are more concerned with pleasuring themselves. You probably don’t need that new plugin, you just need to write a series of notes that affects people in a way which moves them.

    1. There’s no single Correct path towards creative expression. This guy has his own path, and more power to him. His need to criticize others who think differently than him, however, seems to show he has some deep insecurities. And if quality is measured by the number of albums sold, then we should all give up and let American Idol define music expression.

  4. He's right, if your song sucks, I really don't want to hear it, even if you have $500k worth of gear stashed in your closet. Some of those modular analog synth jam videos come off like technology fetish videos. And yes, I do mean a sexual fetish.

  5. What a "Class A" douche. Anyone who regularly refers to themselves in the first person deserves a punch in the face; I don't care who you are.

  6. What a "Class A" douche. Anyone who regularly refers to themselves in the first person deserves a punch in the face; I don't care who you are.

  7. Hey, I'm not immune from musical masturbation, but I got into this not to sell records, but make interesting soundscapes or write funny songs about politics or truck nuts to amuse myself and share with others. I am a no-talent assclown of a musician, have zero training in anything but a few years of clarinet in middle school, but I still have a great deal of fun with the limited amount of gear I have. I just sold my Tenori-On…and waiting for my ultimate piece of gear to be released, the Kaossilator Pro. And yes, I do have a crappy little studio upstairs, partitioned from my library with bookcases. And I have a lot of fun up there. Got a problem with that? I sure don't. It's just a hobby for me.

  8. He's right, if your song sucks, I really don't want to hear it, even if you have $500k worth of gear stashed in your closet. Some of those modular analog synth jam videos come off like technology fetish videos. And yes, I do mean a sexual fetish.

  9. He's right, if your song sucks, I really don't want to hear it, even if you have $500k worth of gear stashed in your closet. Some of those modular analog synth jam videos come off like technology fetish videos. And yes, I do mean a sexual fetish.

  10. Hey, I'm not immune from musical masturbation, but I got into this not to sell records, but make interesting soundscapes or write funny songs about politics or truck nuts to amuse myself and share with others. I am a no-talent assclown of a musician, have zero training in anything but a few years of clarinet in middle school, but I still have a great deal of fun with the limited amount of gear I have. I just sold my Tenori-On…and waiting for my ultimate piece of gear to be released, the Kaossilator Pro. And yes, I do have a crappy little studio upstairs, partitioned from my library with bookcases. And I have a lot of fun up there. Got a problem with that? I sure don't. It's just a hobby for me.

  11. Hey, I'm not immune from musical masturbation, but I got into this not to sell records, but make interesting soundscapes or write funny songs about politics or truck nuts to amuse myself and share with others. I am a no-talent assclown of a musician, have zero training in anything but a few years of clarinet in middle school, but I still have a great deal of fun with the limited amount of gear I have. I just sold my Tenori-On…and waiting for my ultimate piece of gear to be released, the Kaossilator Pro. And yes, I do have a crappy little studio upstairs, partitioned from my library with bookcases. And I have a lot of fun up there. Got a problem with that? I sure don't. It's just a hobby for me.

  12. Hahaha, Kim Fowley is a legend. However, not all that glitters is gold. Like a lot of people in the *industry* you can see he's just another old wart. If he was really talented. He would be grateful and encouraging about his craft.

    Regardless, he is right. Most of us are not concerned with the entertainment aspect of making music anymore. Not that talent accounted for much back in the 70s. It just got you through the door. You still needed some shark like Fowley to exploit you before you *made it* We have come a long.

  13. Hahaha, Kim Fowley is a legend. However, not all that glitters is gold. Like a lot of people in the *industry* you can see he's just another old wart. If he was really talented. He would be grateful and encouraging about his craft.

    Regardless, he is right. Most of us are not concerned with the entertainment aspect of making music anymore. Not that talent accounted for much back in the 70s. It just got you through the door. You still needed some shark like Fowley to exploit you before you *made it* We have come a long.

  14. YOu have to understand, Fowley is *PuNk RaWk* and the attitude is part of the whole experience. Sure, he's mean, even cruel, and self-serving, but OF COURSE it's understood, that to be ROCK it has to be FUN, transgressive, violent, sure ya betcha. That's not 'industry' that's the rock part of it – there is a touch of humor in it, and a deep involvement with humanness. As for its moral value, its a toss-up, but don't mistake Fowley, he's no B-S'er.

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