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Strider

The Magnitude of Kim Fowley's Monstrosity

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It was hard not to have suspicions about the nefarious activities of Kim Fowley...especially when it came to young girls. He oozed creepiness and you always wanted to warn girls you knew to keep a wide berth from him. Yet, no one has really spoken openly about him until now...and the reactions are reverberating around Los Angeles. Former Runaway bassist Jackie Fox has opened up to reporter Jason Cherkis about Kim Fowley raping her in 1975. http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/the-lost-girls/

It is always messy when charges are made after one of the parties involved has died, as Kim Fowley passed away earlier this year. But Cherkis' reporting seems thorough and bolstered by the testimony of other witnesses.

Writer Chris Morris also had an interesting post about the allegations. http://buzzbands.la/2015/07/11/the-magnitude-of-kim-fowleys-monstrosity/

'The magnitude of Kim Fowley's monstrosity'

jackiefox.jpg
[Editors note: Allegations by former Runaways bassist Jackie Fuchs (Jackie Fox) that she was raped by band manager Kim Fowley continue to reverberate in the media. Reporter Jason Cherkis original The Lost Girls is a must-read, as is Jessica Hoppers interview with Cherkis on Pitchfork about the reporting of the story. Several have asked my opinion, but having starting circling the L.A. music scene relatively late (2002), I have no insider stories. I was warned off any dealings with Fowley by a couple of wiser-than-me L.A. Times colleagues back then, and I met Fowley only once, outside the Knitting Factory as he stewed about a young band failing to put him on the guest list. It was an unmemorable encounter. Not so for many others who have chronicled music in L.A. Chris Morris, currently a contributor at Variety, former senior writer at Billboard and ex-music editor at the Hollywood Reporter, is one. Morris, whose new book Los Lobos: Dream in Blue comes out in September, published his reaction today on his Tumblr blog Chris Morriss Wasted Space. Titled Victim, it is retransmitted here with his permission:]


By Chris Morris

More than three years ago, in February 2012, after word spread that Kim Fowley was suffering from cancer, I drafted an advance obituary for Variety. It finally ran this January after Fowley expired. I had advised my editors that it was natural to write an obit about Fowley given his role as Svengali of the Runaways, whose cachet rose in recent years thanks to the 2010 biopic and Evelyn McDonnells 2013 book about them.

I believe I dispatched Fowley in print with some professionalism, but inside myself I did not mourn. I had no love for the man. I always viewed him as a viper who walked upright. Though I found myself in the same room with him on innumerable occasions for more than 35 years, I always gave him a wide berth. His reputation preceded him, and it was not one I found attractive.

I had only one direct encounter with him. One night sometime ca. 1979, I was in the Whisky A Go Go with the clubs late booker Michelle Meyer, who was a close friend of Fowley. I made some drunkenly indiscreet remark about Fowley presiding over the assembly of a Bride of Frankenstein-like consort fabricated out of the body parts of teenage girls. I believe I also said that the only thing missing on him were bolts in his neck.

The next night, I received a call from Fowley, to whom Meyer had undoubtedly reported my comment, at home. You motherfucker, I can have you killed, he told me. I hung up on him. Fortunately I never heard from him again.

It should be obvious from the remark I made to Meyer that Fowleys routine was already well known around Hollywood. His appetite for underage girls was the stuff of legend, and one he boastfully spun himself in the many motormouth interviews he gave to writers who dutifully burnished his self-inflated and sleazy profile in their rags. There was no genius in him, and much infamy.

However, the magnitude of Fowleys monstrosity was finally measured in this weeks Huffington Post story The Lost Girls by Jason Cherkis. The piece details the rape of Runaways bassist Jackie Fuchs (aka Jackie Fox) by Fowley at a party following a 1975 New Years Eve gig at an Orange County club called Wild Sams. Many of you have doubtlessly read the story already; if you havent, it can be found here.

Ive sat on my hands for a couple of days as people have reacted to this story, watching things unfold on the web. Some of the reaction has nauseated me. In some cases, people have expressed doubt that the assault actually occurred. This notion infuriates me. Two of the eyewitnesses who spoke to Cherkis, Helen Roessler and Trudie Arguelles, have been friends of mine for decades. I know them well enough to know they are not lying, and have no reason to lie.

Some have asked why none of the people in the room that night did anything to stop Fowleys assault. Its simple: Fowley was an imposing and ever-controlling figure, and the night he drugged and raped Jackie Fuchs he was probably the only adult in the room. He was 36 at the time; most of the witnesses Cherkis interviewed were not old enough to drink yet.

Multitudinous testimony has shown that Fowley surrounded himself with two kinds of people: sycophants, and the young, weak and helpless. Neither would be likely to interfere in an act of sexual violence.

Cherkis reports in his story that Fuchs band mates Cherie Currie and Joan Jett were both in the room when the assault occurred, and that Currie fled the scene. Jetts representatives issued a denial to Cherkis; on Friday on her Facebook page, she denied that she was in the room, contradicting Fuchs own account of the attack. I have no reason to disbelieve the account of the victim and other witnesses in this case. You may make what you will of Jetts denial. I have lost all respect for her.

When Fowley died, I shuddered at the outpouring of admiration and praise for this man, who to me seemed no more than the poster boy for the bottom-feeding, manipulation and self-promotion omnipresent on the Hollywood rock scene, writ on the most grandiose scale. Though he was indeed a Zelig-like figure for decades, always cropping up at the right place at the right time with a quote dripping from his tongue, he was in the end a man of few enduring accomplishments. As people were celebrating him after his death, I found myself asking: What are these people on about?

Some of these same people have been chiming in, asking, Why now? Why is this so-called story only coming to light six months after Fowleys death? The answer is simple: The only time a rape victim can feel truly safe is after the perpetrator is dead.

This is a point that Queens of Noise author Evelyn McDonnell suggests but does not state outright in a long and highly defensive blog entry about the HuffPo scoop that was posted on Friday. McDonnell, who is now a journalism professor at Loyola Marymount University in L.A., was a copy editor at Billboard many years ago when I worked there, and as such I spoke to her on the phone in the course of business. I have not read her book. I do not know her personally. But I think it is lamentable that a woman who describes herself as a feminist critic chooses to lodge charges of male bullying and sensationalism in a critique of a story that did something she was unable to do in her own work bring the whole story home.

In the end, its a horror story, one of extreme violence perpetrated by a man who made a career out of hucksterism, exploitation and domination. I am glad Jackie Fuchs stepped forward to tell it now. I would hope Fuchs story will shame some of Kim Fowleys myth-making apologists into silence, but Im sure Im hoping for too much.

I know that the rock culture in which Fowley enjoyed prominence and success is not, as some have maintained, merely a thing of the past, an artifact of the distant 70s when the Runaways reached the Strip. It abides in Hollywood today. Only three weeks ago, I was standing outside the entrance to the Greek Theatre smoking a cigarette, waiting for Brian Wilson to take the stage. Glancing over at the press gate, I saw one of Fowleys closest associates entering the venue, accompanied by a girl who couldnt have been more than 15 years old. Recalling that moment now, a shiver runs down my spine.

[update: Cherie Currie has issued a statement.]

[Also: Fuchs will discuss the matter on CBS The Insider on Monday night.]

I happened to be backstage at the same Brian Wilson concert at the Greek that Chris Morris references and I saw the same dude he mentions...it was Rodney Bingenheimer and the girl on his arm definitely looked no older than 15.

Edited by Strider

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Check out the Kim Fowley: Philosopher or Charlatan? thread

Sorry. Missed that in my search.

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So much for believing her, seems her band mates disagree with her story.

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/jul/13/joan-jett-cherie-currie-dispute-jackie-fuchs-rape-kim-fowley

Sure they disagree with her...it puts them in a bad light. It's called CYA. Although because they were all so young and Kim Fowley was a scary dude, I can't really fault them for lacking the necessary mental and emotional tools at that time to deal with stopping a rape occurring in their presence.

Kim Fowley was well over 6 feet tall...around 6'5" or so...close to my height. These girls he surrounded himself with were tiny little things and incapacitated on 'Ludes and alcohol.

Edited by Strider

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Sure they disagree with her...it puts them in a bad light. It's called CYA. Although because they were all so young and Kim Fowley was a scary dude, I can't really fault them for lacking the necessary mental and emotional tools at that time to deal with stopping a rape occurring in their presence.

Kim Fowley was well over 6 feet tall...around 6'5" or so...close to my height. These girls he surrounded himself with were tiny little things and incapacitated on 'Ludes and alcohol.

Doesn't mean they were lying. Ever take a quaalude? you see a lot of strange things when you are in and out of consciousness and time can become distorted and memories can run together. I'm not saying he did or didn't do what she said he did, I'm just saying a drugged out person can have the wrong idea of what did or didn't happen. It's possible she caught a glimpse of her friends when they happened to be checking on her and then later caught a glimpse of kim raping her and ran the two instances together as if they were one. I mean how many people could really sit back and watch their friend get raped and do nothing about it at all?

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I mean how many people could really sit back and watch their friend get raped and do nothing about it at all?

Have you been living under a rock? Barely a month goes by without another highschool gang rape where the girl's "friends" watch and take cellphone videos.

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Doesn't mean they were lying. Ever take a quaalude? you see a lot of strange things when you are in and out of consciousness and time can become distorted and memories can run together. I'm not saying he did or didn't do what she said he did, I'm just saying a drugged out person can have the wrong idea of what did or didn't happen. It's possible she caught a glimpse of her friends when they happened to be checking on her and then later caught a glimpse of kim raping her and ran the two instances together as if they were one. I mean how many people could really sit back and watch their friend get raped and do nothing about it at all?

Oh here we go again, another apologist. Sorry, but what part of girl unconscious, girl drunk or high, girl underage, or in this case ALL OF THE FUCKING ABOVE don't people seem to understand? No matter how you slice it, this is rape. I used to be a big fan of Joan Jett, now she can go and fuck herself. Cherie Currie I never cared much for as she comes across as not to bright in general. Lita Ford is a talented guitarist, but a hypocritical ass who has always caused problems wherever she goes. These "girls" are now women, and not exactly spring chickens either. You would think that both time and experience would have wisened them and given them the perspective to support Ms. Fuchs but it is obvious they never liked Fuchs and thus have figuratively thrown her away. Its one thing what happened in 1975 when they were young girls, but there is no excuse now when these women are all well into their fifties and pushing 60. Jett in particular can kiss my ass because she is obviously very bright and an astute businesswoman. As Strider pointed out, they are just CYA, Jett cares about her money, she is all talk and no action and thus her whole persona is nothing but a sham.

What a shame in 2015 people still blame the drugs. Let me put it this way, what if me, an average joe nobody happens across a drunk or drugged up 16 year old girl who tells me she wants some love, then after the fact cries rape. My ass goes to jail thats what, and damn straight it should.

Fowley was a piece of shit Svengali creep, cancer was too good for him.

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So much for believing her, seems her band mates disagree with her story.

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/jul/13/joan-jett-cherie-currie-dispute-jackie-fuchs-rape-kim-fowley

I don't care if they dispute her story. Something happened. There are enough other people who were there that corroborate her story. You're right that Quaaludes might have warped Fuch's memory. But not the other witnesses. And the story is not if Jett and Currie knew. They were kids.

Jackie Fox was the beauty of The Runaways. The star. She was the one that was always in pictures in the magazines. She up and left just like that. She would not let her name or likeness be used in the Kristen Stewart movie. She was the only member besides Joan Jett that refused to to be interviewed for Edgeplay. Not evidence I know, but things make a lot more sense.

Cherrie Currey herself said in the Edgeplay Documentary, that if her father knew of the things Kim Fowley did, he would have blown his head off.

Jackie Fox is not at all blaming her former bandmates for what happened either. They were all young, naive and manipulated by Kim Fowley.

The verbal abuse alone they all talk about is a disgrace.

Edited by the chase

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Joan Jett has always come across as a poser, to me. She should not be the poster girl for Rock and Roll, judging by both talent and decency. She's had plenty of time to rectify what went on, then.

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Oh here we go again, another apologist. Sorry, but what part of girl unconscious, girl drunk or high, girl underage, or in this case ALL OF THE FUCKING ABOVE don't people seem to understand? No matter how you slice it, this is rape. I used to be a big fan of Joan Jett, now she can go and fuck herself. Cherie Currie I never cared much for as she comes across as not to bright in general. Lita Ford is a talented guitarist, but a hypocritical ass who has always caused problems wherever she goes. These "girls" are now women, and not exactly spring chickens either. You would think that both time and experience would have wisened them and given them the perspective to support Ms. Fuchs but it is obvious they never liked Fuchs and thus have figuratively thrown her away. Its one thing what happened in 1975 when they were young girls, but there is no excuse now when these women are all well into their fifties and pushing 60. Jett in particular can kiss my ass because she is obviously very bright and an astute businesswoman. As Strider pointed out, they are just CYA, Jett cares about her money, she is all talk and no action and thus her whole persona is nothing but a sham.

What a shame in 2015 people still blame the drugs. Let me put it this way, what if me, an average joe nobody happens across a drunk or drugged up 16 year old girl who tells me she wants some love, then after the fact cries rape. My ass goes to jail thats what, and damn straight it should.

Fowley was a piece of shit Svengali creep, cancer was too good for him.

:bravo:

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As a woman, I am heartened by the men here standing up to say they believe her. Thank you.

I wish I could say more about the underage girl and music scene, past and present, but I'll leave it between the lines and keep it to my appreciation for those of you who understand the difference between a girl and a woman. You are men among men.

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I second ANONYMOUS's assertion. Kudos to Strider, the chase, IpMan, and jimmie ray for taking a strong and clear stance. I want to also add that there should be not blurry line about what rape is or isn't, particularly in this case. But lest there still be any doubt whatsoever, here's "Tea Consent" to clarify the issue:

There is enough anecdotal evidence, from Fowley himself, no less, about his predatory luring and raping. Even if Fox's memory is not 100% clear about who was there, what IS clear is the essence of what Fowley did to her. Good for her for coming forward. Too bad Fowley didn't live to be punished. And too bad that Fox's band mates are protecting themselves rather than supporting her. As young ladies who were conditioned and afraid, sometimes perhaps huddling together against the one preyed upon as a survival mechanism, you can't blame them for not stepping up then. And though it takes a long while for some women to get their voice back after traumatic experiences, it's surprising that they're still leaving her standing there even though they all knew what Fowley was like!

This is the other thing that is so troubling about cases like these that see the light - so many people knew, yet it was allowed to continue because the person was charismatic or powerful or others frankly benefited in kind from his lead. You think it would be less likely to happen today, but there are many cases of powerful people getting away with these despicable crimes and many know but turn a blind eye.

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I second ANONYMOUS's assertion. Kudos to Strider, the chase, IpMan, and jimmie ray for taking a strong and clear stance. I want to also add that there should be not blurry line about what rape is or isn't, particularly in this case. But lest there still be any doubt whatsoever, here's "Tea Consent" to clarify the issue:

http://youtu.be/oQbei5JGiT8

There is enough anecdotal evidence, from Fowley himself, no less, about his predatory luring and raping. Even if Fox's memory is not 100% clear about who was there, what IS clear is the essence of what Fowley did to her. Good for her for coming forward. Too bad Fowley didn't live to be punished. And too bad that Fox's band mates are protecting themselves rather than supporting her. As young ladies who were conditioned and afraid, sometimes perhaps huddling together against the one preyed upon as a survival mechanism, you can't blame them for not stepping up then. And though it takes a long while for some women to get their voice back after traumatic experiences, it's surprising that they're still leaving her standing there even though they all knew what Fowley was like!

This is the other thing that is so troubling about cases like these that see the light - so many people knew, yet it was allowed to continue because the person was charismatic or powerful or others frankly benefited in kind from his lead. You think it would be less likely to happen today, but there are many cases of powerful people getting away with these despicable crimes and many know but turn a blind eye.

Powerful people run the world and their crimes are many. Poor people rape and kill too. Let's not pretend this is news to anybody. Why would the rest of these women want to admit they witnessed this rape 40 years later? They will be vilified by the politically correct media of the professional victim society that is persuasive today. The man that is accused is dead so what justice is to be had at this point?

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Powerful people run the world and their crimes are many. Poor people rape and kill too. Let's not pretend this is news to anybody. Why would the rest of these women want to admit they witnessed this rape 40 years later? They will be vilified by the politically correct media of the professional victim society that is persuasive today. The man that is accused is dead so what justice is to be had at this point?

You're right about poor people raping, too, and serial anything is blind to economic or social class. But the context here is that of a certain kind of person of society who has predilections and because of his standing in said society, is protected by it. Just seems another level of injustice. As for what's the point because the man is dead, well the point is that the women are not. They have to live with it, and because of all the women who came forward in the Crosby case, Fox decided to as well. To give voice to one's experience is cathartic and healing, and helps show others a path they may not know exists. These examples are important. Exposure of crimes is important. Calling a thing for what it is is important. Not just for the individuals, but for the larger society. It is simply just in and of itself to right a wrong in this way.

I'm also impressed with how many men are also speaking out against these perpetrators. Judd Apatow coming down hard on Crosby is but one example. I hope that all those who abetted the criminals are shitting their pants.

Edited by Patrycja

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You're right about poor people raping, too, and serial anything is blind to economic or social class. But the context here is that of a certain kind of person of society who has predilections and because of his standing in said society, is protected by it. Just seems another level of injustice. As for what's the point because the man is dead, well the point is that the women are not. They have to live with it, and because of all the women who came forward in the Crosby case, Fox decided to as well. To give voice to one's experience is cathartic and healing, and helps show others a path they may not know exists. These examples are important. Exposure of crimes is important. Calling a thing for what it is is important. Not just for the individuals, but for the larger society. It is simply just in and of itself to right a wrong in this way.

I'm also impressed with how many men are also speaking out against these perpetrators. Judd Apatow coming down hard on Crosby is but one example. I hope that all those who abetted the criminals are shitting their pants.

"Just seems another level of injustice" enough said.

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Powerful people run the world and their crimes are many. Poor people rape and kill too. Let's not pretend this is news to anybody. Why would the rest of these women want to admit they witnessed this rape 40 years later? They will be vilified by the politically correct media of the professional victim society that is persuasive today. The man that is accused is dead so what justice is to be had at this point?

Why should they admit is 40 years after the fact, this is why: To take back the power this animal Fowley stole from them; to support someone they were afraid to 40 years before; to lend power and support to current and future victims; to show this is never acceptable.

This has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with empowerment, we need to learn from the past, not run from it.

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It all makes sense. It helps explain why the band broke up when they were within reach of superstardom, why Jackie left music altogether, why she refused to have anything to do with the biopic and even insisted her "character"s name be changed. She was traumatized and disgusted and wanted to distance herself from everything associated with the experience. I haven't had time to read the whole article yet but I wonder if all the women coming forward about Bill Cosby have empowered her.

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Why not the moral outrage at Jimmy Page?

Good point, I have already made my position well known on this board in regard to this issue. However what Page did was not even in the same universe as what Fowley did, but that being said, his actions were unacceptable as well in my opinion.

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If Jackie wanted true justice she should have found a way to take her rapists balls off of him while he was still alive. He wasn't that hard to find. Does she have brothers? A father, cousins? If she does and they didn't act or believe her then the shame belongs to them.

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Why should they admit is 40 years after the fact, this is why: To take back the power this animal Fowley stole from them; to support someone they were afraid to 40 years before; to lend power and support to current and future victims; to show this is never acceptable.

This has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with empowerment, we need to learn from the past, not run from it.

Take back power from who? A dead man? Too late for that.

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Take back power from who? A dead man? Too late for that.

If you ask such a question, it is pointless to explain as you do not have the capacity to understand.

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Please do me the favor of explaining your version of empowerment. All sarcasm aside, I want to know.

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