Producer, svengali and Los Angeles rocknroll gadfly Kim Fowley is such a deranged and purportedly "colorful" cult figure that I heeded the promotional buzz around his autobiography and succumbed to purchase. Fowley, did in fact, steal the show in the 2003 Rodney Bigenheimer documentary "The Mayor of the Sunset Strip" through "look at ME" force of personality, and his own solo albums and general unhinged persona long made me think he'd probably be a ripe target for documentation, even if most of his own music and productions don't do a blamed thing for me. He's on his deathbed at this writing now, poor fella, dealing with bladder cancer and slipping in and out of terminal diagnoses. The plan is that this book, "LORD OF GARBAGE", is only the first of three autobiographical volumes, if he can just stave off the reaper and finish them all in time. I wish him luck, but I won't be reading the next two.
"LORD OF GARBAGE" fouls up a sure thing right off the bat, and I really should have seen it coming. Turns out Fowley's blustering, posturing, overblown personality is exactly what gets thrown down on the page as well. Rather than a collection of war stories, one has to not only get knee-deep in excruciatingly poor sentence construction but in out-and-out fabrications as well. These render everything in the book highly suspect. Fowley's creative imagination knows few limits. He claims to remember his birth; he attributes sober, wildly precocious decision-making and verbal skills to himself during his diaper years; and puts a surreal conversational gloss on his entire tragic childhood that's so patently and obviously untrue that I had a difficult time keeping myself from getting angry. I imagine that the cracked, blowhard persona that makes me laugh when I see it on film would probably make me want to flee the room if I ever found myself in actual mano-a-mano with the guy – such is the hostility that his phony and unfunny story engendered in me.
The ham-handed goofball poetry that intersperses each story on every third or fourth page doesn't do him any favors, either. Funny that Kicks Books, his publisher, didn't deign to mention that part in their glory-filled promotional blurbs on the book. I haven't been so let down by an anticipated book since the release of the DSM-IV.