Before he became Patti Smith’s lead guitarist, Lenny Kaye compiled the 2 album set, Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era. Released in 1972, the two-LP set covered American garage rock and psychedelia from the years 1965-1968 and was a major influence on punk rock. Rhino Records reissued an expanded version of the set in 1998, with 118 tracks in total. I’m profiling and rating each of these 118 tracks, working backwards.
Track 43/118: The Trip by Kim Fowley
Release Year: 1965
From: Los Angeles, California
Aphoristic Rating: 2/10
THE TRIP – Kim Fowley [2:00]
(Dennis Hardesty/Kim Fowley/Ralph Geddes)
Personnel/KIM FOWLEY: vocals * with THE VICTORS – PAUL GEDDES: guitar * BOB ALANIZ: keyboards * JORGE ALANIZ: bass * ED MIKELICK: drums
Produced by KIM FOWLEY
Recorded in Los Angeles, CA
Corby single #CR-206 (1966)
Kim Fowley is a fascinating figure in the history of rock music, someone who’s connected to a vast variety of pop and rock musicians. He’s perhaps best known for his association with The Runaways, a 1970s all-female band featuring Joan Jett and Lita Ford. But he also produced or wrote for acts like Cat Stevens, KISS, and The Modern Lovers. He’s a controversial figure – he was accused of rape and unwanted sexual advances by members of The Runaways.
While I was aware of Fowley’s reputation as an Impresario and a Svengali, I wasn’t aware that he released 31 albums as a solo artist. ‘The Trip’ was his first solo single, and it’s easily his most-streamed tune on Spotify. If it’s anything to go by, I’m not in a hurry to check out the rest of his work.
‘The Trip’ is simply Fowley speak singing some inane psychedelic poetry over a mundane vamp. To his credit, Fowley was enough of a visionary to get ahead of the curve in LSD-inspired psychedelia, but it’s a dated track with only the hint of charisma in Fowley’s vocal saving it from complete disaster.
A world of frogs
And green fountains
And flying dogs
And silver cats
And emerald rats
And purple clouds
And faceless crowds
And walls of glass that never pass
And pictures hanging upside-down