Nuggets: The Trip by Kim Fowley

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

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Graham Fyfe is probably the only music blogger to appreciate Neil Diamond and Ariana Grande. Aphoristic Album Reviews features reviews and blog posts across a growing spectrum of popular music.


  1. Wait… 31 albums? How did that man get the chance to do 31 albums? Yea I love the odd and psychedelic…but this…not that much.
    I had to check out some of the other stuff he did…he sounded better talking.

    • I think probably financial independence gave him the chance to make 31 albums. Certainly not a reflection of his talent.

  2. This song is stupid as fuck. even tho I kinda like the underlying music cuz it’s super-garagey and 60s and stuff.

    • Yeah. A lot of those dumb 60s psychedelic songs could actually be pretty good as long as the music was okay. And a lot of times it was.

        • I knew he did some other things that I knew besides The Runaways but I couldn’t remember what they were so I looked it up and there’s a lot. Like Alice Cooper, Kiss, Paul Revere, The Murmaids, Soft Machine, Helen Reddy. A whole shitload of stuff.

          • I feel like he was great at spotting talent, but almost invariably those artists did their best work with someone else.

          • I only looked at a big huge list of people he produced but I didn’t even look to see which songs they were.

        • Never heard this one. I’m the outlier ‘coz I kinda dig it. It has a ‘Gloria/Doors’ vibe and would not have been out of place in some 60s movie about revolution or something. It is ‘far out, man.’

          • I think it actually was in a movie. maybe that one called The Trip in the late sixties and I think it had Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson wrote it or he directed it or something. I saw it at a drive-in in the 90s but I can’t remember too well but it was all about he took an LSD trip and it was real wild and crazy and trippy and so was the music but I can’t really remember what any specific songs were.

          • No, no. The Trip is a real movie. Look it up. It is a little bit like the trip in Easy Rider except the whole movie is about the trip.

          • Actually, you are correct about The Trip movie, a Fonda/Nicholson joint. Electric Flag with Mike Bloomfield played on that. If it turns out this song was on the soundtrack, you win the Internet.

          • How weird that it was the Electric Flag, but I wouldn’t have known that at the time cuz I was like high school age when I saw it and I didn’t know who they were back then. But now I know who they are.

          • I only know that one Guy Richie movie about Smoking Gun or something like that. And I looked while I was at Discogs and there really is a soundtrack album to The Trip by Electric Flag. Unfortunately Kim Fowley isn’t on it. But the song titles sound wild and I would love to hear it.

          • That was totally insane. And very interesting, to say the least. I also like how the song titles about sex and drugs are totally not very subtle. A Little Head, Gettin’ Hard, Peter Gets Off, Passing a Joint. Now I wanna see the movie again. Ha.

          • I’m surprised Electric Flag sounded like that. I thought they would sound different like blues rock or something instead of all weird and stuff.

    • I think for me, it’s too hard to get past his persona. Maybe I’d have been kinder to it in a vacuum.

  3. After the next two records you’re gonna hit another of my Top 5 Nuggets and then another
    two weeks after that. I can’t really narrow it down any farther than top five or even top 10 really. There’s just way too many tracks on it to get it down any further.

    • I look forward to it. I’ve mostly been taking it one track at a time, so no idea what’s coming up

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