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Old Nov 30, 2010, 06:32 AM   #1
Nowhere Anne
Wild Honey Pie
 
Join Date: Mar 02, 2010
Posts: 618
Wink Joe Meek

In younger days, my relative met the legendary record producer and songwriter Joe Meek (born on 5 April 1929). You may have heard of him, as a film about his turbulent life and amazing career in music was released recently. It's named after his 1962 hit 'Telstar'. My relative wrote to him at his flat / studio at 304 Holloway Road, Islington, London. It was a small flat above a leather-goods shop... not a good place for a studio as the musicians had to literally drag their instruments up a steep flight of stairs! He wrote back to my dad to invite him to see his now-famous studio and production company, RGM Sound Ltd. (his full name was Robert George Meek). Joe Meek gave him some tapes of the strange, new and futuristic music that he created.

Although very talented in his professional life, in his private life he was a very troubled man. Not only was he was obsessed with the infamous dark world of the occult, he also suffered from paranoia (due to the fact that rival producers actually bugged his flat to steal his unique sounds) and drug use, and was prone to rage and depression. All of this was not helped by the fact the Joe Meek was homosexual (which was illegal in the UK at the time) and this placed him under great pressure. Thankfully, things have improved greatly since then and the attitudes towards homeosexuality are very different now.

According to eyewitnesses, through an occult item known as a ouija board, he even warned Buddy Holly about his upcoming death. In 1958, Joe had once chased Buddy Holly around London in order to give him a note warning that he would face great danger on 3rd February. Unfortunately, he didn't know the year. After that date had passed, and by the time it came round again next year, all caution was dismissed. They say 'forearmed is forewarned', but not in this case - the following year, to the day, Buddy Holly died in a horrific plane crash at the tender age of only 22.

Then, on 3rd February 1967 (the eighth anniversary of Buddy Holly's death), Joe Meek, aged only 37, killed his landlady and then committed suicide by shooting himself with a single barreled shotgun that he had confiscated from some other musicians at his Holloway Road home / studio. He had flown into a rage and taken the gun from someone when he informed him that it had been used on tour to shoot birds. He had kept the gun under his bed, along with some cartridges. When people saw him, during his last days, people said that they didn't even recognise him. He was a shadow of his former self; a flawed genius.

What are your thoughts about this pioneering figure of popular music?

Do you like his work as producer of some of the finest music ever recorded?

Have you seen the biopic 'Telstar'?


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