A Space Man in the Music Industry by Blair Sterrett
I can almost guarantee, that a film will made about the life of Joe Meek! The elements are all there! - An unlikely misfit with all the odds against him, yet possessing a very unique vision, and an unrestrained passion
for his art, followed by innovation, paranoia, schizophrenia, ghosts, singing aliens, oddball affiliations, strange inventions, alternative life styles, rock & roll, success, fame, recognition, utter failure, and later a life which led to murder and suicide! Joe Meek represents a very extreme human existence on all levels! And the more I read and learn about it, the more bizarre and amazing it gets!!! Just the fact alone that a tone deaf, musically un-inclined, eccentric, recording producer was churning out hit records from his bedroom, and making significant waves on the music charts, is a “tall tale” in itself! Andy Partridge of XTC, pretty much summed up the phenomenon with the statement: “Meek spoke to the dead and heard music from other planets, making #1 hit records in his kitchen.”
Joe was one of the most unique, and unusual characters in rock music history! And no matter what is said or believed about the legend of Meek, it’s true that we owe much of how music is recorded and produced today because of his example. He seemed to break every known convention and rule of the record engineering profession, with his compulsive experimentation, and unusual “control freak” ideas. Most of his innovations are probably taken for granted today, now that most of his techniques and recording strategies are “built in” options on current recording devices.
If you’re familiar with the music of Joe Meek, and in particular his hit composition “Telstar”, then listening to these demos is a very surreal and amazing experience by comparison! This collection could almost be titled, "The History of Telstar", with several different composition demos of the track, including one with actual lyrics!!! DIY musician Joe Tepperman of the band GST Mugwump, and member of Ego Plum’ s Ebola Music Orchestra, once recalled “crying” when listening to “Telstar” (after comparing it to a demo of the recording). - “It reminded me of how magical music really is, and the power that it can possess! Joe Meek probably had no idea of how beautiful “it” was going to be!” Tepperman mused during a phone conversation. “He was probably just trying to make something that sounded spooky and outerspacey (like many of his other recordings), and ended up with something accidentally beautiful and even majestic! Telstar is really weird, yet very beautiful by conventional standards, and it’s extremely rare that something so unique and bizarre would become such a huge hit!” Tepperman ended by concluding that the success of Telstar is due to the fact that it’s “Everything to Everyone!”
At long last these rare recordings (void of copyright) are more carefully documented and accessible to fans and collectors! After all, what good is music if most people aren’t even going to get a chance to hear it during their existence? May this release add more intrigue and insight to the unfathomable mind and mystery of the legend that is Meek!
» READ MORE