Joe Meek: 3 Spooky Steps Towards the End

Joe adored electronics even being a little kid. He took refuge in a gloomy barn, packed with equipment from all the surrounding dumps. After working in the Air Force as a radar technician, Joe greatly multiplied both knowledge and grief. The latter encouraged him to take an interest in Cosmos. In 1953, Joe bought a device for cutting discs and began to experiment with sound, while working as a sound engineer with your bride at an independent radio station.

The first step towards the end.

Joe demonstrated his devilish ingenuity for the first time when recording Humphrey Lyttelton’s jazz single “Bad Penny Blues,” he changed the sound of the piano against Lyttelton’s will, and the single became a hit. Joe devoted some time to jazz and calypso, recording such performers as Frank Holder and Kenny Graham. In January 1960, Joe opened the label Triumph Records together with William Barrington-Cope, who provided financial support for the project. Their label immediately attracted the attention by recording Michael Cox's song “Angela Jones,” which instantly hit the top of the charts. Since Joe was not interested in doing business and didn’t have a meek character, the label quickly went down in flames, but Joe continued to record various performers under the label of a non-existent studio. At the same time, he composed and recorded the cosmic musical fantasy “I Hear A New World” with the group “Rod Freeman & the Blue Men.” However, only a few EP tracks were released.

The second step towards the end.

Meek's next step was the creation of a Meeksville Sound Ltd, located in his home studio “Holloway Road.” The first hit, which was released by the studio and the company was the famous song "Johnny Remember Me," performed by John Leighton. When Brian Epstein asked him to record the Beatles, Joe gave him the fluff. Besides, he recorded one of the groups only when they agreed to replace the vocalist, who was 16-year-old Rod Stewart. It’s was not a surprise that he also refused to help David Bowie, although the latter one had been recorded as a backing vocalist and saxophonist in the studio.

The third step towards the end.

In addition to space, Meek was interested in the necromantic theme. He installed microphones in cemeteries (sometimes, burying them in fresh graves), trying to record the voices of the dead. Joe was especially intrigued by the idea of having a conversation with Buddy Holly, who came to him in dreams. Meek's necromantic interests went hand-in-hand with paranoia (he was sure that Decca Records' competitors installed microphones under the wallpaper in his studio), drug addiction as well as fits of rage and depression. Besides, Joe Meek was homosexual, and homosexuality was outlawed at that time in Britain. In 1963, the cops caught Meek "in the act" in a London public toilet, and he was not only fined, but also blackmailed for a long time. The story of his life is like a creepy parable about how it is important not to lose yourself in the abyss of your own madness.