Joe Meek was the 60s most experimental and infamous producer. He recorded all kinds of odd records in his flat at 304 Holloway Road while also hitting the number 1 spot with The Tornados otherworldly song Telstar (Margaret Thatcher’s favourite record but don’t let that put you off). There are various compilations of his stuff on the racks, you should have at least one. Meek was a somewhat troubled person, obsessed with the occult, and paranoid that the Metropolitan police were interviewing every gay man in London with the intention of getting him. He shot himself in 1967 after first shooting his landlady Violet Shenton. I remember reading about Meek back in 2000, trapped in the Bone Marrow Unit of Manchester Childrens’ Hospital. I went out at some point and bought I Hear A New World, Meek’s sci-fi  album done partly to test new stereosonic sound. Listening to it in the cubicle we were pretty much locked up in was bizarre- some of the album is amazing, some of it marred by squeeky-voiced Smash style aliens. I got a more than a few quizzical looks from the nursing staff.

Our old friend Andrew Weatherall named a 1994 12″ single after Joe Meek. I posted the A-side the other day. Ctel hadn’t heard it so here’s the flipside, similar but slightly different.

Glowing Trees Part 2

While we’re in Weatherall territory there’s a set he did for Dalston Superstore available for free download at Soundcloud, very much in the A Love From Outer Space/Masterpiece compilation vein.

Love Kills

Watching BBC 4’s superb Punk Britannia three-parter reminded me of Alex Cox’s not entirely successful attempt to film the story with his 80s film Sid And Nancy, which told the story of the Pistols and Sid and Nancy’s demise. On the soundtrack was Joe Strummer’s first solo effort, a 12″ single called Love Kills. To be honest the song isn’t entirely successful either but it has got its charms. Love Kills, like This Is England off  Clash Mk. II album Cut the Crap, is spoilt by the rudimentary 80s drum machine and lack of decent instrumentation despite Joe’s heartfelt lyric and vocal. And I’m not convinced it was love that killed Sid and Nancy either. But the song is worth a look.

Love Kills