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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
18th February 1917 Born today: Phyllis Calvert, London, actress (Man in Grey)
18th February 1901 Born today: Reginald Sheffield, London England, actor (Second Chance)
18th February 1775 Born today: Thomas Girtin, London, artist/watercolorist
Crazier than Phil Spector?
Joe Meek - slightly barmy - but a great music man
Location: 304 Holloway Road, Islington, London, N7
Description: You decide...but 'Joe Meek' was a bit 'hat-stand' at times, it seems whilst recording and producing music in the 60s he'd often use a Quija Board to 'contact' Buddy Holly to find out whether a record was going to be a hit or not...which is a different take on A&R.
It was at this very address that he worked with more equipment and wires than seemed possible to cram in, all held together with chewing gum - you get the picture. He engineered it all himself to get the 'Meek' sound and and was known for giving artists demos for records that sounded nothing like the finished record, rather Joe sining 'Da da da dee - strings here - da da da dee...' - unconventional then!
Ultimataly Joe was a pioneering English record producer and songwriter acknowledged as one of the world's first and most imaginative independent producers. And of course he had success...his most famous work was The Tornados' hit 'Telstar' (1962) which became the first record by a British group to hit #1 in the US Hot 100.
But alas it was not all plain sailing...On 3 February 1967, using a shotgun owned by musician Heinz Burt, Meek murdered his landlady before turning the gun on himself. Aged only 37, he died eight years to the day after his hero, Buddy Holly.