Joe Meek

A great deal has been written about Joe Meek and I will not attempt to recover everything that has been written.

He was born in Newent, Gloucestershire, on 5th April 1929. Christened Robert George Meek. (Hence RGM)He showed an early interest in electronics, only heightened by being a radar operator in the RAF for his military service. He then worked for the Midlands Electricity Board before heading to London in 1954 and working for a radio production company.

Among the many artists he worked with, it is recorded that he produced Humphrey Littleton's Bad Penny Blues". This became a hit, it is claimed, partly because of Meek's production which Lyttleton disapproved of. This would become a common feature of the Meek story

Triumph Records, formed in 1960 with William Barrington-Coupe and financed by Major Wilfred Alonzo Banks (a successful businessman) had a close brush with success. The single "Angela Jones" RGM 1011 b"Don't Want To Know" by Michael Cox, released in June 1960 made the top ten but they could not get enough copies pressed to keep up with demand and it peaked at number 7. 45 Cat listing

Meek left Triumph records and formed RGM sound, still financed by Banks. He set up a studio in the now legendary 304 Holloway Road where, in 1961 he achieved his first number one single. "Johnny Remember Me" Top Rank records, JAR 577 July 1961 b-side "There Must Be" sung by John Leyton. ref 45 Cat

His next number one came from a band which was really formed by Joe Meek around bassist Heinz Burt. The Tornados recorded an instrumental inspired by the new Telstar satellite, aptly named Telstar. Decca F 11494 Telstar/Jungle Fever. The flip was by Geoff Goddard. Released 17th August 1962 it spent 25 weeks on the UK charts, and remained ta nmber one for five or seven weeks depending on which chart you use. It also managed to reach number 1 in the US Billboard chart.

Meek's third number one was of course Have I The Right. This came in august 1964

Writing this is very difficult not because there is not plenty of information available but because there is far too much from so many sources and I have not in any way assimilated all the different threads in my own mind.
So at this point I am going to leave this page rather half done and will come back to it later.

Meanwhile you may find more useful info at Joe Meek Society
Photographs of Joe Meek (and other related photographs) available from David Peters