JOE MEEK: A VERY UNRELIABLE MEMOIR
Joe Meek (RC 364) made some marvellous music all those years ago but he was such a peculiar man. He frequented a coffee bar I used to like, just off London’s Wardour Street, between engagements in Soho. He was always trying to persuade me to dance in some of his Super 8 films. “Come back to Holloway Road”, he would say. I went round a few times, but no filming at all! He would be recording The Crying Shames or Terry White & The Terriers and suddenly the old lady in the next flat would flush the loo. Joe would go mad. I say go mad, but he was mad already. I often wonder what became of that old lady.
He frequently leaned out of a window, tipping a bucket of water over unsuspecting passers by. One day Heinz did this and it went over a large lady and her even larger husband, soaking both of them. He came tearing up the stairs as poor George Melly was coming down from a session recording with Mick Mulligan’s Magnolia Jazz Band.
He started threatening George with all sorts of retribution. George denied any knowledge saying, “You want next door, I’m merely here to read the gas meters”. This must have taken the wind out of the very wet man, especially as George was wearing a Fedora hat and a very crumpled purple striped suit!
The next night Joe and Heinz went to watch a wrestling programme in North London. They had front-row seats. Who should be part of the first bout but the wet man who Heinz had soaked the night before! He was called Neptune The North Circular Gnasher. He kept glaring at them throughout. After Round Two, Heinz and Joe made off, as Heinz was a bit worried the Gnasher might adjust his playing hand and teeth!
by Verity Forshaw
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