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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