This project has been a labor of love since the fall of 2003.
A LIFE IN THE DEATH OF JOE MEEK had no outside production help — no crew, no interns, no corporate sponsors, no distributor set. Aside from frequent flyer miles donated from loving family members, its been 100% self-financed. This is as independent as you can get. A documentary produced with the same DIY spirit in which Meek produced his music.
Our documentary covers a history of a time that is quickly being forgotten and is often, sadly, misrepresented. We feel an obligation to make sure many sides and perspectives have been given voice in order to create an intimate and balanced portrait, that, to be honest, hasn’t really been done before.
We’ve already traveled across the UK and the US to speak with over 70 friends, family members, colleagues, employees, enthusiasts, critics and biographers of Meek — including rock luminaries Jimmy Page, Steve Howe, Big Jim Sullivan, Edwyn Collins, Alex Kapranos (of Franz Ferdinand), Keith Strickland (of The B-52′s) and Huw Bunford (of Super Furry Animals) in addition to members of Meek’s vast stable of artists such as Chas Hodges (of Chas ‘n Dave), Mike Berry, John Leyton, members of The Tornados, The Outlaws and The Honeycombs, as well as Joe’s colleagues: Jimmy Lock (engineer, producer, former General Manager of Decca Classical Records), Allen Stagg (former General Manager of Abbey Road Studios, then Head of Sound at MGM and Director of Recording for the PolyGram Group), Adrian Kerridge (engineer, producer, former General Manager of Lansdowne Studios) and Keith Grant (engineer, former General Manager/owner of Olympic Studios).
Everyone has generously laid their memories, speculations and opinions on the table to form a fresh, frank perspective on this important and enigmatic innovator.
We’re about 95% done with our rough edit. Over the years we’ve had several work-in-progress screenings across Canada and the UK to gauge how the film plays, not just to fans, but also to people who’ve never heard nor cared about Meek before – and the response was helpful, heartening and incredibly enthusiastic. Most importantly, we’ve also met some really talented people who’ve kindly offered their skills out of appreciation for what we’ve managed to accomplish with so little and a shared vision of what our film represents.
And we believe that since our work-in-progress has screened, a positive shift in how the world looks at Meek has begun. The MPG (Music Producer’s Guild) in the UK, since 2009, has an annual Joe Meek Award for Innovation in Production. And (not without controversy), on April 18th 2012, the esteemed music publication, NME (New Musical Express) named Joe Meek the Number One Greatest Record Producer of all time.
Believe me, there is nothing more rewarding than to have members of our audience (of an incomplete project, mind you) come up to us and say how inspired they were by the film. It’s worth every sacrifice, every road-bump, every setback — because inspiration is what it’s all about. Well, after 9 years, we’d like to finally share that inspiration with everybody…but the sacrifice isn’t over just yet…
Click here to read about sacrifice.