My name is Kim and I am a Meek Freak.
I was born 4 years after Joe Meek died, and lived the first 19 years of my life blissfully unaware that he ever existed. A slight acquaintanceship with Joe Meek biographer John Repsch via a radio comedy society led me to a theater in South London in June of 1991, where a Meek tribute concert featuring artists I’d mostly only vaguely heard of was being staged. Somehow I ended up backstage after the concert shaking hands with Mike Berry and clowning with Screaming Lord Sutch. That night my life changed forever.
Intrigued by the story, I joined the Joe Meek Appreciation society and started to attend the society’s events. The first one I went to was a visit to Joe’s studio at 304 Holloway Road, which was vacant at the time. Quite a baptism of fire! I got to know people that day who have remained friends over the intervening years, and I also tapped into the fan exchange network then – swapping cassettes with other fans to try and complete our collections of Joe’s recorded works. No CD compilations then, and no eBay or GEMM to make the search and purchase of rare records easy, just the back pages of Record Collector and a race to get the new edition and go through the small ads before anyone else.
Over the next five years I got more and more sucked into the Joe Meek world. I went to every event I could and started following the bands who were still performing around the country. I made new friends of fellow fans and got to know some of the artists on a first name basis. When the thriving Midlands branch of the Joe Meek Appreciation Society needed new helmsmen, my best friend and myself took it over and ended up bringing in fans and artists from all over the country.
In 1996 I emigrated to the United States and not long after was asked by the webmaster of TelstarWeb, the original Joe Meek website to join their team of three and help expand the site.
My main contribution was to create the Joe Meek Virtual Museum, which was a basically an online version of my by then quite large Meek related record and memorabilia collection. TelstarWeb in time became very large and very expensive to run, and personal issues forced the other webmasters to drop out. I had by then expanded the Virtual Museum to include a wide variety of eclectic branches, from a drinking game to a thesis on the events of February 3rd 1967. When TelstarWeb finally folded it was a simple matter to turn TelstarWeb’s Virtual Museum into a fully independent website which I named “Meeksville”.
Fast forward to today. Meeksville eventually went offline due to running costs but much to my delight I found that Howard and Susan, who we had met when they visited us to interview Dave Adams and myself for “A Life In The Death Of Joe Meek”, had downloaded and preserved the entire website. Thanks to their foresight, Meeksville is once again available to the world! Reflecting on my life with Joe, I feel very fortunate that I was able to meet and talk to so many of Joe’s artistes, many of whom became friends and correspondents and who supported the concerts and events we organized.
I treasure the memories of my time with them, especially since so many are no longer with us. Some of my best friends today I met 20 or more years ago at Meek related events and, in a way, it was even Joe that brought me to America, since if I hadn’t met Dave Adams, who was living near Rochester NY at the time, I probably would not have ended up living here. I have had my mind opened up to a world of music I would probably never have encountered otherwise, and from Joe I learned recording techniques which I was later able to put to practical use in small studios here. Life with Joe has been a rollercoaster ride but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world! – Kim Pavey, 2013