Joe Meek’s Telstar: Progressive Creativity and Imagination in Independent Music Production
Joe Meek’s Telstar: Progressive Creativity and Imagination in Independent Music Production

Joe Meek’s Telstar: Progressive Creativity and Imagination in Independent Music Production

Abstract: This paper argues that many of the influences, choices, decisions and the technology Joe Meek used to make Telstar can be attributed to Meek”s status as an independent record producer, or are in some ways a consequence of Meek”s sub-cultural and sub-social position in London society between the mid 1950”s and early 1960”s. This is attempted through an examination of the general, or popular cultural influences of the period, such as science fiction and American culture, along with additional influences that could have been particular to Meek”s situation. Rather than advocating the creative benefits of social struggle, this paper intends to examine its roll in creative musical expression, and how it may have contributed to Telstar”s sound. As well as issues pertaining to the music business, a number of musical production topics are also examined including Meek”s position within the history of electroacoustics, the development of the concept album and the creative use of signal processing effects in popular music, along with the sociological, and political functions of 1950”s and 1960”s popular music. Although by no means exhaustive, this paper attempts to go some way in outlining the creative importance and significance of independent music production in general. This is undertaken through an examination of Meek”s legacy and the lasting influence of his approaches to music technology and musical production methods.

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