Joe Meek may have been a troubled soul. He was gay at a time which normally meant a prison sentence, he was in fact fined for approaching a man in a public loo. He was having a on/off relationship with bass player Heinz Burt. Joe Meek produced Heinz Burt's UK hit 'Just Like Eddie'. Joe Meek spent, in today's terms, £350,000 on Heinz Burt's marketing and commercial appeal. It is accepted that Heinz Burt was talentless so the Joe Meek investment was strange given Joe Meek had an arsenal of world class session musicians to hand including Clem Cattini, Richie Blackmore, Jimmy Page, Rod Stewart and even David Bowie at one point.
Joe Meek was subject of a lawsuit by a French composer who claimed Telstar was a copy of his own work which meant all assets relating to Telstar were frozen pending the Court case worth in today’s money 3 million pounds. The French composers claim was rejected but only a few weeks after Joe Meek was dead.
In the 1960's Joe Meek began to become convinced his 'studio' was communicating with other people including rival recording companies. He made the session musicians working with him not to talk about the ongoing music projects. Many believe Joe had become paranoid with a form of mental health problem, possible yes, but his sudden paranoia appears to have been when he suddenly started recording in grave yards and other haunted locations.
On 3 February 1967 Joe Meek took Heinz Burt's shotgun and killed his landlady Violet Shenton and then shot himself. Joe Meek was subsequently buried at Newent Cemetery, Gloucestershire. His black granite tombstone can be found near the middle of the cemetery. A sad demise of an absolute genius.
Further reading: The life of Joe Meek is worth researching further and I recommend the book by John Repsch: The Legendary Joe Meek (UK; 1989, July 2003) as a great source of factual information.