Episode 348 - Joe Meek Is God

Episode 312 · February 17th, 2023 · 19 mins 14 secs

About this Episode

I've talked about Joe Meek before, but think I've finally gotten to the spiritual wisdom that lies beneath his many records. (Meek was an English independent record producer in the 1950s and '60s.)

The wisdom of Joe Meek, which is a prolific and dramatic instance of the wisdom of the Biblical God, consists in the power of non sequiturs. Meek's almost innumerable pop-music productions are almost all examples of the non sequitur. To wit, he generally takes a lame lyric (and a lame artist or group of artists) and inserts inconsistent instrumentals or sound-elements that completely transform the original raw material. (In this cast, I have given four (4) excerpts of this "technique" -- tho' it was not really a technique for it came from Meek's all-over-the-place personality rather than from a conscious artistic strategy.) Joe's jaw-dropping interruptions/interpolations are an instance of what we used to call, at least in the 1970s, "the God of Surprises".

Just look at oneself: the breakthroughs and providential turns in our lives are almost always caused by something that came out of nowhere. There was the unexpected phone call, the off-sides note or e-mail, the chance bumping-in to someone, the car accident or illness that put everything in a new perspective, the loss which turned into a gain (!). You name it. Fill in the blank. My own life, let alone my ministry, has been like a Joe Meek single: the best part/s are the odd guitar bridge or the "reverb". Isn't this true of your life?

So the point is, if you want to understand the nature of life as it is actually lived, listen to the odd productions of Robert George Meek. He probably didn't know it, but his fingers in the control room were just like the Fingers of God.

This cast is dedicated to Mary C. Zahl, with whom I have walked, for coming on 50 years, in Paradise Garden.