In the early 1960s self-taught electronics whizz Joe Meek amazingly produces a string of home made hit singles from his studio in his flat above a leather shop in London. His biggest success is the instrumental 'Telstar' but accusations of plagiarism delay royalties. Joe's mercurial temper causes his artists to forsake him for other labels,in particular his young lover Heinz Burt. Now in debt and after unwisely parting from his chief financier Major Banks,Joe finds himself unable to control his life. Increasingly paranoid,believing he is being bugged by rival record companies and that everybody is out to get him,the last straw comes when landlady Violet tells him she is selling the building in which he lives. Joe had once confiscated a shotgun from Heinz. Now it is dangerously close at hand and about to end the Joe Meek story. Written by
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The real Patrick Pink plays a stagehand, under the pseudonym "Robbie Duke". Joe Meek used the name "Robert Duke" for some of his compositions. See more »
The legend reads 1965 when Mitch Mitchell is threatened with a gun while playing 'Night Of The Vampire' This song was recorded and released by the Moontrekkers in 1961 even predating Telstar. See more »
Developed in association with Mikast Movies Ltd See more »
Valley of No Return
Written by Joe Meek (as Robert Duke [Joe Meek])
Published by Ivy Music Ltd
Performed by The Blue Men, directed by Rod Freeman
Courtesy of The Rod Freeman Estate
under licence from RPM Productions Ltd See more »
Saw this last night at the LFF, and while it does betray its stagey origins from time to time, there is much to enjoy in this biopic of Joe Meek, legendary music producer and nutcase. The film doesn't shy away from the murkier aspects of this mercurial character's life - the drugs, the rent boys, the cottaging, the verbal and physical abuse meted out to all and sundry - but Meek does emerge as something of a sympathetic character. I guess that's why so many people put up with him - there must have been something charming about him.
Good performances - including a pointless cameo from Kevin Spacey as Meek's financial backer, the appropriately named Major Banks. Standouts include the young actors playing Heinz and Patrick, the latter being a general factotum-cum-boyfriend who is one of the few people loyal to the last.
Nick Moran should be commended for bringing this quirky, sometime shocking story to the screen - whether it will find an audience beyond 60s music fans or those with a morbid curiosity for stories of pop scandals will remain to be seen.
Incidentally, I live in Islington and walked home past 304 Holloway Road, where almost the whole film takes place. It did send shivers down my spine.
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