In 1961, UK actor/singer John Leyton, who had recently appeared with Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson in 'The Great Escape', was cast as fictional pop singer Johnny St.Cyr by the makers of a British television series 'Harpers West One',which was about the daily comings and goings in a large London department store. 'Johnny' was to make a personal publicity appearance at the store to promote his latest single. Geoff Goddard was retained to write the song and came up with 'Johnny Remember Me', a tale of a guy hearing the voice of his dead girlfriend from beyond the grave! The following video includes clips from the TV show and also Joe Meek at the controls in his recording studio:
Goddard went on to write Leyton's follow-up single 'Wild Wind', again produced by Meek, which hit the UK Top 10:
Meek and Goddard struck up a friendship based largely on their shared interests in Buddy Holly, who was Meek's hero, and also the supernatural!! It is known that they held seances to try and contact Holly's spirit!!
A spin-off of Goddard's interest in Holly was his inspiration to write a hit song 'Tribute To Buddy Holly', which was recorded by UK group Mike Berry & the Outlaws, produced by Meek:
The hallmark of Meek's productions was an excess of echo, giving much of his work an ethereal quality. Another example of this is 'Walk With Me My Angel', another Goddard composition under the pseudonym 'Duke', which was a hit for UK artist Don Charles:
As the 60s progressed, Goddard became increasingly disillusioned by the music business and left it.
Meek continued to produce for a myriad of artists, with varying degrees of success and failure, until his final chart entry as a producer in 1966 with a cover of the Drifters hit 'Please Stay' by UK group The Crying Shames.
Meek, who could be a volatile character, was considered a genius in some quarters, but unfortunately he gave truth to the saying 'a thin line between genius and madness' ashe dropped into a deep depression. His life ended on 3rd February 1967 when, in an argument over rent, he shot his landlady and the himself.
Many have since theorised that the date of his suicide, being the anniversary of the death of his hero Buddy Holly, was more than pure coincidence.