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Set against a backdrop of early 60's London, Telstar is the story of the world's first independent record producer, Joe Meek. A maverick genius who enjoyed phenomenal early success with Telstar - the biggest selling record of its time - before bad luck, depression, heartbreak and paranoia forced him into murder and suicide. A gay, amphetamine addicted, talented but deeply troubled soul, Meek dabbled in the occult. He is already an iconic figure in the world of British pop. Far from being a maudlin tale, this stranger than fiction true story is a satirical comic drama revealing the many sides of Joe Meek, a man who is now revered as a pioneer in the field of popular music.
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Meek was a pioneer, a maverick and clearly rather unhinged. Con O'Neal's superb performance with its quirky Gloucester accent provokes fear and pity in equal amounts, but you can't help admiring Meek's energy and ideas. It all ends rather horribly but I won't reveal too much if you don't know the story.
It is the little details that fascinate. Without Meek, we wouldn't have heard Johnny Remember Me, Have I the Right?, Just Like Eddie or that Screaming Lord Sutch shocker Jack the Ripper (Sutch's life, like Meek's, ended tragically). However, this didn't stop him turning down The Beatles and Tom Jones! While his lover Heinz crashed and burned, many of his session musicians went on to greater things. Clem Cattini (played here by the ever-amusing James Corden) went on to drum on countless chart-toppers, Ritchie Blackmore went on to form Deep Purple and, perhaps most endearingly, Chas Hodges, portrayed by Ralf Little, is seen complaining about having to do 'novelty records' which is so much funnier when you realise that he went on to be half of Chas 'n' Dave!
An excellent recreation of a bygone time and bygone tunes. All this and Kevin Spacey too!
Telstar has always been the title of one of my favourite tunes. Now it's also the title of one of my favourite films. Kudos to all. Loved it!
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