Cherry Red Records have acquired legendary producer Joe Meek’s ‘Tea Chest Tapes’ – a near mythical collection of almost 2,000 reels that contain a vast amount of the producer’s work.
The fabled quarter-inch tapes got their name because they were contained and sold in 67 tea chests. Amongst the recordings are previously unheard songs Rod singing with The Raiders, David Bowie’s first band The Konrads, recordings by Billy Fury, several songs by Tom Jones, and unheard material from The Honeycombs, Heinz and John Leyton (who had a UK No 1 with Meek).
Further the tea chests contain demo recordings of (among others) Ray Davies, (who wrote some songs for The Honeycombs), Georgie Fame, Jonathan King, Alvin Lee, Gene Vincent, Steve Marriott and an early line-up of the band who became Status Quo. Finally it is said that there is also a demo tape of a certain Mark Feld, who later found fame under the name Marc Bolan with his band T. Rex.
Cherry Red plan to work closely with Alan Wilson at Western Star on the tape digitization and mastering side, as well as Pete Rochford and the Joe Meek Society to bring these amazing sounds to an audience who have been waiting patiently for many years.
Rod’s recording was made In 1961 when he went to Denmark Street with his mate Gary Leport and his band The Raiders and got a singing audition with Joe Meek , Rod remembers an unimpressed Meek blowing him a huge raspberry and ending the session.
More news on this project as it happens.
Photo thanks to Cherry Red , Alan Wilson, Cliff Cooper and Iain McNay with the famous tapes.