Sunday, July 22, 2012

"Telstar" with Kevin Spacey and Con O'Neill (2009)

Before the Beatles, or any of the bands comprising the “British Invasion”, there was a group of talented; although a bit strange; young guys working in London to create a new sound. Their dream was to put a “sound” to the idea of what was happening in space with satellites such as Telstar. They sought to give the public a unique new audio vision of the space race. These guys were way ahead of their time.

The sounds associated with David Bowie’s “Major Tom” record originated with these guys dropping marbles into toilets, and anything else it took to achieve their vision. Working against all accepted principles of recording, they actually succeeded in accomplishing their goal with the 1962 hit record named, aptly, “Telstar”. While the rest of the country was listening to Rory Storm and the Hurricanes (with Ringo Starr on drums), and bands such as Cliff Richards and the Shadows, or Gene Vincent; Joe Meek, played in this movie by Con O’Neill;  stayed true to his vision, leaving behind a string of hits which eventually culminated in his rapid decline.

An excellent performance by Kevin Spacey, who has never made a bad film; at least in my opinion; along with a tightly wound script, based on the whirlwind career of a largely forgotten genius; make this film an informative, as well as entertaining one to watch. And, you will be surprised, if you are over 55, that you may remember hearing some of this music as a kid. Also; note the unique guitar sound that has permeated all of the “Spaghetti Westerns”, as well as films such as  “Pulp Fiction”, and you will realize just how far ahead of the curve Joe Meek and his band were.

This is the original recording of “Telstar” from 1962, courtesy; as always; of You Tube;

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