The Joe Meek Society
As you are all very well aware, the Annual General Meeting, and social event, that was planned for the 4th April 2020, had to be cancelled at short notice due to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. Although it was originally hoped that only a short postponement would be required, events turned ever more serious and the decision was taken by the Committee, guided by Government regulations, to cancel the event altogether for 2020 and to hope that the situation would allow a similar event to be held during April 2021.
In order to satisfy our constitutional requirements, I submit the following report on the activities of 2019-20 together with the usual financial statement as a quasi set of minutes. These are all factual reports and there are no items that would have required attending members to vote, other than for acceptance. Should any member wish to take issue with any of the points recorded, I would be happy to hear from them.
I had received no items for discussion from members and no requests for consideration for election onto the committee. Therefore those related sections of a normal AGM minute are irrelevant and are absent from this report.
David Nevols. (Treasurer)
Approval of the minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on the 6th April 2019 at The George Hotel, Newent.
The minutes of the 2019 Annual General Meeting had been posted on our website since May 2019 and I have received no comment or query regarding them. Therefore it is taken as being approved.
Report by the Chairman. (Pete Rochford)
Chairman’s report 2018/2019
Firstly, may I take this opportunity to thank each and every member for their continuous support throughout the past year and wish you all a very safe year ahead of us. On behalf of myself and all of our committee members, we all apologize for the cancellation of our annual meeting and the main evening entertainment event, this was to be yet another get together by all and the chance to see a fabulous line of live acts but we felt that we had no choice but to cancel. This year on the 4th April would’ve been a very poignant date being on the date (in 1968) that all of Joe’s equipment went into auction on the day before he’s 39th birthday, however, as we’re all now aware, every social meeting/event has been ordered to postpone, this in the end would be inevitable.
However, we aim to go ahead next year with the same line up of acts and activities (with a possibility of a surprise added to the agenda) and maybe come 2021, we’ll have a good reason to meet up again and enjoy the social event which will possibly be held on 10th April.
The Past Year Events
During the past year we have seen a great loss to the musical world of Joe Meek, and all those who had recorded for Joe. Just after our 2019 AGM in Newent, 3 days after, I had received a message from Freddie Starr stating that he would be interested in taking part in an interview with me, all was going well until he sadly passed away a matter of days later, this although was very sad news to me, would’ve been a golden opportunity for me to finally ask all those questions that I’ve wanted to ask Freddie for many years.
Also, during 2020, we sadly lost Ken Lundgren of The Outlaws and also Tony Holland of The Packabeats. All of which played their part at 304 and helped contribute to the work of art that is the RGM Sound. The Joe Meek Society send all our healing condolences to all of their families.
During the past year, we’ve also heard various radio shows which revolve around Joe Meek which include Gary Jackson’s Big L Radio Show with special guest Clem Cattini. Also my very good friends Francis McMahon on Tameside Radio and Brian Smith on East Coast Radio, all of these radio shows were very interesting with all of the hits and rarities plus included good memories/stories and I personally thank them all for keeping Joe’s name alive on the radio. I would also like to say a thank you to James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk for his contributions too.
Joe Meek Statue Update
On the 25th November 2019, I attended a council meeting in Newent regarding the statue, it’s siting, dimensions, funding and basically give my reasons why I thought Newent would benefit from the statue. The meeting went very well with good positive responses to all of my points.
Obviously there were those in the meeting that wasn’t as interested as the majority but they were over ruled and the decision was to go ahead with the statue.
As it now stands, I have received information from the town council in March of this year, that it is unlikely that plans for the statue will proceed until the end of this year, and of course in this current climate, it is very unlikely to be this year. I have also been made aware that the statue will not be directly sited outside of 1 Market Place (Joe’s birthplace) due to planning of the statue of the race horse Velegra which has sadly taken the siting of where I intended for Joe to be, the decision of where to site Joe is still ongoing as the council feels that Joe should be sited somewhere near to the market house. All of this is frustrating and very time consuming but I feel that I have enough council committee members on my side to finally get the statue of Joe up and unveiled. I was hoping that it would go ahead this year, in the 60th anniversary of Joe moving into 304 but I’ll be very happy to get the statue up in any time frame, as long as it does happen. At this current time, I just have to sit and wait as all official government businesses are dealing with more important issues as I’m sure we all understand.
I would like to say a special thank you to Russel C Brennan for all of his hard work in getting Glenda Collins back into the recording studio again after many years of being apart from the music world, Glenda as we all know is a female favourite of many of our members, so a grateful thank you goes to Russel for all of his efforts.
As we know, there isn’t much to choose from when it comes to Joe Meek tribute bands / bands who cover RGM, however, we still have the very authentic sound of Cliff & The Stereos who were due to perform this year plus The Triumphs but just recently, I have been contacted by a few bands who are interested in doing a set at a future event. All of this is superb because this proves that Joe’s music is showing growing interest to the musicians of today. Alan Wilson of Western Star Records and also of The Holloway Echoes has informed me that he will be putting a skiffle band together and would be very interested in performing an early Meek set for us which is great news, I’m all for variety and would welcome all bands that cover a good 75% of Joe’s music in their sets, so we do have choices out there and I feel a variety each year would be gratefully appreciated by us all. We are very lucky to still have Bobby Rio and Dave Kaye still performing, both of whom are still very keen in performing for us at our events, to which the Society is very grateful for.
All of this doesn’t mean that we will forget The Triumphs as I know they are popular with many people. It just means that it could possibly mean that we include a different band each year or even include two bands one year. As I am on the subject of The Triumphs, I’ve been made aware that Ray Liffen will be standing down from our committee and I would like to wish every success in his new ventures and thank Ray for his contributions over the years he’s been on our committee.
It now leaves me to say a very warm and kind thank you to every member for their continuous support and to thank all our members who continue to send in their valid articles for the Thunderbolt Magazine which is being put together nicely by Rob Bradford and Nicola Shilcock.
Kind thank you’s go to all our committee members Andy Knott, David Nevols, Rob Bradford, Steve Nash, Nicola Shilcock, Craig Newton, Rob Humphreys, Darren Vidler and Paul Moy for all of their hard work behind the scenes, a lot of time and effort is still continuing and I thank them for their support and hard efforts, it is very much appreciated by us all.
A special thank you to Sandra-Meek Williams for all the work that she kindly gives, not only to myself but for the Society too.
This just leaves me to say:
“Please stay safe folks, we’ll get through this and we’ll all be back in Newent very soon for our annual get together”
Keep well and continue to keep Joe’s name alive’
Pete Rochford Joe Meek Society Chairman
Presentation by the Treasurer of the Accounts for the year ending 31st March 2020.
A summary of the past years financial activity is shown below. These relate to a full 12-month period whereas the comparative figures shown for 2018-19 relate to only a 10-month period due to a change in the date of the AGM.
2019-2020 had been the first full year following the significant change in our operation, with the withdrawal of the newsletter. This was agreed as a production issue due to there being no volunteer(s) to compile it following Rob Bradford switch to produce the Thunderbolt. There have been cost saving benefits as a result of this and the overall financial position of the Society has stabilized from a previously, controlled, but reducing trend.
You will see the year end retained balance has increased from approx. £1250 to £1850, although some £400 of that was from the proceeds of the social event which followed the AGM in 2019. It was anticipated that these additional funds would be utilized to fund future social functions, namely the unfortunately aborted AGM gig on the 4th April 2020, but they will now be retained until a future event is held.
With our membership numbers remaining fairly constant and with costs associated just to the Thunderbolt printing and posting, I anticipate similar outgoings for the coming year with the possible exception of postage costs, which no doubt will increase slightly. With these assumptions, I do not see any need to adjust membership subscriptions.
May I record my thanks to all the committee members for their help and support during the past year, especially to Pete and Andy with whom I have the most contact. Also, to Rob Humphreys our webmaster who looks after all of our on-line receipts.
Thank you as well to you, our members, for your ongoing support, as without you we would have no Society. Every year we continue to learn new things about Joe and his musicians and I am sure 2020-21 will be equally revealing. Looking forward to it.
Hoping that the current virus situation will soon become a distant memory, but in the mean-time I hope you all stay safe.
David Nevols (Treasurer)
Report by the Membership Secretary (Andy Knott)
Interest in Joe and his music continue to remain strong as evidenced by our membership total which is still in excess of 200 – a major achievement thirty years after the society’s formation.
Since the 2019 AGM it has been a relatively quiet time in respect of new members with just 16 joining and when adjustments are made for those who have lapsed their membership, the overall total has remained steady and this has been the case for the past two or three years.
There are currently just 17 members who have opted for the digital version and while not a huge number, I feel it is a valuable option especially now given the uncertain times we are living through and while the postal service is working reasonably well at present with mail deliveries continuing, if the situation changed for the worse and postal deliveries were suspended, members could still access the Thunderbolt via this medium.
My thanks, as ever, to those members who kindly send a little extra with their subscriptions which is always greatly appreciated. You know who you are so on behalf of the committee thanks once again.
Whilst we all get used to lockdown syndrome, I would like to express my admiration to Rob Bradford who has taken over as Editor of the Thunderbolt in the most challenging of circumstances and is now successfully and mercifully recovered. Stay Well and I extend this to all those within the society who are also receiving treatment currently.
Thanks as ever go to those who keep the society running smoothly – Rob B, Rob H, David, Pete and Steve whose time and effort we appreciate and lastly to Sandra who does a great deal behind the scenes to help keep Joe’s name alive and kicking.
Report by The Webmaster (Rob Humphreys)
Just a routine year really – a few deaths to report, a few mentions of Meek related releases on the website but not much else happened this past year.
Digital subscribers hovering at the 18 mark, a few who did not renew were replaced by new subscribers.
The Joe Meek Society Hall of Fame nominations
There have been no nominations considered for this year as the topic had usually been discussed with members present at the AGM. If considered appropriate, we may look to “double up” on candidates at the next meeting.
Election of members of the Management Committee.
With the exception of Ray Liffen who has decided to stand down, all other existing members of the Committee have agreed to continue. No additional names had been submitted for election so the ongoing committee members are:
President Clem Cattini
Vice President John Leyton
Chairman Pete Rochford
Vice Chairman Alan Blackburn
Treasurer / Secretary David Nevols
Membership Secretary Andy Knott
Thunderbolt Editor Rob Bradford
Thunderbolt design Nicola Shilcock
Digital Publications Paul Moy
Facebook Admin Craig Newton
Website Admin Rob Humphreys
Back Issues Steve Nash
DVD Shop Darren Vidler
I would like to record my personal thanks to Ray for all his outstanding contributions over the past, I think 10 years, as our technical advisor. Producing DVD’s and CD’s of our events as well as providing his own sound equipment for our functions. I hope we will continue to see him at our events and as an ongoing, and founder, member of The Triumphs.
Amendments to the Society’s constitution.
No amendments had been put forward for discussion.
Date and Venue for next years Annual General Meeting.
At the time of compiling this report, a date for next year’s AGM had been suggested as Saturday 10th April 2021 and for it to be held at The George Hotel, Newent.