Heinz : The White Tornado : Joe Meeks Tea Chest Tapes : 5CD Box Set Review

Rediscovering the 60s: Heinz, the White Tornado, and the Holloway Sessions

There’s a certain allure that resides within the realms of yesteryear, particularly when it comes to music. Today, I wish to travel far beyond the confines of the 70s; we’re journeying back to the 60s, a time when my own grasp of music was only starting to take shape.

Why this particular era? The answer lies with Heinz, an artist known as the White Tornado and his work from 1963 to 1966: the Holloway sessions. Comprising a five CD set, this collection sheds light on a fantastic 60s artist and the ingenious man behind his music: Joe Meek.

You may be wondering, why Joe Meek? As an ardent fan, I often find that there’s always a way of connecting to Deep Purple, if you look deeply enough. This connection is personified by Richie Blackmore, a session artist for Joe Meek, who features on these recordings. His contribution may not emulate his performance on “Child In Time,” but its significance is not to be underestimated.

My appreciation for these sessions is rooted in my fandom for Richie Blackmore. However, many music lovers will appreciate this collection for its homage to Joe Meek and the 60s music. There’s something uniquely captivating about the way music was crafted back then.

The box set, ‘Heinz the White Tornado, the Holloway Road Sessions 1963 to 1966,’ is a treasure trove of album singles, sessions, outtakes, demos, and more, released by Cherry Red Records. Among its vast content, the collection boasts an estimated hundred unreleased tracks, making it a truly remarkable offering.

Delving into this package, you’ll discover a comprehensive booklet brimming with informative text, rare photographs, and memorabilia from the time, making it a fantastic snapshot of UK pop history. Further, the CDs themselves are a testament to the wealth of material within, featuring a diverse range of tracks.

The box set even includes a tribute to Eddie Cochran, with some iconic tracks like “20 Flight Rock” and “Summertime Blues”. The artwork mimics original tape boxes, enhancing its vintage appeal while providing a visual treat.

The highlight of this collection, however, is the remarkable quality of the music. The tracks are sharp and vibrant, making for a refreshing and exciting listening experience. Even though it comprises demos and takes, it manages to steer clear of sounding muffled or repetitive. Instead, you feel as though you’re eavesdropping on another era, making for a truly immersive experience.

This collection is essential for any Joe Meek fan. It offers an unprecedented journey into the 60s, transporting you to an era of music that you may not often traverse. If you appreciate music from this time and admire Joe Meek, you will find this collection absolutely essential.

The collection comes complete with detailed notes that reveal the extraordinary depth of the sessions, with an array of albums, single tracks, recorded instrumentals, backing tracks, alternative versions, demos, and even an interview and a live rehearsal recording. All these tracks are carefully restored from the legendary tape archive, offering your ears a sonic feast of nostalgia.

Kudos to Cherry Red Records for investing the time and effort into creating such a comprehensive package. They have indeed catered to music enthusiasts who treasure physical music, albeit a niche market. This collection, however, caters to a niche within a niche, making it even more special.

To conclude, the ‘Heinz the White Tornado’ 5CD box set, currently available on Cherry Red Records, is indeed worth exploring. Its rich content, nostalgic appeal, and immersive experience.

Joe Meek (RC 364) made some marvellous music all those years ago but he was such a peculiar man. He frequented a coffee bar I used to like, just off London’s Wardour Street, between engagements in Soho. He was always trying to persuade me to dance in some of his Super 8 films. “Come back to Holloway Road”, he would say. I went round a few times, but no filming at all! He would be recording The Crying Shames or Terry White & The Terriers and suddenly the old lady in the next flat would flush the loo. Joe would go mad. I say go mad, but he was mad already. I often wonder what became of that old lady.
He frequently leaned out of a window, tipping a bucket of water over unsuspecting passers by. One day Heinz did this and it went over a large lady and her even larger husband, soaking both of them. He came tearing up the stairs as poor George Melly was coming down from a session recording with Mick Mulligan’s Magnolia Jazz Band.
He started threatening George with all sorts of retribution. George denied any knowledge saying, “You want next door, I’m merely here to read the gas meters”. This must have taken the wind out of the very wet man, especially as George was wearing a Fedora hat and a very crumpled purple striped suit!
The next night Joe and Heinz went to watch a wrestling programme in North London. They had front-row seats. Who should be part of the first bout but the wet man who Heinz had soaked the night before! He was called Neptune The North Circular Gnasher. He kept glaring at them throughout. After Round Two, Heinz and Joe made off, as Heinz was a bit worried the Gnasher might adjust his playing hand and teeth! Verity Forshaw

Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine

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