My name is Mal Meehan and I am an independent film
maker and interactive multimedia specialist. My studio (mee3d) is
located on the West Coast of Ireland in a beautiful town called Galway,
the musical hub of Ireland. My studio comprises a mixture of video edit
suites, special effects and 3d workstations and vintage analogue
For many of my early years (I am now 39) I played in
various jazz/pop/rock bands in London UK, where I grew up, until
settling into a career in film and video. At the very early age of 7
(1975) my older and very musically influential brother Richard
(1964-2001), past on his aging record deck to me and let me graciously
listen to some of his more 'beaten' up records. The very first sounds I
heard that stood out and made me go crazy were the sounds of the moog
synthesizer, musicians such as Rick Wakeman, Don Airey and Jon Lord
played such great solos and as a kid I couldn't work out how the pitch
would bend and the sound would change because it didn't do that on my
1930's vintage mechanical reed organ!
Not having money to buy my own vinyl I would take
myself down to the local public library and browse through the many BBC
Radiophonic Workshop samplers and sound FX library records until one day
I came across an album that would change my life... "Spotlight on
the Moog, Kaleidoscopic Vibrations".. I don't think I ever returned
it... just imagine the late return fee on that after 32 years! (naughty).
I listened intently to the works of JJP, Gershon
Kingsley, Dick Hyman and W Carlos until my teens, when I couldn't get
enough moog sounds and had to branch off into the works of Tangerine
Dream, Kraftwork and dare I say it Jean-Michel Jarre (sorry JJ). As my
keyboard skills developed I would search out other pioneering
synthesists such as George Duke, Herbie & Chick and the late, great
Joe Zawinul and my vintage synth collection grew to match my need to
sound like these people (I ended up have a collection of over 100
vintage analogue synths).
During the 90's my career in video took off and I
found little spare time to compose or perform, in 1992 I spent a year in
Sevilla at the Expo92 and ended up selling all of my synths... some I
even had to give away as no one wanted them then!
Basically in 10 years I did not play at all and in 2000 I heard
that Bob Moog was reinventing his company and there would be a new
minimoog for the new Millennium, and I just had to have one. That kicked
off my re-interest in the moog sound and again I started to listen to
all the sounds that I had grown up with... and to my delight I
discovered that Jean-Jacques Perrey was still alive(!) and even
recording great new music. That was that, I had to find a way to meet JJ.
In the fall of 2003 I was approached by Turnkey Music
Store in London to film Bob Moog on his trip to the UK in May 2004 as
part of the MoogFest Tour. I travelled up to Edinburgh and was
overwhelmed because when I got to the event I discovered that in fact JJ
was also giving a lecture at the same event!
I sat at the front and filmed Bob do his thing as instructed and
then I put my camera down as I didn't want to miss Jean-Jacques lecture
(looking through the viewfinder of the camera you often don't get the
full experience). I remember I had Laryngitis and I couldn't talk but
luck would have it (unknown to me), I sat next to Patricia, JJ's
daughter and she was having trouble with her video camera battery, so I
picked up my camera and filmed the rest of the lecture for her... rather
badly I might add as I couldn't stop laughing and most of the time I had
tears in my eyes!
Here I was, in a situation that I had been dreaming
about for so long but I couldn't talk and the lines to meet JJ after the
gig were a mile long and I had to get back to the hotel to catch the
early flight out and quite frankly I was a little star struck (and I
have met many Hollywood stars working in the film industry!). So in the
end I exchanged contact details with Patricia and returned to my hotel;
job done. After the shoot I was lucky enough to spend 3 more days with
Bob Moog and it occurred to me that with all this footage I should do
something with it so I approached Patricia with the idea of creating an
interview and a few months later Jean-Jacques was sitting in my studio
in London, surrounded by camera equipment and
operators... and plenty of diet Coke!
Since then I have kept in contact with the Leroy
family and have travelled throughout Europe to see JJ and the mightily
impressive Dana perform to the wonderment of young audiences. It's quite
amazing to see how JJ's music, 40 years on, still gets the crowds going
and how the new sounds created by him partnering with Dana Countryman,
David Chazam and Luke Vibert hold such great value and bring an extra
freshness to a somewhat jaded industry, and all this creative energy
from someone 79 years young!
I have to say my favourite Moog track isn't a JJP
number, sorry JJ but Gershon gets that with "Hey, Hey" which
always sounded like it should have been an epic Progressive Rock song (being
into Prog myself) and in fact if you listen to the latest Rick Wakeman
"Out There" album you can hear it on one of the tracks! But I
absolutely love the "Circus of Life" album and recently when I
married in 2006 we played "La Fenambule" as our wedding song
(JJ, you have the video on that disk I gave you in Norway, did you ever
This is very good timing, after 3 years I am about to
release the JJP "Life, Laughter & Loops" DVD (www.jjpdvd.com)...
sorry for the delay but such a lot has happened in the last 3 years,
including 2 new albums and all those concerts!!!
So JJ, god bless you and thank you for playing a small part in my
music upbringing, and now you are playing a part in my kids Jack and
Noah's musical studies, they love to "dance crazy" to your
tunes as I did 32 years ago!
Jenn and I wish you many, many, many more years of
creativity and are looking forward to seeing you in the UK... and Japan...
and the States... and on the moon
We love you, Happy Birthday!
Mal & Jenn