Saturday, April 2, 2011

Tony Meehan (1943 – 2005)




Daniel Joseph Anthony Meehan was born in 1943 in New End, Hampstead, and London. Daniel started playing the drums when he was 10 and by 13-year-old he was playing in skiffle bands including the Vipers He learned to play the kettledrums (timpani) and was a member of the London Youth Orchestra. His musical career took off which prevented him from studying to become a lawyer. After leaving the Vipers he became an original member of The Drifters and stayed with the Shadows until 1961.



Tony left the group in 1961 and worked as an arranger/producer and session drummer for Joe Meek.



The following year he joined Decca Records as an A&R man and auditioned the early Beatles. Decca rejected the Fab Four, choosing Brian Poole and the Tremeloes instead.



Tony and Jet Harris were reunited when Harris signed to Decca as a solo artist and played together with their first single, "Diamonds" taking them to the top of the UK charts.



The legendary Jimmy Page played acoustic rhythm guitar on the track. Two other hits followed with "Scarlett O'Hara" and "Applejack".







After the near fatal accident which left Jet Harris with head injuries Tony Meehan continued for a short time with The Tony Meehan Combo.



He did step in as replacement drummer for Brian Bennett when he was briefly hospitalized but otherwise kept himself in the background of the industry. In 1977 he and Dave Cortney produced Roger Daltrey’s third solo album, One of the Boys, and was reunited with Hank Marvin who played session guitar.



He trained as a psychologist and in the 1990s left the music industry to work in London at a local college lecturing psychology. Tony Meehan died in 2005 after a fall.



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