Here, there, and Everywhere: My Life recording the Music of the Beatles.
Geoff Emerick and Howard Massey. 2006.

Esteemed grammy-winning Beatles engineer a 30-year-old virgin?

Geoff Emerick is the coolest nerd ever. This is his life story, including an inside view of the recording of the Beatles milestone 1965-February 1968 output, and heretofore unpublished Beatles trivia. The word “fucking” is buried in the mix of “Hey Jude.” And, in case you read the interview with Geoff Emerick (Published in EQ, January 2000) in which he suggested that they immersed a microphone in water to create a strange effect, but did not mention the song in order to conceal this blatantly dangerous abuse of equipment from his former employer EMI, the full story is here.

From 1962-1968 the Beatle bomb exploded in EMI studios, restructuring their organization, scattering their best employees to better positions all over, and transforming the institution of rock (even, as Emerick suggests, creating the idea of “rock stars.") From 1965-1968, the confluence of coincidence, diligence, talent, collaboartion, innovation, curiosity and play that resulted in the recordings spanning “Tomorrow Never Knows” and “Hey Bulldog” seem utterly blessed. After the Beatles’ return from India, the magic was gone. Given the pure focus of the Pepper sessions as contrasted with the evil madness of the Beatles from “Revolution 1” right up to the disintegration of Apple co. in 1975, Emerick’s career reads like a numbing tragedy, one burning ember of the fiery light, warmth, and collapse into ashes known as the 1960s.

While the writing is strong, it is not Lennon/McCartney quality and suffers from the flaws that memoirs are prey to—beginnings, endings, and sometimes middles.

Other than his work with the Beatles and the saga of recording Band on the Run in Africa, Emerick does not work with many musicians that interest me nor does he go to any trouble to make them seem interesting. The obligatory description of childhood that must begin in the second chapter is as stock as his need to draw sweeping generalizations about how music was better then, which, as an old man, I don’t need his help to believe.


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