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Geoff Emerick: Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles
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28 May 2011
10.49pm
JFKin60
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Actually, I applaud Emerick for letting us in on what really went on in the recording studios when George Martin tried to protect The Beatles from anything of the dirty stuff (All You Need Is Ears)...

Clearly, Emerick's favorite was Paul, but like I tried to state, how else could he not be? He was about the only one trying to keep quality going and took recording seriously, something John even thanked him for later on.

I don't even think he liked Paul all that much, anyway. (He stated that in all those years, none of them ever offered him a ride home).

After reading this book, I thought a lot less of John and after reading others, even less of John, although I think he was the most important performer in rock/pop history.

Emerick also states later in the book that George came a long way with his guitar playing.

"If George Harrison can have a triple album, why can't I have a double album?"–Yoko Ono

28 May 2011
11.20pm
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mr. Sun king coming together
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I haven't read the Emerick book in 5 months ish, so my memory may be faulty. As long as Emerick says "that George came a long way with his guitar playing," I'm happy, because the man who did the first solos and the man who soloed on Something were completely different.

As if it matters how a man falls down.'

'When the fall's all that's left, it matters a great deal.

28 May 2011
11.24pm
JFKin60
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That may not be an exact quote but it's something like that....My dad has the book in Chicago so I can't look it up.

"If George Harrison can have a triple album, why can't I have a double album?"–Yoko Ono

27 July 2011
9.18pm
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IMDeWalrus
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I still haven't had a chance to read this book cover to cover, but I've certainly read excerpts (as well as Ken Scott's opinions of it), plus I've read interviews with Emerick in magazines such as GUITAR WORLD, and there's no doubt he favoured Paul McCartney.

Also, the impression I get is that he believes nearly every good idea that came up during those years was his.   And perhaps they were;  after all he was there, and I wasn't.   Still, it seems odd, considering how much praise George Martin has always showered on "I Am The Walrus", that Emerick claims Martin hated the song when John first demo'ed it. 

And I do have to question Emerick's memory, judging by what he told GUITAR WORLD -- he said that George was not really into being a Beatle anymore, during the recording of REVOLVER.   Yet George himself always spoke very positively about both that album and Rubber Soul -- in 1994, he told a reporter (I believe this was also in GUITAR WORLD) something like "that's when I really got into everything we did as a band, including the songs the others wrote".   It was during Sgt Pepper and the remainder of 1967 that George seemed to pull away from The Beatles, and you can hear that when you listen to recordings from that year (the guitar solo on "All You Need Is Love" for example is pretty ordinary).   His first contribution to PEPPER was, by his own admission, a throwaway ("Only A Northern Song") and was eventually shelved until the YELLOW SUBMARINE album, and he only really put effort into "Within You Without You" -- obviously those were the sounds he was tuning into at the time. 

But I still want to read this book and see for myself.  It's always interesting to get the "inside story" on these incredible recordings -- even if the memories of those telling them are sometimes faulty.

I've got nothing to say, but it's okay..

GOOD MORNING!

GOOD MORNING!!

GOOD MORNING!!!

10 April 2012
1.44am
pnance26
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mjb said
A great book to read with insight into the recording of Revolver onwards BUT I had two faults with this book:

1. Emerick was scathing in his attitude towards George. He as good as portrayed him an an imcompitant guitarist;

2. He is so far up Paul's "arse" it's not true! Yes we know you are still great friends Geoff, but Paul wasn't the only Beatle you know!

 

Well I am glad I am not the only one who thought these things as I read the book. I thought Emerick was very harsh with George and Ringo... and he was quite the Paul suck-up. My guess is that Emerick had a thin skin and was the subject of some very unkind barbs. And Emerick wouldn't have been forced to think of some of "his" solutions if he hadn't been pushed that direction by John interest in the odd and unusual. I also found his attitude about the use of marijuana by the Beatles as rather childish and priggish, as if Emerick was jealous that he wasn't asked to join in the activity. Some great insights but, on the whole, I thought very little of Emerick personally after his trash job on George, Ringo, John and many others.

31 July 2014
9.18pm
Rita Eleanor
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Hello Beatlemaniacs! Good afternoon! My name is Mariana and... nice to meet you! Sorry, I don't speak english, I'm brazilian, I'll try to say something (the beatles help me a little with the english, indeed). I loved this book. I can imagine the recording sessions in front of me! But, really Geoff forget George, and remember only Paul. I understand that Paul was the manager of the four, this is fact, (at least initially), but as I read the book by Bob Spitz, and... George was "called" to the band that was the best! See you later!

Nobody told me there'd be days like these!!

12 January 2015
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ewe2
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I read the book before hearing of any of the Ken Scott controversy, I don't have the "fixed" version so all those errors are on the right pages. I'm not surprised by the Paul-worship, Paul was no dummy and Emerick was a great ally to have. The thing that seemed out of place to me was how rude he was about George Martin, particularly when he later went on to work for him at AIR. Together with many of the mistakes, I suspect the book was really badly edited, probably in a rush. What interested me most were the tales of the culture and environment of Abbey Road, it sounded like an awful place to work in.

I'm like Necko only I'm a bassist ukulele synthesizer penguin and also everyone. Or is everyone me? Now I'm a confused bassist ukulele synthesizer penguin everyone who is definitely not @Joe.

13 January 2015
10.50pm
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fishcane
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the biases don't bother me in this book, I'm sure you all have "opinions" about your close co-workers as well...

Altho Scotts book was better...

21 February 2016
6.05pm
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natureaker
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Just got this book today. Only a few pages in and I'm really enjoying it! 🙂

 

"Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end" - John Lennon

 

28 March 2017
12.45pm
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PeterWeatherby
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I just recently finished my second read-through of this book, and everything everyone is saying is probably true. Emerick does come off as a bit anti-George in places, while Paul is the bee's knees. But from his perspective, that makes sense, doesn't it? Who was the more outgoing, chatty, smiles and thumbs up of The Beatles: George or Paul? I get the impression from Emerick that he very much wanted to be included in their little inner circle (notice how many times he talks about the four of them and their closed-off clique), and it sounds like Paul was the most talkative, appreciative, inclusive, etc.

I also got the impression that Emerick was a hard-working, innovative man who was asked to do the impossible on multiple occasions, and found a way to do it time after time after time -- and never really got proper recognition for it. So yes, this book sometimes feels like he's got a bit of a chip on his shoulder. If indeed he's the one who originated some of the classic studio techniques they used -- using Paul's speaker as a mic to get more bass sound on "Paperback Writer", handling the varispeed and tape-splice execution to save John's "Strawberry Fields Forever", coming up with the idea of sending John's vocal through a Leslie speaker on "Tomorrow Never Knows" -- then he was probably getting a little bit fed up at watching George Martin get 100% of the credit for these things.

I mean, he didn't even get asked to sit down for an interview for The Anthology documentary, did he?

Anyway, that's how I read it, and I think that's why his version of the events almost make it sound like George Martin didn't really do anything.

I suspect he's trustworthy when it comes to the engineering technical details of things he actually worked on, like Revolver and Sgt Pepper, but I'm less inclined to take him as gospel truth when he starts talking about who played what instruments or sang what vocals on which songs, especially for albums where Emerick played minor roles and wasn't as involved in the studio.

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Not a bit like Cagney.

28 March 2017
4.26pm
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Dark Overlord
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The one thing I don't get about this book is how Geoff describes the recording of Rock And Roll Music. You see, he describes the instrumentation like so:

John Lennon: Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar (1964 Rickenbacker 325)

Paul McCartney: Piano

George Harrison: Bass Guitar (1963 Hofner 500/1)

Ringo Starr: Drums

But if you listen closely you can hear 2 guitar parts and also although the bass isn't as good as Paul's other pieces, it's far better than George could ever do as a guitarist playing a bass with the string order reversed, let alone in one take. It's clearly Paul playing bass on the track who most likely decided to keep simple because he didn't feel like making up a complex bass line in the time given. Although it is possible that one of the guitars I'm hearing is actually a piano and George temporarily put on the bass strings backwards, it's very unlikely, especially the second one, especially considering that this is back when The Beatles didn't dare step foot out of the formula of which John and George play guitar (almost always with John on rhythm and George on lead), Paul plays bass, and Ringo plays drums. I think the instrumentation is this:

John Lennon: Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar (1964 Rickenbacker 325)

Paul McCartney: Bass Guitar (1963 Hofner 500/1)

George Harrison: Lead Guitar (presumably 1963 Gretsch 6122 Country Gentleman)

Ringo Starr: Drums

George Martin: Piano

If you're reading this, you are looking for something to do.

29 March 2017
8.21am
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Leppo
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I don't remember Geoff mentioning this in the book. It sounds unlikely that George would play bass. It was a long standing live number from their set wasn't it?  Beatles Bible says the following...

 

John Lennon: vocals, rhythm guitar, piano
Paul McCartney: bass guitar, piano
George Harrison: acoustic guitar
Ringo Starr: drums
George Martin: piano

 

The basic track was recorded with drums and bass on track one, two guitars on the second, and Lennon's vocals on track three. Afterwards Lennon, McCartney and George Martin all overdubbed a piano part on a Steinway together.

Pivotal Moments in Beatles History No.118:  Yoko helps herself to one of George's digestives. 

29 March 2017
1.09pm
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PeterWeatherby
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Leppo said
I don't remember Geoff mentioning this in the book. It sounds unlikely that George would play bass. It was a long standing live number from their set wasn't it?  Beatles Bible says the following...

Yeah, it's in Emerick's book for sure. Very specific, too, he doesn't just say "George played bass," he specifies that it was Paul's Hofner that George used. Anyway, there's a whole discussion on this going over in the Guitars the Beatles used per song thread, so I won't bog down this thread with a repeat of that.

Not a bit like Cagney.

30 March 2017
7.03pm
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Zig
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PeterWeatherby said
I just recently finished my second read-through of this book, and everything everyone is saying is probably true...  

I'm glad I read your post, PW. I've been putting off buying the book because of the negativity. Now, reading how you put that into persective, I am intrigued. I will add it to my list of future reads. Thanks.

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

MB 931

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30 March 2017
8.14pm
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PeterWeatherby
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Zig said

I'm glad I read your post, PW. I've been putting off buying the book because of the negativity. Now, reading how you put that into persective, I am intrigued. I will add it to my list of future reads. Thanks.  

It's worth the read, but just keep in mind what Joe has pointed out elsewhere in this thread: Emerick had to have people help him remember some of this stuff, so take it with a grain of salt. (FWIW, I've read that Paul McCartney similarly hired a team of researchers to help refresh his memory in preparation for his Anthology interviews, so take that grain of salt with a grain of salt too, I guess.)

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Not a bit like Cagney.

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