I know that Geoff Emerick's book has some controversy with it. Some say that Geoff thinks Paul can do no wrong and that George is a terrible guitarist. They say that Geoff made up some things that he was never even present for and the book is full of lies. I always read these type of books with a grain of salt. This is Geoff's book and they are his memories they way he saw it and the way he remembered them. He admits that he became friends with Paul McCartney and did not bond with George Harrison. After reading that, I expected that he was going to say nice things about Paul because he still is friends with him.
Geoff Emerick was one of the Beatles' recording engineers at EMI studios on Abbey Road. He started working with them occasionally from 1963-1965. He was just starting out his career in the music recording business and wasn't always given the opportunity to work with the Beatles. That all changed in 1966 when he worked with the Beatles' on the Revolver album. He continued to work with them on Sgt. Pepper, Magical Mystery Tour, Yellow Submarine, part of the White Album and Abbey Road. Geoff was extremely innovative. He came up with creative and unheard at the time ideas, especially on Sgt. Pepper, to get the sound the Beatles were looking for. Some of what he did broke the rules at EMI and pushed bounds that were unheard of before. Geoff and George Martin are who made the Beatles Sgt. Pepper's album (along with the Beatles) what it is today. And they continued to work their magic on the other Beatles albums. Geoff won several Grammy awards for the engineering work he did on the Beatles' albums.
|George Martin and Ringo give Geoff Emerick the Grammy for what he did on Sgt. Pepper.|
Geoff is very hard on George's guitar playing and there are times when you think that Geoff's lips must have gotten tired from kissing Paul so much. However, it really doesn't take away too much from the story he tells. Some of the interesting stories he told included how the break-up of the Beatles began. You really sense a change in the guys after Brian died in 1967. His stories about Yoko are interesting and you see a change happen in Yoko has she attends more and more recording sessions. The story of Yoko and George and the biscuits is a classic and funny story.
I especially liked the part that was about when Geoff traveled to Lagos and worked with Wings on "Band on the Run." I didn't know a whole lot about these sessions and it was really neat to read more about them.
|Geoff during the Band on the Run sessions in Lagos|
I am happy to report that this book was way better than what I recall from 10 years ago. I didn't notice any HUGE glaring mistakes--just a few little nit-pick things. While I did think Geoff was a little too nice towards Paul, I didn't think the things he said about George was awful. He complimented him just as much as he criticized.
If you have never read, "Here There and Everywhere," it is one of those books that every fans should read at least once, because it helps you realize just how awesome the Beatles' music really is.