Here, There and Everywhere
Geoff Emerick with Howard Massey
Geoff Emerick was the Beatles’ brilliant recording engineer from 1966 on (and an assistant since their first test at EMI Studios, No. 3 Abbey Road). The focus of this book is on his interaction with the group and the Fab Four’s internal relationship. Emerick’s integral technical innovations take precedence. The author writes with a concise and quaint style (with total recall), much in the vein of Stones bassist Bill Wyman. He’s contrite yet opinionated, almost passive-aggressive, and his musical critiques are often askew due to his biases. He worships McCartney (condoning Wings) and trivializes Harrison as an incompetent writer/guitarist (until Abbey Road). The acrimony within the band after the ill-advised Magical Mystery Tour, the death of Brian Epstein, the Apple debacle, the Maharishi letdown, Yoko, and Paul’s usurpation as producer dominate the gossipy last half. It’s juicy stuff, but it shifts the tone and comes off as mean spirited. Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s are the critics’ faves, but unless played on mono vinyl as intended seem dense and distant in their layered artiness. I played the earlier “Help” and “Nowhere Man” and heard more Beatles’ essence (when producer George Martin and Emerick’s mentor, Norman Smith, held sway).