I've just been sent the following in regards to the forthcoming book by Beatles studio engineer Geoff Emerick. It makes interesting reading...
Startling Revelations about Geoff Emerick's new book
Editor's Note: We received this letter from Ken Scott, former
Beatles recording engineer, regarding Geoff Emerick's new
book, "Here, There and Everywhere : My Life Recording the Music of
the Beatles". The book is being released by Gotham on March 16.
Ken worked with the Beatles as a second engineer on "A Hard Days
Night" (side 2), "Beatles for Sale", "Help!" and "Rubber Soul". As
an engineer he worked on "Magical Mystery Tour" and The White Album.
Then, after leaving Abbey Road, he worked on such things as "All
Things Must Pass", "It Don't Come Easy", "Give Peace A Chance"
and "Cold Turkey". He also worked with Harrison again on the re-
release of "All Things Must Pass" and has since worked with the
March 3, 2006
I must start of by thanking you for your efforts to bring the truth
to the fore. I have followed with interest the Bob Spitz spectacle.
By way of an introduction my name is Ken Scott and I was honoured
and privileged to work on a lot of recording sessions with The
Being one of the few who got to see the Beatles record, up close and
personal, I have always been bothered by the many people who
disseminate false stories, always for a fast buck or some kind of
ego boost. I have been waiting for someone with credentials - like
Geoff Emerick - to come out, finally, with the true story. When
his "Here, There and Everywhere" was announced I was so happy. The
truth would be told, finally.
I was in for a big disappointment. I was one of the people
interviewed for Geoff's book, as were many other former Abbey Road
employees. We all came to understand that these interviews were
arranged because he had very little recall of those days, and his co-
author would use our memories to become Geoff's stories.
Now, after reading his book, I KNOW how little he remembers. It
appears we, the interviewees, didn't give enough, because much is
clearly fabricated stories, something made up to fill out the book.
A good example of this being the detailed recollection of the
overdub session he worked on for Misery (Page 59). However, in an
interview in 2003, with Ken Michaels on Total Access Live
, Geoff was quoted
as saying "...I was informed the other day, and I couldn't remember
it, that Misery was the first track that I was actually present on."
(Editor's Note: Geoff was a tape op on "Misery". He started
engineering (mixing) a year after "Norwegian Wood") Amongst these
stories are many things that could be proven untrue by astute
Beatles fans, and things easily shown to be false by those who were
Taken as single points it is easy to say "so what", but when one
turns into two turns into one hundred the veracity of everything
comes into question. Unlike any other band The Beatles are now part
of history and it is my feeling that their history should be told
correctly. As part of that history Geoff did AMAZING work recording
them, but if one can't remember or take the time to double check the
facts, DON'T WRITE A BOOK.
There are so many errors in this book, some small, others not, so I
offer the following examples only as an insider's starting point,
1) The book claims, on Page 108, that Geoff was the first engineer
to be given the job before the age of 40.
Amongst our teachers/mentors were Peter Bown, Stuart Eltham, Malcolm
Addey and Peter Vince. These 4 pop engineers were ALL promoted
before they were 40.
2) It claims he was the first engineer to record a sitar at Abbey
Road on Page 137. However, it was not Geoff who recorded "Norwegian
Wood" - done the year before he first recorded the Beatles.
3) On Page 257 it states how early on John wanted a rawer sound for
the "White Album" and yet on Page 264 it says they came up with that
idea as an excuse for the roughness much later.
4) The story is told how they recorded "Blackbird" OUTSIDE the EMI
studio at night, with birds chirping in the background. When mixing
this song the only bird sounds present were from an EMI sound
effects tape (which Paul and I put there) and interestingly there
were no traffic noises, no plane sounds nor any other sound one
would expect recording outside on Page 240's "soft summer eve" .
5) Paul's middle section on "A Day In Life" was there from Take 1.
It was not edited in later as is claimed on Page 149.
6) On 31st July, 1968 "Hey Jude" was recorded at Trident Studios. At
that time the only studio in London to have an 8 track machine and
the very reason the Beatles chose to go to a virtually unknown and
untested studio rather than one of the more well known studios.
Every major studio certainly did not have an 8 track in 1967 as is
claimed on Page 199.
7) Page 11 states that John showed he accepted Geoff by asking if he
had heard the new Tiny Tim record -- this is highly unlikely as at
this time the record had not been recorded and it would be at least
a year before it was released.
8) Supposedly, according to Page 300, George recorded
the "Something" solo at the same time and on the same tracks as the
strings. Then why is it that on the track lineup it shows orchestra
on tracks 3 & 4 and main guitar solo on track 1 ? Also, if isolated,
the solo on the 5.1 version has no sign of an orchestra.
9) And last but not least, page 218. Many times over the years I
have told the story of how Keith Moon was leaving the studio car
park, after playing tympani on "Old Man River" on the first Jeff
Beck Group album Truth, and when confronted by an elderly St Johns
Wood resident walking her dog he used his car's built in p.a. system
to tell her to "F*#! off" and the ensuing complaints to the studio.
This is the first I have heard that such a surprisingly similar
incident occurred with John.
Again, these are but a few of the MANY problems. Since copies of his
book leaked out, there has been a movement from fans and EMI
employees past and present; all are shocked at what Geoff is
purported to say in this book, as SO much of it is untrue. There are
long lists of factual errors being compiled around the world to be
released when this book is published. (The last list I saw was well
over 100 errors, and climbing as more people read the book).
In his defense, I must say it is likely Geoff did not write much of
this book at all - it is a creation of co-author Howard Massey. Much
of it is misleading 'creative' writing (such as his word-for-word
recreations of something said casually over 40 years ago?) and
elaborations on Mark Lewisohn's "Sessions" book; all done to "fill
in" the memory of Geoff Emerick.
I cannot bring this missive to an end without mentioning the book's
relentless tirade against George Harrison. As a second engineer I
was on more Beatles sessions than Geoff and saw none of the problems
talked about constantly, and as an engineer, the same. Sadly, George
is not in a position to defend himself today. I think I know what
his reaction would have been anyway... Mine is utter disgust.
This book is NOT accurate, it is not "the truth" and does not
deserve to be supported. It is very damaging to the good reputations
of such people as George Harrison, George Martin, John Lennon, Chris
Thomas, Ringo Starr, Phil McDonald and the list goes on. The only
one who is rarely mentioned negatively is Paul McCartney, the only
one to have employed Geoff after the Beatles.
Good luck and keep up the good work.