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Geoff Emerick
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Music Producer
    (December 5, 1945-October 2, 2018)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Assistant engineer at Abbey Road studios to Norman ‘Hurricane’ Smith (1960-65)
    Engineer for the Beatles albums ‘Revolver’ (1966), ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club’ (1967), ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ (1967) and ‘Abbey Road’ (1969)
    Also was engineer for albums by the Zombies, Paul McCartney and Wings, Robin Trower, Jeff Beck and Art Garfunkel
    Produced Elvis Costello’s albums ‘Imperial Bedroom’ (1982) and ‘All This Useless Beauty’ (1996)
    Wrote the memoir ‘Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Beatles’ (2006)
    One of the Beatles’ nicknames for him was ‘Emeroid.’ (Phonetically, ‘hemorrhoid’ with a dropped ‘h.’)
    He admitted, ‘To get some of the things on ‘Revolver,’ I had to abuse the equipment and got into trouble sometimes with the management.’
    He walked out of the sessions for ‘The Beatles’ (‘The White Album’), after getting frustrated with the band’s arguments and endless retakes of songs.
    He was often viewed as being biased in favor of Paul (probably explaining why the other ex-Beatles used different engineers for their solo records).
    His memoirs controversially dissed George and Ringo’s contributions, and inspired another former Beatles engineer, Ken Scott, to write an autobiography as a rebuttal.
    His first assignment after being promoted to first engineer was ‘Tomorrow Never Knows,’ with John requesting that his voice sound ‘the Dalai Lama singing from a mountaintop 25 miles away from the studio.’ (An effect Emerick got by routing John’s vocals through a Leslie organ speaker.)
    Producer George Martin said, ‘He brought a new kind of mind to the recordings, always suggesting sonic ideas, different kinds of reverb, what we could do with the voices.’
    In a pre-synthesizer age, he had a knack for solving recording challenges with low-tech methods (such as altering the sound of Ringo’s bass drum by stuffing a wool sweater into it).
    He won three Grammys for Best Engineered Non-Classical Recording – for ‘Sgt. Pepper’ (1967), ‘Abbey Road’ (1969) and ‘Band on the Run’ (1973) – and received a Special Merit/Technical Grammy Award (2003).

Credit: C. Fishel


 
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