Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles

( 52 )

Overview

Geoff Emerick became an assistant engineer at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in 1962 at age fifteen, and was present as a new band called the Beatles recorded their first songs. He later worked with the Beatles as they recorded their singles “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” the songs that would propel them to international superstardom. In 1964 he would witness the transformation of this young and playful group from Liverpool into professional, polished musicians as they put to tape classic songs...

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Overview

Geoff Emerick became an assistant engineer at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in 1962 at age fifteen, and was present as a new band called the Beatles recorded their first songs. He later worked with the Beatles as they recorded their singles “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” the songs that would propel them to international superstardom. In 1964 he would witness the transformation of this young and playful group from Liverpool into professional, polished musicians as they put to tape classic songs such as “Eight Days A Week” and “I Feel Fine.”

Then, in 1966, at age nineteen, Geoff Emerick became the Beatles’ chief engineer, the man responsible for their distinctive sound as they recorded the classic album Revolver, in which they pioneered innovative recording techniques that changed the course of rock history. Emerick would also engineer the monumental Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road albums, considered by many the greatest rock recordings of all time. In Here, There and Everywhere he reveals the creative process of the band in the studio, and describes how he achieved the sounds on their most famous songs. Emerick also brings to light the personal dynamics of the band, from the relentless (and increasingly mean-spirited) competition between Lennon and McCartney to the infighting and frustration that eventually brought a bitter end to the greatest rock band the world has ever known.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Emerick was a fresh-faced young engineer in April 1966 when producer George Martin offered him the chance to work with the Beatles on what would become Revolver. He lasted until 1968, when tensions within the group, along with the band members' eccentricities and the demands of the job, forced him to quit after The White Album, exhausted and burned out. In this entertaining if uneven memoir, Emerick offers some priceless bits of firsthand knowledge. Amid the strict, sterile confines of EMI's Abbey Road studio, where technicians wore lab coats, the Beatles' success allowed them to challenge every rule. From their use of tape loops and their labor-intensive fascination with rolling tape backwards, the Beatles-and Emerick-reveled in shaking things up. Less remarkable are Emerick's personal recollections of the band members. He concedes the group never really fraternized with him-and he seems to have taken it personally. The gregarious McCartney is recalled fondly, while Lennon is "caustic," Ringo "bland" and Harrison "sarcastic" and "furtive." Still, the book packs its share of surprises and will delight Beatle fans curious about how the band's groundbreaking records were made. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
What more can be written about the Beatles? If you happen to have spent most of your formative adult years recording them alongside producer George Martin, quite a bit. With an amazing memory for detail, Abbey Road engineer Emerick paints vivid pictures of a decade of intense recording sessions that quite literally shook the world and of the attendant strain on those who made and shaped the music. Charmingly geeky tech talk abounds, which will prove a little heavy going at first for Beatles novices, though hard-core Fab-o-philes will eat it up with a spoon. Thankfully, Emerick is not above a little dishing: though he's an admitted Paul partisan, each of the Beatles's cuddly public personae gets a reality check. (And, boy, must Yoko's ears be burning!) All in all, Emerick's sincere love for the Beatles and their music shines through. This would make a good fly-on-the-wall companion to the The Beatles Anthology and Bob Spitz's recent The Beatles, or could partner with George Martin's All You Need Is Ears for a look behind the control room glass. Recommended for larger public and academic libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/05.]-Matthew Moyer, Jacksonville P.L., FL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The Fab Four's sound engineer, present from their first single to their final album, tells all about sharing studio time with the biggest rock band in history. Raised in North London, Emerick became enamored with recorded music as a tot, and with recording it as a teen. A combination of luck and persistence led to his first job, at age 16, at EMI Studios (later renamed Abbey Road), where he spent the next few decades. Within a month, he witnessed the first recording session of a quartet of scruffy Liverpudlians; just three years later, he was thrown into the fire as their sound engineer, working under the legendary "Fifth Beatle," producer George Martin. Decades of all-night recording sessions, simultaneously invigorating and frustrating, followed, and album upon album of innovative, groundbreaking pop classics were recorded, peaking with the universally adored Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and falling to a painful nadir with the spotty Abbey Road. The author writes little of his personal life outside the studio, as he seemed to live and breathe his work. In the end, the reader knows the Beatles about as well as Emerick did-that is, not all that well, as he repeatedly admits. Admirably evenhanded, Emerick makes no secret of his affinity for Paul, whom he characterizes as polite and good-natured, but remains diplomatic when discussing each Beatle (and even Yoko). This British politeness at times works against the book, which can be dry. Overall, however, Emerick provides an informative introduction to the creative process of the 20th century's most influential rock musicians. Extremely technical and sure to alienate non-geeks, but nonetheless an illuminating chronicle.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592402694
  • Publisher: Gotham
  • Publication date: 2/15/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 387
  • Sales rank: 192,534
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Geoff Emerick joined Abbey Road Studios as an assistant engineer in 1962 and was promoted to full engineer in 1966, leaving to build the Beatles’ Apple Recording Studios in 1969. After the dissolution of the Beatles, he continued to engineer for Paul McCartney, as well as artists such as Elvis Costello, America, Jeff Beck, and Art Garfunkel. He has won four Grammy Awards, including a Technical Grammy Award in 2003.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 52 )
Rating Distribution

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(13)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 52 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2007

    Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles

    This book suffers from too much self congratulation on the part of Mr. Emerick in regards to his role in the Beatles¿ recording process. Right from the opening chapter he seems determined to take as much credit as possible for their work. He tends to down play George Martin¿s enormous contributions while at the same time inflating his own. George Harrison is also given very little respect. Who knows, I wasn¿t there and really don¿t know for sure what is fact or fiction. Time has a way of clouding memories and building myths. That is why I would recommend older books written on the Beatles over this one. Hunter Davies¿ infinitely more entertaining Beatles' biography is bound to be more accurate. His book was penned in 1968 while the Beatles¿ story was still unfolding. There is no chance of rethinking situations through the benefit of hindsight. My suspicion is that Mr. Davies' book gets more to the truth than Geoff Emerick¿s does.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2007

    Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles

    This book suffers from too much self congratulation on the part of Mr. Emerick in regards to his role in the Beatles¿ recording process. Right from the opening chapter he seems determined to take as much credit as possible for their work. He tends to down play George Martin¿s enormous contributions while at the same time inflating his own. George Harrison is also given very little respect. Who knows, I wasn¿t there and really don¿t know for sure what is fact or fiction. Time has a way of clouding memories and building myths. That is why I would recommend older books written on the Beatles over this one. Hunter Davies¿ infinitely more entertaining Beatles' biography is bound to be more accurate. His book was penned in 1968 while the Beatles¿ story was still unfolding. There is no chance of rethinking situations through the benefit of hindsight. My suspicion is that Mr. Davies' book gets more to the truth than Geoff Emerick¿s does.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A New Light

    The most important thing to remember about this book is that the subtitle is "My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles." With that said, Emerick's insights into the recording sessions of the Beatles give a different perspective than other's I've read. He picks Paul as the leader of the group, rather than John. While he paints Ringo as a weakling and George as an intimidated follower, he does give some excellent and interesting information about the recording sessions. He also gives a brief peek at the Beatles' Apple project. My favorite part was near the end when Yoko comes into the picture. A bed in the recording studio!? Dare I say it? ONO!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2014

    Read It

    Lots of interesting details, recollections. If you are interested in the Beatles or if you are a musician you will enjoy it. Does he go after George when he thinks his performance is weak - yes. Having said that, he talks about George growing as a musician and an artist, and he talks-up his strengths and strong performances as time passes. He also talks about the other's strengths and weaknesses. I think he achieves a balance. Read it, you will enjoy it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2012

    I see nothing wrong with this book at all! As a matter of fact,

    I see nothing wrong with this book at all! As a matter of fact, It was
    McCartney who held this group together & always pushed the group to
    move forword! The others could care less! That is fact. As far as
    George's guitar playing well that would happen to anyone who was hearing
    these Lennon & McCartney songs for the first time. Jamming is one
    thing, guitar solo's take time to figure out! i don't see the struggle
    as a put down. He never heard these songs before so what do you expect!
    It's a good book and anyone who records knows what he's talking about.
    Unless your a musican or engineer your not gonna get it! Simple as that!
    They were the best that this world will ever see! a ton of work in such
    a short time! Always advancing & these engineers came up with what
    they needed! A fine job by all of them! E.M.I. was damn lucky to have
    em! George Martin, Norman Smith, Glen Johns Geoff Emerick Chris Thomas
    & Ken Scott & on & on! I really enjoyed this book! I always
    loved John's songwriting! Towards the end he didn't care! ( Let It be )
    He had nothing ready look at the material! He had one song for mystery
    tour! Lennon didn't care no more! & either did George or Ringo! That
    is fact! McCartney was a work horse! Go ask Ringo! What I really like
    about this book......The song always came first with everyone! No matter
    who played the solo! P.S. Nice guitar solo on Taxman Paul! Al Cool

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 17, 2012

    Anti George

    For the most part, I enjoyed this book. However, if I had known that Emerick clearly had a problem with George Harrison and let that be known every chance he got, I would NOT have purchased this book. Emerick is also self absorbed and focuses a lot on what HE did. News flash Geoff. Beatles fans do not want to hear about a music engineer that got lucky enough to work with the biggest rock group in history. They want to hear about the individual band members.

    I was disgusted by the fact that every chance he got, Emerick was putting down George. This is very suspect since not one book I have read on the lads (and I have a ton) mentions any negative issues regarding George (his guitar playing was put down on more than one occasion in this book). I am very anti Emerick to this day now.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2011

    the. beatles

    grrat. book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This Isn't All About The Beatles

    It's about what it was like RECORDING The Beatles. That said, this is probably one of my favorite books I've read recently. Being an aspiring recording engineer, I was already pulled in by the combination of two of my favorite things: Recording music and The Beatles. Geoff Emerick was certainly also attracted to recording music and his deep love for each of The Beatles is subtly felt throughout the pages (Regardless of the reasons for him leaving the studio mid-White Album). In this book, you get to read about all of the shenanigans he and fellow employees got into during and after recording, some of the craziest Beatles stories (George Martin almost accidentally leading John Lennon to an even earlier death!?), and the tragic losses he experienced (Losing his wife to cancer, losing John and George, and seeing Paul lose his wife to cancer). And it's all from an unbiased perspective. Because he was just a recording engineer, you don't feel like you're reading from the perspective of someone whose job was to write about The Beatles. You don't feel like it's "something you've read before." How many times can you read Beatles biographies before it all sort of melds together? This is why it's wonderful that there's a 50/50 even balance of Beatles history and recording techniques. It's not all technical jibber-jabber either. When Geoff explains recording processes and the technical details of building a studio, there's no air of pretention and he makes it easy enough for a middle-schooler to understand. I couldn't believe this book made it past me for the past couple years but, now that I've read it, I cannot express how much I recommend it for anyone and everyone with the slightest affinity for recording music and/or loving The Beatles.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009

    Fly on the wall

    What a treat it is to have someone like Geoff Emerick sharing his story. He was truly a fly on the wall in the studio with arguably the greatest band of all time. The band's dynamic music and recording techniques are revolutionary and who better to tell the story then the man who actually recorded the music? I got the book as a resource for a research paper but soon found myself reading it entirely. It offers true insight about the band, even debunking some myths about the band and revealing who they really were. I suggest it to all fans of music. Great book.

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  • Posted February 4, 2009

    Painting a Picture with Sound

    I bought this book for 2 reasons: insight into the Beatles as a group and interest in how records are actually recorded having a deep interest in music. I learned alot on both levels. I take the position that if Geoff Emerick chose to depict each Beatle's personality as he saw them, however raw to some, that was his choice and the reader should not bash him for putting any one Beatle down over another. I was more fascinated with the story of Geoff's desire to pursue his passion at the age of 15 and the doors that opened for him. It was fascinating. He ends the book by giving thanks to each of the Beatles and to all those that helped him throughout his career. He writes <BR/>"there are times when I do indeed feel like the 'lucky man who made the grade' and when I think about the confluence of circumstances that placed me in the Abbey Road Studio on the day the Beatles turned up in September 1962 and for all the sessions in between, it's almost <BR/>'spooky'."<BR/><BR/>Perhaps Geoff's path was destined to be crossed with the Beatles and perhaps whatever role he played in their lives and they in his was kharmically connected. I am guessing that was something George Harrison would of understood. When you also read about both Geoff's wife Nicole and Linda McCartney, you wonder if there was indeed a spiritual connection at least between he & Paul. <BR/><BR/>This book was honestly written with much insight and candor and I am glad I read it. I will listen to all my Beatles records now with much more interest. Thanks Geoff!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2007

    not bad at all(you know my name,look up the number)

    pretty good overview of the beatles' recording career and their failed business side. The author is one of those rare people there with the beatles virtually from the very beginning of their storied career to the bitter, lackluster end. the author has a nice,optimistic narration with lots of cool anecdotes about recording,the beatles, and the music business.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2007

    Puts You Right in the Studio

    I found this book exciting, fun, and honest. It is absolute must-read material for Beatles fans. The way Emerick describes his first impression of each of the four Beatles is priceless, especially as he compares so-called London sophistication with so-called Liverpool roughness. So are his candid assessments of each of the guys in their subsequent years. So what if he likes Paul best? Maybe he WAS the friendliest. There's just no reason for Emerick to lie. He puts the reader right in the studio as he takes you through the early years, the psychodelic era, and onto Abbey Road and beyond. It's a great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2007

    Great insights and a great read!

    'Here, There, and Everywhere' is one of the best books about the Beatles ever written, and it's also totally unique in that it was written by someone who worked intimately with the band during the creation of their greatest recorded works. Geoff Emerick has a fascinating story to tell, and he tells it with refreshing candor and honesty. The writing is clear and gripping, making the book a real page-turner -- you won't be able to put it down once you start reading it. Emerick comes across as humble and unassuming, though he clearly is determined to set the record straight as to who did what. George Martin may have been the guiding force in the recording studio in the early days, and Emerick acknowledges as much, but it appears that he began losing control around the time the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album was recorded. From that point on, Paul McCartney more or less became the band's de facto producer, although it is clear that John Lennon had a lot of say as well, at least as regarded his songs. I thoroughly enjoyed Emerick's detailed descriptions of the basic makeup of each of the four bandmembers as he observed them, up close and personal. John comes across as the complex character he apparently was -- an impatient, moody genius who alternated between kindness and nastiness, depending upon the time of day. In contrast, Paul seems to have the most stable personality and the broadest conventional musical prowess. Emerick doesn't have much to say about Ringo, who he describes as quiet and often sarcastic, but with the occasional burst of insightful comment. But Emerick's interactions with and description of George Harrison are the most interesting, I think, because it gives the reader the opportunity to watch the young, insecure Harrison (who, in the studio, was all too often shown up by an exuberant Paul)blossom into the fine guitarist and songwriter he became in the group's later years, and it's really a pleasure to observe Emerick's admiration of him grow -- a fascinating subtext to an already fascinating book. There are so many great anecdotes here and so many fabulous insights into how the Beatles achieved such a unique sound on record. I highly recommend this wonderful book to anyone with an interest in knowing what the Beatles were REALLY like... and to anyone with an interest in the pop culture of the sixties.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2006

    A Must Buy for even casual Beatles fans

    Like most people, I enjoy the Beatles music but I am not really a fan. I didn't expect this book to engage me as much as it did. I read it in a day! The book is well written and easy to read, which I think is the contribution of co-author Howard Massey. Massey has written another great book entitled, 'Behind the Glass,' which is a collection of interviews with top record producers describing how they create hit records. I highly recommend that book as well. This book is not technical and is really written to appeal to anyone with an interest in the 60s, the Beatles or the music industry. There are 'cameo appearances' in the book by some other great artists of the times, including Judy Garland and top classical musicians that recorded at EMI studios. Some of the other reviews criticize Emerick for his favoritism of McCartney and knocks on the other Beatles. My attitude is that this book is about Geoff Emerick more than anything else. This is a recollection of his personal experiences with the Beatles and is written from his point of view. The fact that his impressions of the four Beatles as individual people don't always coincide with the mythology that has developed aboutt them over the years is interesting and understandable. It makes complete sense to me that Emerick, as a professional recording engineer/producer, would favor McCartney. While I strongly prefer Lennon's music over McCartney's, the fact is that McCartney was the best overall musician of the Beatles. Ask anyone who has seeen McCartney live lately, he effortlessly moves between bass, guitar and piano, and plays them all equally well. Since Emerick worked everyday with some of the world's greatest musicians (he worked with some pretty famous people other than the Beatles), he must have been impressed by Paul's talent. Emerick also claims that McCartney was the one Beatle that took the strongest interest in the process of recording. Since Emerick is a professional recording engineer, it makes sense that he would bond with McCartney. Let's face it, if one of the Beatles took a strong interest in what you do for a living, you would think they were the greatest Beatle too! I rate it five stars. It is well written and gives a fresh perspecitve to the Beatles.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2006

    I, Me MIne

    Emerick should change the title of this work to 'I, Me Mine: My Love Affair with Myself and Paul McCartney' or 'How I did it all.' Like many other reviewers I found Emerick's constant self-aggrandizement distrubing and distressing. Hardly a page passess where he is not taking credit or claiming credit for this innovation or that sound, as if it didn't matter which four guys were playing. I concede that Emerick is talented and enhanced the already incredible talent of the Beatles (and we thank him) but he seems to believe that permits him an equal place at the adult table with Paul and John, while relegating Ringo to the children's table and George to not even eating. On that point, I found Emerick's constant complaints of George's playing or his songs very difficult to take and they almost made me give up on the book. I believe that George was an incredibly gifted person, songwriter and guitar player (for example, please listen to the 'All things Must Pass' CD)and was frequently given no support from G. Martin and Emerick and John and Paul, all of whom seemed to hate working or spending time on Harrison's songs and did it only for 'band unity.'. Perhaps if they all had given George attention and support equal to that John and Paul received, he would have done better earlier as oppossed to when he blossomed later. Bottom line here on this book is that there is too much of Emerick loving Emerick (or Paul) and it gets in the way of anything interesting he may have had to say.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2006

    A great read and highly recommended!

    Finally, a Beatles book from an insider who has no agenda, no axe to grind! In case you don't know who Geoff Emerick was, he was the man responsible for the sound of the Beatles from 1966 onwards, from their Revolver album to Sgt. Pepper (called by many the two greatest rock albums of all time) to their final record, Abbey Road. I knew that he had done those records with the group, helping shape their new psychedelic image, but what I didn't know was that he had also worked with them on many of their earliest records, too, things like I Want To Hold Your Hand and She Loves You. And he was only 15 at the time! What an incredible story, and it's told really well too, and with admirable honesty. There's no dirt dishing here, like so many other Beatles books, but there is a refreshingly candid look at the personalities involved. George Martin didn't do everything he claimed he did, and John wasn't really the leader of the band, not in the studio, anyway -- Paul was. Ringo was as good a drummer as we always thought he was, but he was also very quiet and tended to say little, though when he did come up with a comment, it was usually a gem. Emerick's portrait of George Harrison is perhaps the most interesting one. Harrison apparently wasn't all that great a guitarist in the early days, at least not when the red Recording light came on (of course, he was only 19 when Emerick first heard him play), but he got better and better as the years went on, and it's fascinating to see the way he grows in stature in Emerick's eyes as the band get further along in their musical development. By the end, you can tell that Emerick has almost as much admiration for him as he does for the 'musician's musician' Paul and the ever-mercurial but phenomenally talented John. I had a blast reading this book, and it got me to get out all my old Beatles records and give them a spin one more time... only this time, knowing the stories behind the making of them, I heard all those classic recordings with new ears. A great read, and a lot of fun. Highly recommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2006

    Another 5th Beatle

    Here once again we have another candidate vying for the title of fifth Beatle. Although I found the book interesting and insightful at times, the put downs of Harrison's playing and George Martin's over influence were at time disturbing and with out rebuttle questionably acurate. It would be nice to hear some responding editorial from others who also were lucky enough to be in on some of these sessions. Also, the they never could have done it without me attitude seems a bit over the top considering the four lads we are talking about.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2006

    Different

    I, too, found the constant put downs of George Harrison upsetting. I just don't see how he could have remained in the greatest band of all time without being one of the best lead guitarists of all time. Maybe Eric Clapton could shed some light on this, since he was a very good friend of Harrison's. I just don't understand that part. Also, Lennon did not suffer fools gladly and would not have stood for the seemingly inept playing. For that matter, the 'perfectionist deluxe' Mr. McCartney surely would not have stood for sub standard or 'take after take' lead guitar playing, even if he DID play some of the leads. Even the ego maniacal Sir Paul would agree he can't do everything himself. Maybe Emerick and Harrison just did not get along, but I do not for one minute think that McCartney took over as many leads as Emerick claims. This seques into the fact that throughout the book, Emerick pushes the point home that Paul and he had a mutual admiration society going on. Poor Ringo...the picture painted of him was that most of the time he was playing chess. Aside from the arrogant, consistent pats on the back, the constant put downs of Harrison were a real turn off. I would like to hear what Paul and Ringo have to say about these behind closed doors sessions and if they were as Emerick claims.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2006

    George Bashing?

    Having just finished the book prior to reading the above reviews and not being partisan to any of the Fab Four, I thought that Emerick's mentions of George's failings as a lead guitarist in the studio were less bashing than a record of his development. If those above who run the book down based upon those remarks actually finished the book, he describes in detail his contention that, of all the Beatles, George was the one who grew the most musically during his tenure with the band and that by the time they broke up, he had become fully capable of standing on his own feet as a musician. I felt this was a 'bend over backwards' balanced account of the band 'as I saw them.' Emerick was never involved with them personally and this is a fascinating memoir about recording the greatest band that ever was or, perhaps, ever will be.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2006

    Okay

    While there were some new insights into the Beatles recording sessions, there was also an equal amount of rehashed material. I found Emerick's portrayal of George Harrison distressing but it could very well be George was very much as Emerick described. I think the book was embellished to a certain degree, as others have said, most coming from Emerick's own peers at EMI. It's an interesting read but far less than what I had expected.

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