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Author Topic: Geoff Emerick  (Read 20605 times)

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BlueMeanie

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Re: Geoff Emerick
« Reply #40 on: February 02, 2007, 03:02:22 PM »

Interesting discussion. I think Paul was definately the techy one. There are many more pictures of Paul behind the mixing desk. And even when they're all there, Paul's the one looking interested. I don't think George was a great guitarist, and I never have. He was competent, but I don't think he ever really progressed much technically, which is maybe why he developed his slide style more after the break up. John was a better musician than many people give him credit for. He even played lead on many songs that people think is George. And I have to say, I'm more a George fan than a John fan!
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raxo

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Re: Geoff Emerick
« Reply #41 on: February 02, 2007, 04:50:13 PM »

Quote from: 483
[...]He was competent, but I don't think he ever really progressed much technically, which is maybe why he developed his slide style more after the break up. [...]

George discovered slide guitar in December 1969 (or that it was he usualley said) ... above I posted three links from one 1990 interview and where he told how it all was at that time: sitar-guitar-slide ... and a lot about their famous guitars and songs too ... quite interesting, in my opinion!!!:
Quote from: 297
[...]
These other three are interesting links too (in the 3rd one George explains that he was into sitar and tried to bet back to the guitar when there were a lot of guitar heroes)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8q7Z6VzSjuI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJgineevJDA&mode=related&search=
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIip0blvNAo&mode=related&search=
[...]

Quote from: 483
[...]And I have to say, I'm more a George fan than a John fan!

Yep, I usualley try to be fair to them and I can agree with you here! :P

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raxo

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Re: Geoff Emerick
« Reply #42 on: February 07, 2007, 04:40:19 PM »

Off-topic somehow but harihead, what does Leng's book says about the inspiration for Isn't It A Pity?
Quote from: 297
[...]
These other three are interesting links too (in the 3rd one George explains that he was into sitar and tried to bet back to the guitar when there were a lot of guitar heroes)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8q7Z6VzSjuI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJgineevJDA&mode=related&search=
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIip0blvNAo&mode=related&search=
[...]

In the 3rd link, George said tht he somehow composed it because of Patti (amazing moment when Eric was asked about his songs about Patti!!!)
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adamzero

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Re: Geoff Emerick
« Reply #43 on: February 08, 2007, 02:15:22 AM »

I think George is totally underrated as a guitarist--he was doing a pretty good Eddie Cochran/Chet Atkins licks in England when very few of the natives had mastered that sound (and coming up with original parts for original songs--when you watch the Sullivan shows there's as much applause for George's solos as the Little Richard "woooos").

Technical expertise on an instrument is one thing.  Thinking melodically can be another.  George was no shredder, but the little flamenco run on The White Album ain't no amateur.  George is really nice in coming up with contrapuntal stuff on the guitar parts/chord patterns.  

And Your Bird Can Sing is an amazing part--was in 1966, is today.  Maybe it took him a couple takes to record it, but I'd take it over all the noodley mush you hear people rave about.  

I think Geoff Emerick was a good engineer, but no producer.  I know he's got grammies and worked with Nelly McKay, but he's bland if you ask me.  He produced Elvis Costello's "Imperial Bedroom" which is an almost great album, but too "overlush" for my taste.  I wonder how George Martin would have done it.  With a lot more taste?

If you look at Geoff's recording career, he's worked mostly with lightweight "pop" groups, not serious artists like John Lennon.  I wonder if he ever really got Lennon, or George for that matter.

And if Ringo don't like you, mate, maybe there's something with you.
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jt10824

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Re: Geoff Emerick
« Reply #44 on: February 11, 2007, 08:19:56 PM »

Quote from: 551
I really enjoyed reading about how Paul and John would develop songs. I just get a little weary of George getting knocked because we have such a fascination with quickness in our culture that we can't appreciate any other creative method.

I don't think Emerick ever "knocks" George because of the amount of time he took creating and playing his solos.  He simply reports that it often did take quite a bit of time (at least in the early days) and that this would sometimes provoke some eye-rolling from Paul (who was always ready to show up GH in the studio), John (who was always impatient, period), and George Martin (who was always cognizant of the clock ticking and, in the early days at least, how much money it was costing for studio time).  I think a lot of people are mistaking Emerick's dispassionate commentary and (from his perspective) truthful reporting of Harrison's abilities and demeanor as "knocking."  If you read his book closely, you will se that he actually rarely expresses a negative opinion of Harrison at all, other than to state that he found him to be "furtive" and "suspicious"... and to admit honestly that, as a result, the two of them never had good chemistry together.  GH mellowed out tremendously after he discovered Indian music and the Beatles decided to stop touring, which he hated, and Emerick points this out too.  To me, one of the most interesting things about the book is that it allows us to witness, up close, the maturing of Harrison, from a wet-behind-the-ears 19-year old kid learning his craft to a seasoned, talented songwriter and guitarist... and the way he wins Geoff over as those talents blossom and his personality mellows.

Quote from: 551
...Geoff in his book describes how George laid down a new version of the solo live while the orchestra was playing (they only had one track left to use, so the two instrument pieces had to be recorded simultaneously). In one of Geoff's rare moments of (eventually) appreciating George, he writes (paraphrasing), "Oh, crud, this is going to take all night, the orchestra costs a fortune, he'll screw it up..." yadda yadda yah (Geoff's usual commentary regarding George). To Geoff's surprise, George is completely calm and pulls off this stunningly beautiful solo that is note perfect in time with the orchestra.

That is a completely inaccurate characterization.  He doesn't write anything such thing, even in paraphrase.  Here is EXACTLY what Emerick says, in total, about George's playing on that session:

"The only hitch came when George Harrison announced that he wanted to redo the guitar solo on 'Something.' We were perfectly willing to accommodate him, but the problem was that there was only one track available, and we needed to use it for the orchestra. The only solution was for him to play it live, right along with the orchestra, so we could record them simultaneously. I was enormously impressed when he nonchalantly said, 'Okay, let's do that' -- it took a lot of nerve and self-confidence to be willing to put himself under that kind of pressure. George had to play the solo correctly all the way through, without punch-ins, because the sound coming from his guitar amp would leak onto the other mics, and he wouldn't get a lot of whacks at it because it was costing quite a lot to have that orchestra there. But he managed to play the intricate solo with ease, and by the end of the long night both his songs were completed and ready to be mixed."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but there isn't a single negative characterization there, only sheer admiration.
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jt10824

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Re: Geoff Emerick
« Reply #45 on: February 11, 2007, 08:27:26 PM »

Quote from: 216
The whole George guitar playing thing in Emerick's book was very interesting. I was surprised at how incompetent he made George seem. But then he also made John look very technically challenged, incredibly moody, and overly eccentric as well. It seemed like John didn't understand how anything worked and had not patience or interest in ever finding out and that he was nasty and inconsiderate one minute and a sweet angel the next. Paul on the other hand seemed to be able to accomplish everything with ease, had all the groundbreaking ideas, and was always friendly and accommodating no matter what the situation. This somehow made me question Emerick's perception on things. He also made Ringo out to be unfriendly and sort of underhanded. Now either Paul is the real genius behind the Beatles and an all around great guy that guided the others in such a way that he alone should be credited with making them the biggest band in the world, or Geoff's opinion on the four guys is somewhat tainted by his friendship with the McCartney. All I'm saying is that I'm not sure his memory of things is totally accurate.

Or perhaps his opinion was simply formed by a professional admiration for Paul's skills in the studio and his unquestioned ability as their chief arranger and the bandmember most interested in the recording process.  I honestly don't think their friendship had all that much to do with Emerick's view on things... unless you're suggesting that authors never say anything nice about people unless they are friends with them. Emerick has plenty of positive things to say about all the Beatles, and George Martin, and Linda McCartney, and even Yoko, in his book but he never claims to have been friends with all of them.

That having been said, of course nobody's memory of things is always totally accurate, especially of events that occurred decades before.  But I noted that most if not all of Emerick's assistant engineers were interviewed for the book, which makes me think that his version of events is probably a collective recollection, and therefore probably pretty darn close.
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jt10824

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Re: Geoff Emerick
« Reply #46 on: February 11, 2007, 08:39:47 PM »

Quote from: 9
I think George is totally underrated as a guitarist... George was no shredder, but the little flamenco run on The White Album ain't no amateur.

Actually, that little flamenco run wasn't played by any of the Beatles -- it's a single note on the mellotron, one of their stock tapes.

Quote from: 9
And Your Bird Can Sing is an amazing part--was in 1966, is today.  Maybe it took him a couple takes to record it, but I'd take it over all the noodley mush you hear people rave about.

Actually, those guitar parts were played simultaneously by John and George, and since it's his song, I'd be willing to wager that it was Lennon who came up with it.  That said, I agree with your assessment -- it's a great part and it's superbly played by the two of them.  

Quote from: 9
I think Geoff Emerick was a good engineer, but no producer.  I know he's got grammies and worked with Nelly McKay, but he's bland if you ask me.  He produced Elvis Costello's "Imperial Bedroom" which is an almost great album, but too "overlush" for my taste.  I wonder how George Martin would have done it.  With a lot more taste?.

Emerick's never done much production, which is, I am sure, by choice.  But obviously Elvis Costello was extremely pleased with the job Emerick did on "Imperial Bedroom" -- he says as much in the sleeve notes and in the Foreword he wrote for Geoff's book -- and the proof is that Emerick was invited to produce a second EC album, "All This Useless Beauty."  So I guess his work was done to Elvis's taste, if not yours.   :)

Quote from: 9
If you look at Geoff's recording career, he's worked mostly with lightweight "pop" groups, not serious artists like John Lennon.  I wonder if he ever really got Lennon, or George for that matter.

Ummm, I guess you don't consider Jeff Beck a "serious artist"?  Or the Mahavishnu Orchestra?  Or Elvis Costello?  Or Nellie McKay?

Quote from: 9
And if Ringo don't like you, mate, maybe there's something with you.

I presume you mean something wrong with you. Where did you hear that Ringo doesn't like Emerick? He hired him to record his first solo album, and then hired him again years later to mix "Vertical Man," and has worked with him (quite happily, from all accounts) on various McCartney solo projects and on the Threetles releases "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love."

I know I'm a new member here, and I don't mean to be butting in (I actually really love this board, and have a lot of respect for its members), but I believe in setting the record straight and I don't believe in false rumors or mischaracterizations.  Everyone is of course entitled to their opinion of Emerick's book (personally, like many of you here, I loved it) or anything else but if you're going to be telling us you dislike something for whatever reason, at least get your facts straight.  
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adamzero

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Re: Geoff Emerick
« Reply #47 on: February 11, 2007, 09:22:49 PM »

Damn you, jt10824, you've got me because you've obviously read the book and I haven't!   ;D

Seriously, though, I appreciate your point-by-point critique.  Very enlightening.  I didn't realize that was a mellotron on the white album.  

I guess my problem with Imperial Bedroom is as much with some of the songs as the production (that seem Toby-Mug Paul: "And in Every Home" and "Boy with a Problem" compared to classics like "A Man out of Time" and "Beyond Belief").  I've got All This Useless Beauty, and have forced myself to listen to it, but it just hasn't stuck with me.

As far as facts go, I've found they are seldom straight.  Somebody's subjective memory has to record them one way or another.  But as Gertrude Stein once wrote a mellotron is a mellotron is a mellotron.





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raxo

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Re: Geoff Emerick
« Reply #48 on: February 11, 2007, 09:49:45 PM »

Quote from: 582
Actually, that little flamenco run wasn't played by any of the Beatles -- it's a single note on the mellotron, one of their stock tapes.
[...]

Seems to be so ...
http://www.beatletracks.com/barchive/bungalow.html

Welcome to the forums, jt10824 ... hope you'll enjoy them! :)
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GreenApple

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Re: Geoff Emerick
« Reply #49 on: February 11, 2007, 10:00:22 PM »

I always thought it wasn't any of The Beatles playing that.
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jt10824

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Re: Geoff Emerick
« Reply #50 on: February 11, 2007, 10:27:47 PM »

Quote from: 9
But as Gertrude Stein once wrote a mellotron is a mellotron is a mellotron.

Was that Gertrude Stein?  I always thought it was Noel Coward.   ;D
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adamzero

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Re: Geoff Emerick
« Reply #51 on: February 12, 2007, 01:43:21 AM »

No, I believe Noel was the one who originally wrote an obscure cha-cha "She Loves You (Yes, Yes, Yes)" which the thieving Beatles made a hit out of.  
  


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jt10824

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Re: Geoff Emerick
« Reply #52 on: February 12, 2007, 03:21:49 AM »

Quote from: 9
No, I believe Noel was the one who originally wrote an obscure cha-cha "She Loves You (Yes, Yes, Yes)" which the thieving Beatles made a hit out of.

Did he write that too?  I knew he wrote "I'll Get You" (I'll get you / in the end) for the Fabs.
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adamzero

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Re: Geoff Emerick
« Reply #53 on: February 14, 2007, 03:51:17 AM »

I've heard that Noel was considered as a replacement for John after John said he was quitting in "69."  Paul thought they could just stick a beatle wig on the clever wordsmith--plus some granny glasses--and the world wouldn't know the difference.  They had a whole "When I'm 64" song and dance gag routine worked out.

Now that's entertainment!

In fact, you can hear the reference in "Let it Be" to Charles Hawtrey, Noel's mentor on the British stage.  Lennon was so drugged up by this time that Noel was there off camera, feeding him lines.  

Paul, in fact, was so enamored of the quick-witted and quicker-writing Noel that he even considered making his first solo album to be a Noel Coward tribute, featuring the George Martin  Paul McCartney Orchestra.  But the whole thing was scotched when an exasperated Noel insisted that Liverpool Paul take lessons in proper English pronunciation.  In fact, a conniption fit probably led to Coward's death in 1973.  Heartbroken, Paul wrote the elegaic "Live and Let Die" as a tribute.

Paul later did complete a song for a 1980s Coward tribute.  But the world has only a glimpse of what might have "been" (rhymes with "seen").

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jt10824

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Re: Geoff Emerick
« Reply #54 on: February 21, 2007, 08:16:31 PM »

The Geoff Emerick book has just been released in paperback!   :)  Only about ten bucks on Amazon...

http://www.macca-central.com/macca-news/morenews.php?id=2382
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An Apple Beatle

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Re: Geoff Emerick
« Reply #55 on: February 22, 2007, 03:06:04 AM »

Didn't get it for Xmas...Thats me finally convinced...Just ordered thanks JT
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Revolution

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Re: Geoff Emerick
« Reply #56 on: February 22, 2007, 05:41:56 AM »

Gotta look into this. Thanx!!!!!!!!!! ;)
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Revolution

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Re: Geoff Emerick
« Reply #57 on: February 22, 2007, 05:45:37 AM »

 8)
Quote from: 297
George discovered slide guitar in December 1969 (or that it was he usualley said) ... above I posted three links from one 1990 interview and where he told how it all was at that time: sitar-guitar-slide ... and a lot about their famous guitars and songs too ... quite interesting, in my opinion!!!:


Yep, I usualley try to be fair to them and I can agree with you here! :P


George is  Very  Underrated as a   Slide guitarist,imo. No Ry Cooder, but Great.   .
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harihead

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Re: Geoff Emerick
« Reply #58 on: February 22, 2007, 07:57:07 PM »

Quote from: jt10824
To me, one of the most interesting things about the book is that it allows us to witness, up close, the maturing of Harrison, from a wet-behind-the-ears 19-year old kid learning his craft to a seasoned, talented songwriter and guitarist... and the way he wins Geoff over as those talents blossom and his personality mellows.

Hi, JT. What a lovely response! Thanks to your tip, I have just ordered the book from Amazon. My memory does vary from yours in how Geoff presents certain incidents. After the book arrives, I'll review the part about the Something solo and see if I can pinpoint what it was that struck me in that passage. My usual habit is to read the book from the library first, and if I like it, then order it. So I didn't have the book handy when I wrote my post. I hope my impressions will be more favorable the second time around. I did enjoy the book, and found it to be one of the most readable ever published on the Beatles.

Welcome to the forums! I'm quite new myself, and I really enjoy it here. I find you can have actual discussions as opposed to one-line responses, which appeals to me. Sorry for the late reply, but I was traveling and only recently returned home. I'm still catching up. Cheers!
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harihead

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Re: Geoff Emerick
« Reply #59 on: February 22, 2007, 08:03:53 PM »

OT:
Quote from: 297
Off-topic somehow but harihead, what does Leng's book says about the inspiration for Isn't It A Pity?
In the 3rd link, George said tht he somehow composed it because of Patti (amazing moment when Eric was asked about his songs about Patti!!!)
Hi, Raxo! Sorry for the late response (see note to JT above). Leng does not speculate as to the inspiration here. He describes the song as George's "very personal reaction to emotional stress" and "a shared sigh." No speculations as to origin; sorry!

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All you've got to do is choose love.  That's how I live it now.  I learned a long time ago, I can feed the birds in my garden.  I can't feed them all. -- Ringo Starr, Rolling Stone magazine, May 2007<br />
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