… Geoff Emerick, The Beatles’ sound engineer who was responsible for putting together some of The Beatles’ most influential albums? In his book, Here, There and Everywhere, Emerick recalls his encounters with The Beatles, from their first recording session to their final days recording Abbey Road.
On the surface, this is a story about the technical aspects of creating these monumental albums, but beneath that is a fascinating, and ultimately heartbreaking, account of The Beatles’ rise to stardom, their creative triumphs and frustrations, and the pressures that drove the band apart. Emerick takes great pains to accurately portray each Beatle individually, instead of lumping them together as a single entity, and he also does his best to dispel the common myths surrounding the band. For example, George Harrison was always portrayed as “the quiet Beatle,” but to Emerick, George was often sarcastic and cruel, a frustrated artist who wasn’t valued or respected by his band mates.
There’s a lot of technical jargon in this book, but it’s still fascinating to see how the albums were made and exactly how much effort went into recording these monumental songs. We get a firsthand look into their songwriting sessions, their guitar solos, their jokes, and their arguments. We see how John Lennon and Paul McCartney bounced songwriting ideas off of each other, and then how they grew apart and honed their own distinctive sounds. We see George struggling with his guitar solos. We see Ringo sitting in the back of the room while the rest of the band collaborated. We see a lot of things that were never made available to the public.
And even though I knew exactly how and when The Beatles disbanded, it was still heartbreaking to read about their last Abbey Road sessions, knowing that the world would never be treated to another Beatles album. It was like I had experienced their career firsthand, and I felt like I lost something when they broke up.
This book transformed The Beatles from a mythic rock and roll band to a much more complex and frustrated group of artists. Give this book a try – I guarantee you’ll never listen to their music the same way again.
Reviewed by Katie (staff)