Ge­off Em­er­ick

Daily Express - - LIVES REMEMBERED - Compiled By ELLY BLAKE

Au­dio en­gi­neer for The Bea­tles BORN DE­CEM­BER 5, 1945 – DIED OC­TO­BER 2, 2018, AGED 72

GE­OFF Em­er­ick spent his ca­reer pro­duc­ing the psy­che­delic sounds that are syn­ony­mous with the Fab Four.

Born the son of a butcher and a dress­maker, Em­er­ick grew up in Crouch End, Lon­don. He left school at 15 to join the record la­bel EMI. Work­ing there as a tech­ni­cian, Em­er­ick learnt the tricks of the trade but grew frus­trated as he was not al­lowed free rein to ex­per­i­ment with sounds.

How­ever in April 1966 his op­por­tu­nity came when The Bea­tles’ reg­u­lar en­gi­neer Nor­man Smith be­came a pro­ducer.

Em­er­ick did his first solo en­gi­neer­ing ses­sion for them on the al­bum Re­volver and was then en­cour­aged to ex­per­i­ment.

When record­ing To­mor­row Never Knows, John Len­non’s vi­sion was for the track to sound like “the Dalai Lama singing on top of a moun­tain”.

As a pi­o­neer of new sounds, it was Em­er­ick’s idea to record him through a Les­lie ro­tat­ing speaker, giv­ing a dis­tinc­tive swirling ef­fect to dis­tort the vo­cal. He was cred­ited by Bea­tles pro­ducer Ge­orge Martin with bring­ing “a new kind of mind to the record­ings, al­ways sug­gest­ing sonic ideas”.

Em­er­ick re­ceived a Grammy for his work on Sgt Pep­per’s Lonely Hearts Club in 1968 and an­other for Abbey Road in 1970.

When The Bea­tles split in 1970 Em­er­ick worked on Paul McCart­ney’s later al­bums and earned his third Grammy for Band On The Run by Wings.

In 1984 he moved to LA where he worked with Elvis Costello, Art Gar­funkel and Kate Bush. Five years later he mar­ried Ni­cole Gra­ham, with McCart­ney as his best man. He gained his fourth Grammy in 2003, a tech­ni­cal award for his over­all con­tri­bu­tion to recorded mu­sic.

Em­er­ick died af­ter a heart at­tack. His wife pre­de­ceased him in 1993.

SOUND WIZARD: Ge­off Em­er­ick

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