Currently Browsing: Books

Before Here, There, and Everywhere

herethereeverywhereThis post is a raving, all thumbs up review of Here, There, and Everywhere by Geoff Emerick with Howard Massey. This is the story of a 19-year-old EMI employee being assigned by George Martin to record the Beatles. Incredible insight into the old world of studio engineering as it breaks through its own stuffiness and yields to new technology, new sounds, and new ways of looking at sounds. They learned how to produce and use sounds artistically – while having to fight white lab coats and suits to be able to do it!

Geoff tells cool, problem-solving stories.  One early story describes how he tries to satisfy each band member’s dream of their sound. He explains that Paul would ask for specific things, like more timpani, where John would want to sound like “the Dali Lama on top of a mountain,” and Geoff’s job was to fulfill these dreams. (John’s dream was realized with a Hammond and a Leslie.)

The descriptions of how recording used to work at what would become Abbey Road Studios, and how trying to serve the artist forced changes in the conservative company and its recording methods is fascinating, and the author has a calm, technical viewpoint that made the book easily devour-able and I was sad that it ended. If you love recording, companies in transition, the Beatles – you will love this book.



Sonic Boom

Enjoy reading about the history of audio technology?  I would like to recommend the following highly enjoyable read:

Sonic Boom by Peter Blecha

This book is the title of the post because it really felt like a sonic boom! If you were anywhere around the Northwest in the ’50s,’60s,’70s ’80s – this book will really take you back – and tell you things about your own time you never knew. Great research into not just the people and the companies, but the music, the usage of instruments – the author is my new hero.

In 1976 I shared a house with a guy who performed as “Hank Rasco and the Wasted Rangers.” I almost dropped the book (but would never now that it’s on my phone!). The author knew about the Wasted Rangers! Other flashbacks were set off by the memory of Heart playing the Aquarius! OMG I was right back in the Aquarius. The level of detail is remarkable, but the true beauty of this book is in the more distant past – I don’t want to give anything away, but I never knew the Northwest had a direct connection to the blues. The English may have listened to the records and evolved their style  from them – but did you know the kids in Seattle not only got to see them live, but the blues musicians actually taught them things and let them play! BB King, Bobby Blue Bland and other hot artists of the day came through the area and excited and inspired musicians directly!

Respect to the author, Peter Blecha. Incredible work.