IT WAS FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY- JULY 16, 1968–DISORDER AT ABBEY ROAD ENGINEER GEOFF EMERICK QUITS WORKING WITH FIGHTING BEATLES

 

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It was fifty years ago today- July 16, 1968- Abbey Road engineer Geoff Emerick who had been working with The Beatles in the studio since the beginning of Revolver back in 1966 quit due to the bickering that was going on between the members of the group. The song they were working on that day was John Lennon’s “Cry Baby Cry.”

I lost interest in the White Album because they were really arguing amongst themselves and swearing at each other. The expletives were really flying. There was one instance just before I left when they were doing Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da for the umpteenth time. Paul was re-recording the vocal again and George Martin made some remark about how he should be lilting onto the half-beat or whatever and Paul, in no refined way, said something to the effect of ‘Well you come down and sing it’. I said to George ‘Look, I’ve had enough. I want to leave. I don’t want to know any more.’ George said ‘Well, leave at the end of the week’ – I think it was a Monday or Tuesday – but I said ‘No, I want to leave now, this very minute, and that was it.
Geoff Emerick
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn
Emerick did leave but was brought back to work on several projects in early 1969 and came back in July 1969 at the request of Paul McCartney to help on what would be The Beatles last recording- Abbey Road. Abbey Road was originally going to be called Everest- for the brand of cigarettes that Emerick smoked.
 A dozen years ago Emerick released his book “Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording The Beatles.: He has been outspoken over the years about Beatles projects- he wasn’t fond of the Love idea or the remastering last year of Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
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4 responses to “IT WAS FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY- JULY 16, 1968–DISORDER AT ABBEY ROAD ENGINEER GEOFF EMERICK QUITS WORKING WITH FIGHTING BEATLES

  1. If you think about it, it’s pretty amazing that The Beatles were still able to record some of the best music ever written despite of all the ugly fighting. Of course, creative conflict can be productive as long as it doesn’t go overboard. In this case, it certainly sounded like it was crossing line. And yet somehow they still managed…

    • Yes- I have always found it amazing after they had recorded Let It Be- my least favorite Beatles album- although it is still a good album–with all the fighting going on- how they were able to put it together and record Abbey Road– It was like they knew this was the end- let’s end with the highest note possible. And they did.

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