Oct. 2, 2018: Beatles Recording Engineer Geoff Emerick Dies

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Geoff Emerick, via his Twitter page

Geoff Emerick, who started working as an assistant recording engineer as a teenager, and went on to become engineer for the Beatles on such monumental works as Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles (aka the White Album), and Abbey Road, died October 2, 2018, at his home in Los Angeles. His death was the result of a heart attack. Emerick, born December 5, 1945, was 72.

Emerick, who began working at EMI Studios (later Abbey Road) in 1962, was brought on as the Beatles’ first engineer by producer George Martin. Emerick ultimately earned Grammy Awards for engineering for Sgt Pepper’s and Abbey Road.

Both Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were full of praise in their tributes to their colleague. “He was a great engineer and friend, and even though The Beatles had many great engineers over the years Geoff was the ONE,” wrote McCartney. “He was smart, fun-loving and the genius behind many of the great sounds on our records.”

Starr wrote, in part, “He was a great engineer, very helpful to all of us in the studio.”

In 1968, he left Abbey Road Studios to oversee construction and serve as studio manager for the Beatles’ Apple Studios. Soon afterwards, he was asked to record The Beatles’ album Abbey Road, along with his longtime assistant Phil McDonald.

Following the Beatles’ break-up, Emerick continued working with Paul McCartney. He was sound engineer for Paul McCartney and Wings’ 1973 album Band on the Run, for which he earned yet another Grammy Award.

Emerick continued to collaborate with George Martin on other projects as an employee of AIR Studios, engineering Cheap Trick’s 1980 LP, All Shook Up. He also engineered the Zombies’ 1968 masterwork, Odessey and Oracle, which was recorded mostly at Abbey Road Studios, as well as works for such classic rock acts as Jeff Beck, Supertramp, and others. He later produced Elvis Costello and the Attractions’ 1982 album, Imperial Bedroom.

In 2003, Emerick received another Grammy Award, for special merit. In recent years, Emerick taught masterclasses in engineering.

Upon hearing the news, Denny Laine, the longtime Wings member, said: “Our condolences to his family during this time. Geoff was a brilliant engineer and a fine man. He was enjoying his work and masterclasses around the country, connecting with the fans. Denny and Geoff had a long history and shared memories, Geoff spoke with Denny about getting back into the studio to record together again. Rest In Peace Geoff. You will be missed.”

In 2006, Emerick published his memoir, Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles.

Related: Musicians we lost in 2018

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