Following the death Tuesday of The Beatles‘ chief recording engineer, Geoff Emerick, Paul McCartney has offered a touching tribute to his old collaborator.
In a message posted on his official website, McCartney recalls first meeting Emerick when Emerick was a young engineer working at London’s Abbey Road Studios, noting that he grew to be “the main engineer that we worked with on many of our Beatles tracks.”
Sir Paul points out that Geoff “had a sense of humor that fitted well with our attitude to work in the studio and was always open to the many new ideas that we threw at him. He grew to understand what we liked to hear and developed all sorts of techniques to achieve this…We spent many exciting hours in the studio and he never failed to come up with the goods.”
After the Beatles breakup, Emerick continued to collaborate with McCartney on many of his albums with Wings and as a solo artist, including Band on the Run.
McCartney reveals that he and Emerick “kept in touch through the years,” and that he saw him earlier that year when Geoff visited him while he was recording Egypt Station in Los Angeles.
“[H]e was his usual cheerful friendly self and gave me the thumbs up to the mixes we played him,” says Paul. “I’ll always remember him with great fondness and I know his work will be long remembered by connoisseurs of sound.”
Emerick’s long resume also includes recordings by The Zombies, Badfinger, America, Cheap Trick and Elvis Costello.
A variety of musicians who worked with or were fans of Emerick also have posted tributes to the studio whiz. Here are some of them:
The Zombies’ Rod Argent: “Geoff was so important to us with his terrific and intuitive talent as a recording engineer, during the time of our recording of Odessey & Oracle in 1967. I remember especially clearly being absolutely knocked out with the great atmosphere he achieved as we laid down ‘Time of the Season’…Geoff immediately captured a sound that was not only highly individual, but also entirely in harmony with the song…We’ll all really miss you Geoff. R.I.P mate, and thanks so much for all you did for us.”
Yoko Ono: “I’m so shocked that Geoff Emerick is no longer with us. He was the best engineer. Not only was he the best engineer, he was very very kind.”
Beatles reissue producer Giles Martin: “RIP @GeoffEmerick one of finest and most innovative engineers to have graced a recording studio. I grew up with him as he worked so much with my father. We have all been touched by the sounds he helped create on the greatest music ever recorded.”
Alan Parsons: “I am saddened by the passing of Geoff Emerick…I had the privilege of working with him on Abbey Road. He was a brilliant engineer and producer. Geoff was my mentor and significantly influenced me in my own career.”
Toto guitarist Steve Lukather: “RIP Geoff Emerick. One of a kind…Honored to have known him and worked with him.”
Billy Idol: “Sad 2 hear #GeoffEmerick Beatles engineer extraordinaire has passed…loved listening to his work…”
Abbey Road Studios: “Geoff Emerick helped transform music recording with his creative flair, innovation and passion, playing a paramount part not only in Abbey Road Studios’ own history, but in music history itself.”
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