Synopses & Reviews
Born just outside London in 1942, Glyn Johns was sixteen years old at the dawn of rock and roll. His big break as a producer came on the Steve Miller Bandand#8217;s debut album, Children of the Future
, and he went on to engineer or produce iconic albums for the best in the business: Abbey Road
with the Beatles, Led Zeppelinand#8217;s and the Eaglesand#8217; debuts, Whoand#8217;s Next
by the Who, and many others. Even more impressive, Johns was perhaps the only person on a given day in the studio who was entirely sober, and so he is one of the most reliable and clear-eyed insiders to tell these stories today.
In this entertaining and observant memoir, Johns takes us on a tour of his world during the heady years of the sixties, with beguiling stories that will delight music fans the world over: he remembers helping to get the Steve Miller Band released from jail shortly after their arrival in London, he recalls his impressions of John and Yoko during the Let It Be sessions, and he recounts running into Bob Dylan at JFK and being askedand#160; to work on a collaborative album with him, the Stones, and the Beatles, which never came to pass. Johns was there during some of the most iconic moments in rock history, including the Stonesand#8217; first European tour, Jimi Hendrixand#8217;s appearance at Albert Hall in London, and the Beatlesand#8217; final performance on the roof of their Savile Row recording studio.
Johnsand#8217;s career has been long and prolific, and heand#8217;s still at itand#151;over the last two decades he has worked with Crosby, Stills and Nash; Emmylou Harris; Linda Ronstadt; Band of Horses; and, most recently, Ryan Adams. Sound Man provides a firsthand glimpse into the art of making music and reveals how the industryand#151;like musicians themselvesand#151;has changed since those freewheeling first years of rock and roll.
Unlike other books detailing the groups recording history, Emericks provides the kind of day-to-day experience of what it was like working with the worlds most famous rock group. (The Washington Post
There have been hundreds of books about the Beatles, but only a handful from insiders. And for seven years, Emerick was a witness to history who worked alongside the Fab Four and producer George Martin. (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland)
and#8220;Glyn Johns was there. He was there at some of the most important recording sessions in Rock and Roll. Reading his book, you are standing beside him as he sets up the studio in readiness for the arrival of groups like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. For me it is a fantastic romp through the pages of Rock and Roll history.and#8221;
and#8212;Sir Paul McCartney
and#8220;Glyn Johns has been a very important person in my recording life (and also his brother Andy).and#160; Glyn was the first recording engineer who helped me to understand recording and through that he was very supportive in introducing me to a lot of sessions with important people such as Ben Sidren, Leon Russell, Ronnie Lane, Pete Townshend and Howling Wolf. This together, of course, with many of the great recordings he did with us. He is one of the best.and#8221;
and#8220;Sound Man will make readers aware of the many sides of Glyn Johns, a giant of a man and one of my best friends from the moment we met in 1963 to present day. Apart from his genius behind the faders and success as the producer of myriad hits, his humor comes through here, together with his unfailing desire to do the very best work he could in the face of some frighteningly egotistical artists.and#8221;and#8212;Bill Wyman
and#8220;If you remember the sixties then you probably weren't there, unless of course your name is Glyn Johns. Sound Man is an intimate, humorous journey through the corridors of the music industry, as told by one of the greatest record producers of all time. I'm proud to be mentioned here and there, and to have worked with Johns on so many memorable occasions. A great read!and#8221;
and#8220;Glyn Johns was the most sought after sound engineer at the time when the recording industry was just exploding in the early 60s in London. He soon became the first choice of the artists who wrote their own songs and wanted a producer who could create for them a great sound for their recordings. He was always a strong and direct influence on the talent he worked with, and his records sounded brilliant! He soon became one of the very few truly great record producers and remained so over the last fifty years. Reading Sound Man reminded me of just how many incredible people he worked with and how many great iconic records he made. It's fantastic reading.and#8221;
and#8212;Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records
and#8220;Sound Man opens with a declaration: A record producer has to have an opinion and the ego to express it more convincingly than anyone else. So Glyn Johns has stood his ground with a few big-headed rock stars? I must be the exception. I've only had transcendental moments in the studio with Johns. Returning to the control room after a studio take I often felt like running: the joy of hearing what Johns had created out of the glue-and-string that was The Who was like a drug. He is an artist himself of supreme talent and experience.and#8221;
and#8220;Sound Man is filled with remarkable stories that only Johns can tell: vouching for the Steve Miller band in London after a hash-filled fruitcake was found in their luggage; nervously going through customs with the Rolling Stones knowing Brian Jones was carrying Mick Jaggerand#8217;s stashand#8230; the detail with which he recounts his lifeand#8217;s work is incredible.and#8221;
and#8212;Los Angeles Magazine
An engineer who worked with the Beatles during the productions of "Revolver," "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," and other albums describes the innovative recording techniques he utilized throughout the course of his career, shares his insights into the band's creative processes, and remembers their meteoric rise. Reprint.
From the Beatles' recording engineer Geoff Emerick comes a fascinating memoirfeaturing never-before-told stories of the Fab Four.
Geoff Emerick became an assistant engineer at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in 1962 at age fifteen, and was present as a new band called the Beatles recorded their first songs. He later worked with the Beatles as they recorded their singles She Loves You and I Want to Hold Your Hand, the songs that would propel them to international superstardom. In 1964 he would witness the transformation of this young and playful group from Liverpool into professional, polished musicians as they put to tape classic songs such as Eight Days A Week and I Feel Fine.
Then, in 1966, at age nineteen, Geoff Emerick became the Beatles chief engineer, the man responsible for their distinctive sound as they recorded the classic album Revolver, in which they pioneered innovative recording techniques that changed the course of rock history. Emerick would also engineer the monumental Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road albums, considered by many the greatest rock recordings of all time. In Here, There and Everywhere he reveals the creative process of the band in the studio, and describes how he achieved the sounds on their most famous songs. Emerick also brings to light the personal dynamics of the band, from the relentless (and increasingly mean-spirited) competition between Lennon and McCartney to the infighting and frustration that eventually brought a bitter end to the greatest rock band the world has ever known.
A memoir of a remarkable rock-and-roll career from Glyn Johns, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame producer and sound engineer whose resumand#233; includes work with the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, the Who, the Clash, and many more.
About the Author
One of the best-regarded recording engineers and producers in the world, Geoff Emerick
has worked with such major artists as Elvis Costello, Cheap Trick, and Jeff Beck. He has won four Grammy Awards, including a Technical Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.
Howard Massey is a veteran music journalist and the author of eleven books. As a recording engineer, he has worked with major artists such as Elvis Costello and Kraftwerk.