To start with, I should say I really dig the Beatles. Why is this important? Because their music wasn't my gateway drug. It was a book entitled The Love You Make by Peter Brown and Steven Gaines. That led to my purchase of Revolver, and then I got ahold of Sgt. Pepper.
One day my good friend's pops asked me about my Beatles awakening. I told him what book did it. It was, in fact, from his very shelf.
He gave me a slight wizened frown and said, "I have the best book on the Beatles ever written. It came out recently. I'll lend it to you, and I never lend my books, so you have to promise you'll return it." With that, he oh-so-delicately entrusted me with Here, There and Everywhere. It still had that new-book smell.
I read it. Slowly. Then, as promised, I returned it.
I do think it was the best book on the Beatles ever written. And even if it weren't, I'm sufficiently satisfied with the perspective presented that I'm not off mongering for other ones.
The Emerick narrative, attentively shaped by Massey, betrays an intimacy with the Beatles that stems from both a technical viewpoint and a time investment that was not always pleasant. He doesn't lend the sense that he's writing about them because he was star-stuck, and he wasn't unduly officious about his position in their world.
Emerick describes each of their records with precision and a sharp eye, alongside painstaking accounts of recording equipment that was appearing at the time. (He also broke ground for many different sound elements that are studio stock today.)
What's more, there's no parsing of public rumours or sordid details, no pop interpretation of what must have inspired their songs. Emerick's craft, and Massey's construction of the tale that shaped it, are the true gems.
The Beatles, their hectic world and their playful experiments with people and music are examined with the same technical lens as was used for their albums. But there's feeling, too. Geoff's life and craft were impacted significantly by the Beatles' travails, and the gravity of his experience rises out of the sum of those parts.
The book is clearly not just about them. It's about him, too - possibly most of all.
After I read the book I picked up Abbey Road. It's the album I like best, and it probably wouldn't mean so much if not for Here, There and Everywhere.
Hats off to Massey and Emerick.
To be helpful, and because I've got a recessive groupie gene, I also posted this on Amazon.com. But if you wanna cut right to the chase, buy Here, There and Everywhere. (I really don't think you'll be sorry.)