The Beatles’ first EMI tape
The late Geoff Emerick worked as sound engineer for The Beatles from 1966. But he was present right from the beginning. And now it turns out that the engineer, who died in 2018, has left behind a tape recording from that first session in 1962.
It was June 6, 1962 that John, Paul, George and Pete for the first time set foot inside the Abbey Road studio complex and embarked on their recording career. For Pete, it would also be the last time, but nobody knew at the time.
In Studio 2, which would later become a permanent hangout, they first played through a number of songs, before attempting a recording of four songs in this order: “Besame Mucho”, “Love Me Do”, “PS I Love You” and ” Ask Me Why ». They were in the studio from 7pm to 10pm, according to the EMI protocol.
Now it turns out that Geoff Emerick has kept a tape recording from that day, a recording that he had been asked to bin. On Anthology vol. 1, the version of “Love Me Do” from this recording was preserved, thanks to a demo George Martin’s wife found in a closet. Bootleggers had already released “Besame Mucho” earlier and already back in the eighties I was told that the full tape was in the hands of a private collector. If Geoff had the tape, why didn’t he submit it for the Anthology series?
Now ownership of Emerick’s tape will be tried in court. On Tuesday, the case starts between Emerick’s family and Universal Music about who actually owns the tape, which has been estimated to have a value of approximately £ 5 million.
In this interview from 2016 with Emerick, there is a little bit of banter between the interviewer, Emerick and Dave Harries about this, when the interviewer asks Emerick: “Have you got any tape which no one has ever heard? This is between you and me.” Emerick points out that the camera is on, but after muttering a bit, he clearly says “Yes!”. The conversation is between 7.10 to 8.00 in the clip.