The other Beatle George

George Martin at the EMI REDD.51 Stereosonic 4-track mixing console, where almost all of the Beatles recordings were made until "Abbey Road"
George Martin at the 1959 EMI REDD.51 Stereosonic 4-track console, where almost all of the Beatles recordings after “A Hard Day’s Night” and before “Abbey Road” were produced.

George Martin made it past the 50th anniversary of “Rubber Soul,” the last album engineered by the late Norman “Hurricane” Smith. It would have been nice for him to have lived to see the 50th anniversary of “Revolver,” the first album engineered by Geoff Emerick, but it was not to be.

Another 2016 musical passing

Bill “Will Robinson” Mumy reports on Facebook that Dan Hicks has died. Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks was one of my musical acquisitions in high school that came from listening to WBCN in Boston. Here’s one of their best known recordings.

The first example of Dan Hicks I heard on ‘BCN was “The Jukies’ Ball,” that I heard as sounding like “The Junkie’s Ball.” Later, I scratched the same musical itch by listening to Robert Crumb and His Cheap Suit Serenaders.


John Lennon credited Yoko for the sound of Kate and Cindy in the B-52’s, and he had a point, but only up to a point. Lene Lovich played around with her voice to great effect. Here’s a recent example of how attractive a quirky vocal can be, from Boston’s Heather Maloney. The studio recording has horns, and you’ll be able to tell where they’re supposed to come in.

Johnny D’s in Davis Square, Somerville, MA, where this video was recorded, will be closing soon.