George Peckham - Apple
Geoff Emerick was the Beatles engineer for many years at Abbey Road. It was Geoff who came up with the idea when ‘Sgt. Pepper’ was to be recorded to link up tape machines together to get more multi track recordings for them. Also it was Geoff that I used to pester all the time about recording and all techniques. When he first came to join Apple Studios he saw my face and said “Oh, no, what’s he doing here?” I just laughed and said, to his relief, “Don’t worry, Geoff, I’ve learned what all the knobs and switches do now.”
Anyway Apple Electronics at Boston Place was much smaller than 3 Savile Row and we had to make do with it. I had built up quite a large clientele by now as I had been going around the clubs drinking with pals from the music industry and with bands which I knew from when I was in a band myself.
The consensus was that at last there is a cutting room where you can actually attend the mastering of your record and discuss what you would like it to sound like. Because early on in those days it was always done at the record labels discretion not the artists.
I had previously had to ask the Beatles if we could take on outside work to cut other people’s records. They were so excited that their studio was now looking more like a business, but I explained that should they be doing one of their late night sessions at Abbey Road, they might want a demo of the previous nights work and I may have a client booked in. So I asked if this situation happened would they bear with me till I had finished the clients work and then I could cut their tapes then.
They all agreed to this but, as sod’s law will, the first to land on me was John with tapes under his arm. “I need these cut and up in my office in an hour.” I explained to John that I was working on someone’s job and after a bit of moaning I reminded him of our agreement and he said “Yes, you’re right, we did make that arrangement. How long before I can have my acetates?” I said about one and a half hours, which he agreed to and I made sure that he had them by then.
The next one to turn up with tapes under his arm was George, tired, but buzzing about getting his acetates again. It was the same situation with the same acknowledgement that we did have this agreement which they accepted. That was a relief.
It became quite fun for them to bump into friends and others which they had not met before as on this level it was more
civilized just having a chat and not under any pressure from the Press.
While at Boston Place the work load got really busy and the accounts department couldn’t believe just how much money was passing through the books. Everyone seemed happy ‘till George approached me asking would I like to come with him to America to oversee the mastering of his “All Things Must Pass” LP as it was just the sound he loved on the LP. He wanted me to ensure that the USA release would match the British one exactly.
I was over the moon as at that time I had mastered “My Sweet Lord” which was number one in the charts both sides of the Atlantic and I was to go to America. I had never been there before. It was very exciting being chauffeur driven to the Airport, flying to the ‘States and being chauffeur driven when I got there to my hotel, the Americana in Manhattan.
The first day I was allowed to take it easy to get over the traveling, the second day I was collected from the hotel and taken to Apple Records New York, situated in Allen Klein’s offices. This was to have a meeting (as they do) about getting George’s LP mastered at a Studio called Media Sound.