JERRY HAMMACK – THE BEATLES RECORDING REFERENCE MANUAL: VOLUME 1: MY BONNIE THROUGH BEATLES FOR SALE (1961-1964)
Createspace Independent Publishing Platform – July 7, 2017
ISBN – 978-1-548-0239-35
Book Review By Aaron Badgley
It is 2017, and not only are there still books coming out about The Beatles, authors, like Jerry Hammack, find new areas to write about and fill certain voids. I have been fortunate this year to read many books about The Beatles and learn new and interesting facts. Hammack has added to that library. The Beatles Recording Reference Manual: Volume 1: My Bonnie Through Beatles For Sale (1961 – 1964) is a fantastic resource that I know I will be going back to again and again.
Hammack is a musician, engineer and producer in his own right. As such, he has an understanding of the recording process and is able to explain recording processes and techniques. He also has a solid understanding of the history of recording and is able to contextualize The Beatles and their recordings.
What Hammack has done is sort through all the available material and brought everything together to assemble the ultimate recording reference book. He has used only reliable material and goes to great lengths to explain what made the grade as far as research is concerned and what did not. He also consulted the original tapes and listened to hours upon hours of outtakes.
He has taken all of this information, which is scattered throughout many texts, and assembled everything together in one convenient resource. The book is written in a readable manner and easy to find the information. More importantly, he has included every song. He is detailed and thorough. This serves as an excellent discography as well. Not only are all sessions noted, but how and when the songs were issued.
Hammack also notes the instruments and equipment The Beatles used in their sessions, which adds to the context of this book. It really is a comprehensive resource guide to their recordings. In compiling his research he is able to come up with some revelations and lay some myths to rest. Perhaps Jimmy Nicol (the drummer who filled in for Ringo for part of their 1964 tour of Sweden and Australia) actually worked in the studio with The Beatles. What happened to the original master tapes of “She Loves You”, and what about Lennon’s acoustic Gibson. All fascinating facts come out in this book.
The Beatles Recording Reference Manual: Volume 1: My Bonnie Through Beatles For Sale (1961 – 1964) is an excellent resource guide and perfect for fans and musicians. The information has been there, but now it is all in one text. Look forward to the next volumes in this set, as The Beatles recordings become more complicated and technical.