Geoff Emerick tape

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Bazilnerk
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Re: Geoff Emerick tape

Post by Bazilnerk »

As explained to me by the Abbey Road Librarian, Cary Anning, what happened back then was that they had limited archive space. If room was getting tight, they would pick a shelf. Go through and keep all the masters but remove and dump session reels, particularly 1inch 4 track, but often 1/4" too. Audition tapes would have been junked as they were not considered for issue. I know there are very few audition tapes for any artist at EMI surviving - I think Manfred Mann's audition exists, but probably by sheer fluke. So whilst some say Everything was dumped in the 70's it's not 100% true. It will be what happened to the missing Please Please Me/With The Beatles session reels. "She Love's You" was gone within less than a year.

They had no archiving policy as such other than, retain all the masters. Things began to change by the mid 60's it seems as more tapes were kept, I can only assume they had more space by then, but then there was the disastrous 1970's purge where someone decided that most 4 tracks tapes were of no use and a large chunk of the archive was junked.

The policy was not to reuse tape because the tapes may already have edits and 2nd hand tape would be more prone to dropouts than new stock. EMI manufactured its own tape, so the supply of new tape was plentiful.

I would have expected that there was a specified way in which tapes were to be disposed of. Evidently this wasn't always followed. Correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't the "Hold Me Tight" etc reel not in the archive, but in the hands of a bootlegger? If that's right I suspect that escaped the same way.
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Lord Reith
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Re: Geoff Emerick tape

Post by Lord Reith »

I think Roger Scott "borrowed" some original reels and the rumour is that they weren't returned. The iTunes boot used a bootleg for some stuff.

It seems astonishing that a load of priceless 4 track masters might have just been taken to a rubbish tip, for anyone who found them to take home. I've read this is exactly what happened to the Australian album masters in 1987: they no longer needed them so they were thrown in a skip and an employee took some of them home. Also the BBC were clearing out sales copies of tv shows in the mid 1970s and according to the people who drove the trucks, they just took the films in their cans and dumped them at the landfill site. Anyone who wanted some nice rare tv only had to be prepared to wear a clothes peg on their nose and wade through the rubbish.

The story about the tape being thrown out might be a ruse. Geoff might have known it would ultimately be thrown out, and so took it thinking "they won't want it!"
Bazilnerk
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Re: Geoff Emerick tape

Post by Bazilnerk »

I believe the reels thrown out by the BBC were often cut in half by a circular saw to make them useless.

Never found anyone who can tell me what was supposed to happen to the thrown EMI reels. I'm sure they weren't supposed to be just thrown in a bin. There may have been some sort of specialist firm that destroyed the tapes for them. But who knows what was "liberated" there may be other tapes out there.

I don't believe the Roger Scott story. Even in the 80's nobody would be allowed to "borrow" any reels. They would have kept a strict record of what went out, and that would only have been to Abbey Road or another designated studio. Scott, I seem to remember, was allowed to hear stuff at Abbey Road by John Barratt (who supplied sneaky tape dubs to him which are probably the source of the John Barratt tapes and the bits used on Scotts radio show). I very much doubt he would have managed to walk out of Abbey Road with a tape. It's far more likely to my mind that the "With The Beatles" session tape was another rescued "junked" tape. All of this is of course guess work.
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Lord Reith
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Re: Geoff Emerick tape

Post by Lord Reith »

Bazilnerk wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 5:22 pm I believe the reels thrown out by the BBC were often cut in half by a circular saw to make them useless.
Yeah they would do that too. There is a really sad story about the Australian guy who made an important BBC documentary about the building of Sydney Opera House in the late 1960s. It was his first tv documentary and he was really proud of it. In the 70s he decided to screen the film for some of his friends and went down to the BBC to arrange a screening, only to be told the master print had been destroyed with the circular saw treatment! He spent decades writing to tv stations across the world looking for another copy with no luck. Happily when the SOH anniversary came up in 2013 he was contacted by a guy compiling original footage of SOH who'd seen his name at the end of an untitled reel found in a film dump. It was silent and slightly damaged but this director still had a little suitcase full of the original sound reels, so they laid those back onto the silent film and brought back the guy who'd narrated the documentary originally to do it again. A great ending to a tragic tale! The film is called Autopsy On A Dream if anyone wants to see it.

The story about the BBC cans going in landfill was from a guy who worked for a skip company in the 70s. He said they spent two weeks circa 1974 making several trips a day ferrying film cans from BBC Enterprises to the landill site. Little did they realise they what they were tipping into a hole: material not only of great cultural importance but much of it potentially worth millions in dvd revenue today.
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Engonoceras
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Re: Geoff Emerick tape

Post by Engonoceras »

It's my understanding outtakes not released after 50 years loose copyright.

So the family could just give a copy to whoever and let it be bootlegged.
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Lord Reith
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Re: Geoff Emerick tape

Post by Lord Reith »

Engonoceras wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 12:37 am It's my understanding outtakes not released after 50 years loose copyright.

So the family could just give a copy to whoever and let it be bootlegged.
I think that is probably what they had planned. So long as they cleared the songs the recordings themselves would be public domain. UMG are trying to make a case that the tape was stolen, therefore the family has no right to use it. They sort of have a point.
Bazilnerk
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Re: Geoff Emerick tape

Post by Bazilnerk »

Engonoceras wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 12:37 am It's my understanding out-takes not released after 50 years loose copyright.

So the family could just give a copy to whoever and let it be bootlegged.
Not quite so cut and dried. UK, EU and Canada are all 50 years if not released. However, some tracks from that session HAVE been released on anthology, so they are protected for 70 years from the date of release, so 2065.

To complicate things further, the USA has 4 different copyright lengths due to different laws. For instance, at this moment in time, NO sound recording in the USA is public domain. On 1st January 2022 everything pre-1922 finally falls into PD. Then it's several years before anything else does. From what I can work out (and I'm no expert in US copyright law) recordings made in 1962 will be in copyright until at least 2057. So this muddies the water in regard to the Emerick tape.
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Lord Reith
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Re: Geoff Emerick tape

Post by Lord Reith »

Bazilnerk wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 9:14 pm
Engonoceras wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 12:37 am It's my understanding out-takes not released after 50 years loose copyright.

So the family could just give a copy to whoever and let it be bootlegged.
Not quite so cut and dried. UK, EU and Canada are all 50 years if not released. However, some tracks from that session HAVE been released on anthology, so they are protected for 70 years from the date of release, so 2065.

To complicate things further, the USA has 4 different copyright lengths due to different laws. For instance, at this moment in time, NO sound recording in the USA is public domain. On 1st January 2022 everything pre-1922 finally falls into PD. Then it's several years before anything else does. From what I can work out (and I'm no expert in US copyright law) recordings made in 1962 will be in copyright until at least 2057. So this muddies the water in regard to the Emerick tape.
It could just be released in the uk and europe. But people in the US would still be able to buy it on amazon uk, because the transaction takes place in the uk. The same loophole that allows you to legally buy dvds from another country.
Bazilnerk
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Re: Geoff Emerick tape

Post by Bazilnerk »

I agree with that, but the argument will be from Universal that it is still in copyright in one of the worlds largest marketplaces. I assue the legal action is taking place in the USA too, ho will take the US copyright situation into consideration.

By the way, they could not issue any takes already issued on Anthology, anywhere in the world, so can't issue the complete tape.
dk2600
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Re: Geoff Emerick tape

Post by dk2600 »

Instead of guessing of what happens in the court some of you living in the US should get more than 153 court documents through this link https://unicourt.com/case/ca-la23-emeri ... ent-332164. The last hearing was on november 5th! The fee is 49 $ and maybe some of you are a lawyer yourself or have enough money.
Emerick was also in court 04/18/2018 For Count(s): 02; PROBATION/MANDATORY SUPERVISION: SUMMARY PROBATION 36 MONTH(S); BASE FINE/TOTAL FINE: $0.00; BASE FINE/TOTAL FINE: $390.00; (OR) Jail term instead of fine: 3 DAY(S) IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY JAIL; PROGRAM: COMMUNITY LABOR 3 DAY(S); PROGRAM INSTEAD OF FINE: FINE; ALCOHOL PROGRAM: THE DEFENDANT SHALL ENROLL AND PARTICIPATE IN AND SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE A 3-MONTH LICENSED FIRST-OFFENDER ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUG EDUCATION AND COUNSELING PROGRAM. You can see all the documents at https://unicourt.com/case/urc-FNDBUHRQI ... FMBKBG1047
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