The recording engineer who told off the Beatles
Ken Scott, who worked with the Beatles as a Recording Engineer at EMI Abbey Road Studios, for the first time shared stories of his work with the Beatles on songs from the Magical Mystery Tour and White Albums, as he was interviewed by noted Beatles author Mark Lewisohn at the recent International BeatleWeek convention on August 27th in the main Adelphi Hotel ballroom in Liverpool.
Mark Lewisohn interviewing Ken Scott
Ken says he started at EMI as a young 16 year old in the tape archive, and worked his way into being allowed into two Beatles recording sessions before getting kicked out by George Martin. After 3 years of working in mastering, which involves producing songs from tape to vinyl, he was promoted to Assistant Recording Engineer.
The first song he worked on with the Beatles was Paul McCartney's "Your Mother Should Know". Despite working very hard on this song, he said his version wasn't used, but he also worked on other songs for Magical Mystery Tour. He also worked closely with John Lennon to create, and then incorporate, tape loopbacks for his favorite Beatles song he produced, "I Am the Walrus". Ken said if you listen closely, he made some editing mistakes in "I Am the Walrus", but John liked them and said to keep them, much to Ken's relief back then.
Ken told the International Beatleweek audience that at one point, he had to resort to yelling at the Beatles to "shut the f**k up," because he couldn't hear the tape he was editing with the Beatles chatting away. Thankfully, instead of firing Ken, the Beatles did stop talking and let Ken do his job. Ken remarked he was one of the few people to tell off the Beatles and not get fired for it.
After the White Album, Ken worked with the Beatles individually on their solo albums, including working closely with George Harrison to produce his "All Things Must Pass" album. Ken said that "All Things Must Pass" was his favorite album.