Legendary producer Ken Scott admits he had “no idea” what to do when first engineering The Beatles

“The first time I ever sat behind a mixing console was to record Your Mother Should Know…”

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The Beatles Recording in 1964

Image: Evening Standard/Getty

Renowned producer Ken Scott has recalled his first time engineering The Beatles for their 1968 White Album, admitting that he had “no idea” what he was doing at the time.

The industry giant, who has since worked with esteemed artists such as David Bowie and Jeff Beck, spoke as part of a new interview when he made the comments.

Now aged 75, the rock ‘n’ roll producer reflected on the first project that he led – engineering The Beatles’ 1968 track Your Mother Should Know in London’s EMI Studios, when he was just twenty-one years of age.

“It started on Magical Mystery Tour. [Original engineer, Geoff Emerick] walked out on that one. I was just thrown in,” he told Tape Op.

“The first time I ever sat behind a mixing console was to record Your Mother Should Know, and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. None whatsoever. I’d watched people push the faders up and pull them down and turn the knobs, but what that actually really did, I had no idea. It was learning by fire.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Scott explained how he pulled off the enormous feat, adding that he had gained the trust of the members after working with them previously as an assistant.

“That’s been my life. It’s been so ridiculous… [But] it was a fantastic studio to learn your craft,” he said. “In one place, you had three of the greatest classical engineers and three or four of the greatest pop engineers. I soaked it all up.”

“I’d worked with The Beatles from side two of A Hard Day’s Night through Rubber Soul as an assistant, [so] I think there was enough of a relationship there that they were willing to trust me when I completely messed up,” he continued. “It was only a few days later I did my first ever orchestral session, which was I am The Walrus. Unbelievable!”

Find the full interview with Ken Scott on Tape Op’s website.


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