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COMPETITION: Pink Floyd producer Norman "Hurricane" Smith book Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Tuesday, 26 August 2008

john lennon called me normal As many of you will recall, legendary producer, and later recording artist in his own right, Norman "Hurricane" Smith, sadly passed away in March.

In recent years, he was working on the full publication of his memoirs, in the book "John Lennon Called Me Normal". Containing many rare pictures, much of which have not been seen before, the book contains his sharp and amusing story of working with the Beatles and Pink Floyd at Abbey Road.

As a fitting tribute to Norman, his long-awaited book has now been published through specialists Lulu.com, and we have five copies to give away to Brain Damage visitors!

Born on February 22nd 1923, Norman was the engineer on all of the recordings by the Beatles up until 1965 when EMI promoted him from engineer to producer. The last Beatles album he recorded was Rubber Soul, and Smith engineered the sound for approximately 180 Beatles songs in total.

Norman never followed the rulebook. He was at the Beatles audition in 1962 and if he had followed the 'standing orders' from Abbey Road, the band would have been sent back to Liverpool. Later, as head of an EMI company, Parlophone, Norman sent out a 'looking for talent' letter to agents, only to be accused of poaching artists from other companies.

norman smith 2008 (bbc) But, against EMI's orders, Norman went off to check out a new band in a smelly basement club. The club was called UFO; the band was called Pink Floyd.

He then took on the recording and production of Pink Floyd's Piper At The Gates of Dawn, A Saucerful of Secrets, and Ummagumma and the Floyd's other early recordings. It was reported that during the sessions for the song "Remember a Day", Nick Mason became agitated that he could not come up with the right drum part for the song. Smith, however, knew what he wanted with the drums, so he played the part himself.

In 1968, he produced one of the first rock concept albums, The Pretty Things' S.F. Sorrow. In 1971, Smith, using his recording artist pseudonym of "Hurricane Smith," had the first of a number of hit singles around the world.

He was reticent about jumping on the memoir bandwagon and didn’t want to merely capitalise on his associations, but the stories were far too good not to share.

The book was initially available as a very limited edition at a Beatles convention, but a full publication of the book was always planned. You can buy the book now exclusively through our friends at www.lulu.com - or you can try your luck in our special competition: FIVE lucky BD visitors will receive a copy of the book!

To be in with a chance of winning, you need to answer the following question:

  • Other than Hurricane Smith, what was Norman considering as a pseudonym for his career as a recording artist in his own right? ANSWER: AMOS GHERKIN!

The answer can be found at www.lulu.com, if you aren't sure of the answer! Send your answer and location (town/city and country) to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it by 11:59pm (UK time) on September 12th, 2008, and five correct entries will be picked at random the following day. Please, only one entry per household, and good luck to you all.

UPDATE: The competition has now closed (and the answer given above) and the winners have been picked. Our congratulations to the following:
  • Jort Maas, Badhoevedorp, The Netherlands
  • Helen Winter, Scunthorpe, England
  • Leighton Davies, Neath, Wales
  • Caroline Gossage, Leeds, England
  • Annamaria Colitti, Sala Consilina, Italy
who were the lucky winners. Lulu.com will be sending your books shortly.
 
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