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norman smith We are very sorry to report that the legendary producer, and later recording artist in his own right, Norman "Hurricane" Smith, passed away on Monday evening (March 3rd, 2008) aged 85.

Born on February 22nd 1923, he 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.

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.

In recent years, he was working on the full publication of his memoirs, in the book "John Lennon Called Me Normal". It received an initial, limited edition release at a Beatles Fan Festival in 2007, and an expanded version of the book has been in the works and readied for publication, since then.

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. We hope that as a tribute to him, the book can finally be published.

His funeral is at 1pm on Tuesday April 1st at St Peter's Church, Newdigate, Surrey (England) and the Dorking Advertiser newspaper reports that everyone is welcome to attend and pay their respects.

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