From Fest Founder Mark Lapidos:
It is a sad day in Beatles World and for music lovers around the world. George Martin passed away last night at the age of 90.
There is no question George Martin will be remembered as the most important and successful Record Producer of all time. How did a comedy record producer for a small EMI subsidiary get to be the producer of the greatest band of all time? It was because, being from Liverpool, The Beatles had a wonderful sense of humor and knew some of those recordings. During their first sessions, Beatle George broke the ice with his now famous line “For starters, I don’t like your tie.” Together over the ensuing seven years, they created the soundtrack of our lives. George first as their producer, then teacher, then interpreter of how they wanted their recordings to sound. It was a team effort and the stars were indeed aligned.
I had the pleasure and honor to meet with Sir George a few times, with the most notable encounter coming in the mid 1980s in Los Angeles. We got to spend about 30 minutes together in a private session and I found him charming, engaging, and a delight to be around. At the end of the talk, I asked him if I could ask one question that had puzzled Beatles fans for almost 20 years (at the time). He said okay. “How come the promotional copies of Penny Lane had the trumpet at the end, and the released version didn’t?” He said something like this: Capitol was bugging us for a new single so we reluctantly sent them Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever (we all know he regretted not holding them for Pepper). They were so deep into the Pepper sessions, they sent the final version over, not even aware there was any difference! It was just one of those things during a day in the life of recording with the Beatles.
We are all so lucky to have his body of work almost at our fingertips now. Today we are fixing a hole in our sad hearts in knowing that George Martin has left this world. He will never be forgotten. Our condolences to his wife, Judy, son Giles and the rest of his family. Through the music, we all became part of his extended family. It has been a ride of a lifetime.
Peace and Love,
RIP Sir George. Without you the musical saviors of my life, The Beatles, would not have existed when they did nor in their final form. Thank you for producing and advising and participating in their legend. You are legend and epic. We will remember you with love and respect always and for me personally I will be in debt to you for eternity. Take a sad song and make it better. Bless you
As a musician inspired to BE a musician by the Beatles, I can tell you that there are a million “NO’s” and exceedingly few “YES’s”. Why this is, I cannot say. I have always though that if you had a garden you’d pick the vegetables and enjoy them … most music biz “professionals” seem to love the power of saying NO or YOU’RE FIRED rather than what George Martin did, which was to say: “Let’s try it”. Can you imagine Frank Sinatra being the producer and hearing John describe “Tomorrow Never Knows” ? He’d probably have thrown him out the door. But George said YES. So in reality, that’s what Yellow Submarine is about, from NO to YES. I owe my entire musical life to The Beatles. Thanks, Mr. Martin.
Mere words will never fully capture how significant of an influence that George and the fab 4 had on our developing years. I imagine he and Lennon and Harrison along with other great songwriters/performers/musicians of their caliber are composing heavenly scores about now that the angels are all too happy to sing.
RIP. and Jesus be with you George.