Saturday, March 12, 2016

By George

Pete Best. Some felt he was let go by the Fab Four because he was too good looking. Or maybe he wasn't a great drummer.
Stu Sutcliffe wasn't a great bass player, but the lads from Liverpool decided to let him go before things got too dicey.
Stu's gal pal Astrid Kirchherr was cast aside essentially for the same reason, since she took nice photos and all but she was a girl, after all.
Murray the K helped open America for the British Invasion, and our mop tops probably couldn't have hit as big without his fanatical devotion and airplay. But he was a DJ.
Klaus Voorman played the bass for the boys in the Berlin days, and later jammed with John in his solo years. He didn't stick around.
Neil Aspinall ran the front office and took over after Brian Epstein died. He played percussion on a couple of tracks. He was not that central figure.
Even Brian Epstein, the man who got them to wear suits and managed them until they were almost too big to be managed, not allowed in that sacred circle.
If there was a fifth Beatle, his name was George Martin. Sir George, as he was known by his pals around the royal order. He was their engineer, and the one in charge of getting the sounds they made out into the world. George was the one who stood up to them. George showed them the way to make records. George Martin produced fifty number one hits. Most of those were Beatles songs. Would they have been as big as they were if they had been recorded by a faceless string of studio personnel who didn't have the personal connection to the band that changed the world? Maybe, but that's hard to imagine. That fatherly presence in the control room helped rein in the fire that raced through the studios at Abbey Road. He helped focus a stream of steady music that wasn't just popular but evolutionary back in the day. That's why everyone wanted to work with George Martin. He had that magic touch.
For several years, my favorite Beatles record was the soundtrack for "Yellow Submarine." Tracks like "Only A Northern Song" and "Hey Bulldog" were interesting relics, but what kept me coming back was the symphonic bits composed by Sir George. That side of music transported me to the Sea of Holes and onto Pepperland. It was magical.
Thank you George for that trip. You will be missed for the music you made and the sounds of stomping on the Terra. Aloha.

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