Paul McCartney Mourns George Martin: 'The World Has Lost a Truly Great Man'
Paul McCartney on Wednesday lauded George Martin on his blog following news that the legendary Beatles producer had died at the age of 90.
"The world has lost a truly great man who left an indelible mark on my soul and the history of British music," McCartney wrote.
The musician also called Martin a "true gentleman" and said he was "like a second father to me," adding: "He guided the career of The Beatles with such skill and good humor that he became a true friend to me and my family."
Said the music star: "From the day that he gave The Beatles our first recording contract, to the last time I saw him, he was the most generous, intelligent and musical person I’ve ever had the pleasure to know."
McCartney also said that "if anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle it was George."
Choose favorite memories of his time with Martin was difficult as "there are so many," he said. "But one that comes to mind was the time I brought the song "Yesterday" to a recording session and the guys in the band suggested that I sang it solo and accompany myself on guitar. After I had done this, George Martin said to me, 'Paul I have an idea of putting a string quartet on the record.' I said, 'Oh no George, we are a rock and roll band and I don’t think it’s a good idea.' With the gentle bedside manner of a great producer he said to me, 'Let us try it and if it doesn’t work we won’t use it and we’ll go with your solo version.' I agreed to this and went round to his house the next day to work on the arrangement."
Continued McCartney: "He took my chords that I showed him and spread the notes out across the piano, putting the cello in the low octave and the first violin in a high octave and gave me my first lesson in how strings were voiced for a quartet. When we recorded the string quartet at Abbey Road, it was so thrilling to know his idea was so correct that I went round telling people about it for weeks. His idea obviously worked because the song subsequently became one of the most recorded songs ever with versions by Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye and thousands more."
McCartney also lauded Martin for his modesty. "I am proud to have known such a fine gentleman with such a keen sense of humor, who had the ability to poke fun at himself. Even when he was knighted by the Queen, there was never the slightest trace of snobbery about him."
Concluded McCartney: "The world has lost a truly great man who left an indelible mark on my soul and the history of British music.
God bless you George and all who sail in you!"
This article originally appeared in THR.com.