As reported, British record producer George Martin has died at the age of 90 earlier this morning [Wednesday, March 9] at his home in London.
Martin was such an influential key figure surrounding the Beatles and their successes that he was long dubbed “the 5th Beatle.”
Ringo Starr was the first to confirm the news, tweeting a picture of the crew from the archives, along with, “God bless George Martin peace and love to Judy and his family… George will be missed.”
Paul McCartney also posted a tribute on his website saying, “I have so many wonderful memories of this great man that will be with me forever.”
“He was a true gentleman and like a second father to me,” McCartney writes. “He guided the career of The Beatles with such skill and good humour that he became a true friend to me and my family. If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle it was George. 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 went on to recall how Martin wanted to add a string quartet to the classic hit single “Yesterday,” and how the group met him with resistance saying “but we’re a rock ‘n roll band.”
“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,” McCartney says.
Martin was one of the first to see and believe in the potential of the group, after first hearing them in 1962.
“I liked them as people apart from anything else and I was convinced that we had the makings of a hit group,” he said in an interview.
Turns out, he was spot on.
J Dilla was one of many hip hop artists who sampled music from the legendary group.
As was Wu-Tang.
And Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick.
The list goes on and on. May the legendary Beatles affiliate rest in peace.