Fifth Beatle Says Hello, Goodbye at 90

Published: 10th March 2016 04:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th March 2016 04:25 AM   |  A+A-


He’s often called the ‘Fifth Beatle.’ And with good reason, having produced 205 songs of the popular band from Liverpool, as the head of the Parlophone record label. Ironically, though Sir George Martin passed away on Tuesday at the age of 90, most hard core fans of The Beatles in Chennai had never heard his name.

Even musicians who were raised listening to The Beatles and have covered their music at some point or other appeared a tad perplexed. “I have no idea who that is,” admitted Sajith Satya, a bass guitarist who has worked with the likes of Anirudh Ravichander, while crooner Sharanya Gopinath of Chrome.O.Soul who had even come across the news online, asked quizzically, “Yeah, he was an engineer of a member of their crew right?”

Martin was a member of their crew alright. But certainly not the silent kind who stayed behind the scenes. With six grammys and a career spanning seven decades and having worked with other musical icons from Elton John to Celine Dion, not to mention two James Bond themes, it’s hard to believe that this grand old man of the music industry had his beginnings as a carpenter’s son in Holloway, North London.

Fifth Beatle.jpgEven radio veteran Geoffery Thomas who has done numerous shows on The Beatles, complete with song trivia and detailed research on their story, was not aware of this mammoth force behind the fame of the Fab Four. “I’ve never once come across that name in all my years on the air, but I’m definitely going to be doing some reading up now,” he said.

With RIP tributes coming in from everyone from Beatles drummer Ringo Starr to British Prime Minister David Cameron, perhaps this one by singer Josh Groban sums up his life best, “What an ear, what a life, what a legacy.” While we have never seen his face in a music video, which is why we know so little of the legend, really it was his fabulous ear for detail that gave so many songs their Ticket to Ride.

Discovering The Fab Four

The Beatles had been turned down by several record labels including Decca when Martin invited them for an audience at Abbey Road in June 1962.

In November 1962, the band recorded Please Please Me, with Martin suggesting they speed the song up. As they finished, Martin told them from the control room: “Gentleman you have just made your first No 1 record” – which soon enough, turned out to be true

On many occasions, Lennon and McCartney would entrust him with arranging their songs - the string quartet on Yesterday was his idea.

Stay up to date on all the latest Chennai news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp