Paul McCartney has paid tribute to former Beatles producer George Martin, who passed away on Tuesday, aged 90.
“I have so many wonderful memories of this great man that will be with me forever," Sir Paul wrote on his website on Wednesday. "He was a true gentleman and like a second father to me. 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.”
I’m so sad to hear the news of the passing of dear George Martin. 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. 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... Full statement at PaulMcCartney.com [link in the bio] #PaulMcCartney #GeorgeMartin
He added: “The world has lost a truly great man who left an indelible mark on my soul and the history of British music.”
Martin was born in London in 1926 and fought in World War II in the Royal Navy. After leaving his military services in 1947, he studied piano and oboe. By the 1950s, he was recording jazz and comedy records for Parlophone Records where he would become the head of A&R.
In 1962, he met Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ manager, who introduced him to the band. After hearing the Fab Four, he would eventually sign them to his label and produce all of their albums, except for Let It Be, which was produced by Phil Spector.
After the Beatles split in 1970, he continued to work as a producer. He would go on to produce the score and theme song of the James Bond film, Live and Let Die, which McCartney recorded with his post-Beatles band Wings. He also worked The Who, Jeff Beck, Cheap Trick, Celine Dion, some of the solo work of McCartney and fellow Beatle Ringo Starr. In 1997, he worked with Elton John and produced “Candle In the Wind,” which was a tribute to Princess Diana and would go on to become one of the biggest selling singles of all time.
In 1996 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his service and contribution to British music and culture.
In the years prior to his death, he oversaw the remastering of The Beatles catalogue as well as the arrangements for The Beatles Anthology series and the band’s Cirque du Soleil show, Love, in Las Vegas, which he worked on with his son, Giles.
Many of his colleagues and fans took to social media to remember the musical icon who had helped create the soundtrack of their lives.
Ringo Starr shared the news via Twitter in the early hours of Wednesday.
God bless George Martin peace and love to Judy and his family love Ringo and Barbara George will be missed xxx ?✌️??☮— #RingoStarr (@ringostarrmusic) March 9, 2016
Thank you for all your love and kindness George peace and love xx?✌️?? pic.twitter.com/um2hRFB7qF— #RingoStarr (@ringostarrmusic) March 9, 2016
Sean Lennon, the son of late Beatle John Lennon, posted:
R.I.P. George Martin. I'm so gutted I don't have many words. Thinking of Judy and Giles and… https://t.co/3Nc8sCgRpN— Sean Ono Lennon (@seanonolennon) March 9, 2016
Lennon’s oldest son, Julian, also eulogized his dad’s friend:
The Fifth Beatle, without question, and likely one of the best & most Iconic Music Producers of all time. https://t.co/2AZ855ePwE— Julian Lennon (@JulianLennon) March 9, 2016
The official Twitter account of late Beatle George Harrison posted:
George Martin was a gentleman above all. May he rest in peace. Our thoughts are with Judy & the family at this sad time. -Olivia and Dhani— George Harrison (@GeorgeHarrison) March 9, 2016
His son Giles said:
RIP dad. I love you. I'm so proud to have been your son. I'll miss you more than words can say. Thank you for the all times we had together.— Giles Martin (@mashupmartin) March 9, 2016
Producer Mark Ronson tweeted:
Thank you Sir George Martin: the greatest British record producer of all time. We will never stop living in the world you helped create.— Mark Ronson (@MarkRonson) March 9, 2016
While the cause of Martin’s death has not been revealed, he is survived by his wife Judy, his children Giles and Lucy and his grandkids.