Have you ever considered the impact one single person can have upon the world? George Martin wasn’t a political figure or a war hero. He wasn’t a Nobel prize winner. All he did was give a young group of kids a chance… and that almost did not come to be. After an initial brief recording session with the Beatles in 1962, Martin asked the group if there was anything they did not like, to which George Harrison replied “well, there’s your tie, for a start.” Martin decided to sign them based on their wit alone!
He didn’t give birth to the Beatles, but he ‘adopted’ them, so to speak, and ‘raised’ them, and under his guidance as a musician himself, they became the most prolific musical group of all time. The Beatles, with George Martin as their producer, influenced and opened the door for countless other musicians. Chances are, if you are a musician under the age of 70, you were inspired by the Beatles. Or, your inspirer was most likely influenced by the Beatles. The Beatles changed the world with George Martin at the helm.
Personally, I might never have picked up a guitar were it not for seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show in February 1964. I shudder to think what my life might be like had that event never happened. Instead of becoming a musician myself, I might have been just a fan. Someone who enjoys listening to, instead of making music.
I was ten years old at the time. My parents were divorced, my grandmother had died months earlier in September of 1963, and JFK was assassinated in November of the same year. It was a troubling time for a ten year old boy. I had my first guitar by March of 1964 and, of course, set out learning Beatles songs. It would be my guess that more guitars were sold in 1964 than any other previous year! The Beatles and George Martin had brought some much needed happiness into my life.
Throughout my life my guitar has been a comfort to me. It has been an outlet for my emotions. It has been my security blanket. Many times, I’ve sat and just held it, my arms wrapped around it like it was my only child, without playing a note. It was my love of music and my wife’s love of music that brought us together. I might never have met the love of my life, were it not for George Martin giving that chance to the Beatles.
So, I would like to personally give thanks to Sir George Martin. Not only for myself but to countless others. You inadvertently shaped my life and I thank you…