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(2013 Remaster)

2006-Nov-17: "Early Retirement" for Sir George Martin

In a Reuters interview in London, Sir George Martin talked about his work on the Beatles new Love album:

"We started work having been asked by the Beatles and the first thing we did, we thought 'Let's find out where we're going'. We produced a 13-minute tape of what we thought the show should sound like. We played it individually to Paul and Ringo, Yoko and Olivia, and to our surprise and also gratification they all loved it. They said it's fantastic, go ahead and do it."

All four of them dropped in during the production sessions at the Abbey Road Studios in London:

"They were intrigued, they were anxious. It was a collaborative process all the way through. They loved everything we did. I don't think we had anything turned down. They didn't have any disagreements. They really didn't. Yoko was concerned about the quality of John's voice on Strawberry Fields Forever because it was a demo. All they care about is whether it's good or bad."

In a video prepared for the launch of the Love album, Sir Paul said:

"We encouraged them to mess around as much and more than they wanted. The Beatles stuff getting showier and newer ... It's like magic."

Sir Paul recalled that during a playback of Come Together he leaned over to Ringo and said:

"I remember that. We were really good on that day."

Ringo said that hearing the finished album was a powerful experience for him:

"I even heard things I'd forgotten we'd recorded."

The project was a unique bonding experience for Sir George and his son Giles. Giles was glad that his father was there share the responsibility:

"I could hide behind him when the flak started, and that made my job much easier, because otherwise it would have been an impossible task to come to Abbey Road and even touch a Beatles tape. I had fresh ears - if you can have fresh ears to the Beatles - and my job was to make things different. There will be a lot of people pissed off about this, but it was all in fun."

Giles, who was born in 1969 when the band was breaking up, likened the project to "going through your dad's closet. He said he came away from the experience impressed by the Beatles' abilities as a unit. Even when cracks were appearing in their personal relationships at the end, you could still hear the chemistry and quality in the music. It also gave him a new appreciation of his father's role in the Beatles' success:

"Without question, it gave me enormous respect for him and them. His world was laid bare in front of me, as was their playing. We'd smile at each other and say, `They were really good, weren't they?'"

What does Sir George think about Oasis who are often compared to the Beatles?

"They model themselves on the Beatles probably too much ... They are a very good group indeed but not as good as the Beatles."

Sir George says that his hearing has failed and that Love would be his last album:

"I've had a pretty good run I must say. I started with the Beatles in 1962 and they broke up around about 1970 so we had a long period of time together. It is the last I should think I shall do, because in two months' time I will be 81 and I am thinking of taking early retirement."

Although he thinks that John Lennon would not have liked the idea of allowing the Beatle music to be used in a Las Vegas musical, Sir George believes that he would have been won over by the end result:

"John, for all his inventions was really quite conservative sometimes about taking leaps in the dark, particularly where showbiz was concerned. He wasn't a showbiz person, but he was a great character."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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