The world has reacted with much sorrow over the death Tuesday of Sir George Martin, who died at the age of 90. Sir George Martin’s son Giles told fans on Twitter he appreciated the condolences. “Thank you so much for the messages. They’d mean so much to dad. He would be typically humbled by the love shown, the fuss made of it all.” He also posted another personal note today. “Started out as my dad. Ended as my best friend. Love is all you need X.” Fans left flowers and messages at Abbey Road Studios in London and also paid tribute at the Beatles Story and the Cavern Club in Liverpool.
The Liverpool Echo quoted Martin’s manager, Adam Sharp, who said, “The family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and messages of support. In a career that spanned seven decades he was an inspiration to many and is recognised globally as one of music’s most creative talents. He was a true gentleman to the end. The family ask that their privacy be respected at this time.”
Abbey Road Studios, where Martin recorded with the Beatles, issued a statement Wednesday saying, “Abbey Road Studios wish to express their deepest condolences to the Martin family on hearing the sad news that Sir George passed away yesterday, aged 90. Sir George transformed music recording with his creative flair, innovation and passion and we want to express our deep sadness at losing such an immensely talented, charming and warm man. We are committed to ensuring Sir George’s visionary legacy lives forever at Abbey Road Studios, and we are hugely honoured to be part of his story.”
Several musicians who worked with him also weighed in today. Former Paul McCartney and Wings guitarist Laurence Juber said on Facebook, “R.I.P George Martin – he was both kind and patient when I, a newly-minted session guitarist, worked with him, Cleo Laine and John Dankworth in the mid ’70’s. One of the greats.”
Jessica Lee Morgan, the daughter of Mary Hopkin, who recorded on the Beatles’ Apple Records label, said, “God bless Sir George Martin. I think he was the reason that my dad, Tony, came to the UK in that he was his number one inspiration after Beethoven. Sir George also worked with my mum Mary not only in the Apple days but also on “Under Milk Wood” which she recorded with him and also performed at Air Studios. So we have a lot to thank him for. What a scholar and a gentleman.” Mike McCartney, Paul McCartney’s brother, wrote, “Rest in Peace, GENTLEman GEORGE. Much love to Judy and Giles xx.”
In a post on Twitter, Sir Elton John said, “So sad to hear about Sir George. It is the end of a wonderful era. He was a delightful, brilliant man. #RIP #GeorgeMartin.” Sir Roger Moore, who starred in “Live and Let Die” which Martin produced the music for, including the Paul McCartney theme, wrote, “How very sad to wake to the news Sir George Martin has left us. He made my first Bond film sound brilliant!” The British invasion duo Chad and Jeremy said, “Without Sir George Martin, there would have been no Beatles, and no British Invasion. He changed the world forever, and he will not be forgotten.”
Musician Nils Lofgren said, “Thanks for the musical magic that inspires my life and heals our planet Rest in Peace #GeorgeMartin.” Singer Marie Osmond wrote, “There are those people in your life you’re privileged to rub shoulders with. George you’ll be missed #GeorgeMartin.”
Annie Nightingale, the first female and longest tenured presenter on BBC Radio 1, was quoted by the BBC, “”He had incredible classical knowledge, and he was able to bring that into their repertoire without them thinking that it was old hat and stuffy. He spoke very beautifully and had this incredible sense of humour, and that’s I think what helped cement that magic between The Beatles and him,” she said. Nightingale also posted on Twitter, “#GeorgeMartin dearest gentlemanly genius who signed The Beatles when every other label turned them down. We owe him so much. So cherished.”
The Beatles and Paul McCartney released statements about Sir George Martin Wednesday morning. A message from Olivia Harrison, George’s widow, and son Dhani, was posted on the Beatles’ website. Julian Lennon also issued a statement. Ringo Starr and Sean Ono Lennon, son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, were the first to break the news on Twitter Tuesday night. Mike McCartney, Paul McCartney’s brother, wrote today, “Rest in Peace, GENTLEman GEORGE. Much love to Judy and Giles xx.”
Lucien Grange, Universal Music chairman and CEO of the Beatles’ Capitol Records label, issued a statement today. “Dear Colleagues, Yesterday the world lost one of its most creative and influential talents, Sir George Martin. A producer with few peers in a career spanning 60 years, George discovered and developed some of the world’s greatest artists, sent dozens of songs to the top of the charts, won six Grammys and achieved No. 1 hit records in four consecutive decades.
“Simply listing his achievements undersells what George actually accomplished in his 90 years of life. Having taught himself piano as a young boy, he went on to study classical oboe and, as a young man, produced classical, pop and comedy albums. In fact, he signed one unknown band not only for their intriguing (albeit undeveloped) vocals, but also because their witty wordplay at the audition made him laugh. And with George’s sharp guidance and soulful orchestration, that group – The Beatles – soon took the world by storm.
“I think that says a lot about George. Not only that he had a keen sense of where music was headed. Not only that he had deep artistic talent in his own right. But that he was also quick to laugh, play and embrace life’s greatest possibilities. Over the years, whether he was producing classical, pop, jazz, TV, comedy, film or live performances, George never lost that spirit, and through his work, he brought so much joy to so many people. So even as we mourn his passing, may we all draw inspiration from his life. George’s music – and his memory – live on, not just as part of the foundation of Universal Music, but of contemporary culture around the world. Lucian.”
“Things We Said Today” co-host and former New York Times music writer Allan Kozinn was asked to return to write the obituary for the Times on Martin. He also wrote an analysis piece of Martin’s contribution to five Beatles songs. He chose “From Me To You,” “Yesterday,” “In My Life,” “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “A Day in the Life.”