A Farewell to Beatles Producer Sir George Martin

The Great Gig in the Sky just got a lot better.

Music is as much a medicine to me as my psych meds and morning coffee. I would even say it is as medically necessary as Synthroid.

My tastes range from Mozart to Metallica (before they went soft), but my focus is on the 60s through the 80s. The 60s all started when 4 boys from Liverpool arrived on the scene as The Beatles, and they will be here for time eternal. Although Pink Floyd is my favorite band, without the sound of The Beatles, they would not sound the same today.

Sound was what The Beatles were all about. They played everything from 50s African-American rock (McCartney’s banshee wail fit in, whereas Pat Boone’s croon did not) to full orchestra, and all because of the wisdom of Sir George Martin.

To this day, Sir George’s production and especially arrangements are second to none. He did more with 4 tracks 50 years ago than today’s rookies do with Pro Tools. So many bands wouldn’t have sounded the way they did if Sir George had not paved the way. Brian Wilson wrote Pet Sounds after hearing all of the magnificent orchestrations of Rubber Soul.

I feel cold every time I listen to The Beatles 1962-1966 and hear “Eleanor Rigby.” The string quartet absolutely haunts me, and because of it, I can just picture Father McKenzie wiping the dust from his hands as he walks from the grave.

When I first heard “Tomorrow Never Knows,” I couldn’t believe that such a song existed during its time. Sir George brilliantly deduced that a recording a track and dubbing it in backwards would work because it would be on key. It is without a doubt my favorite running song.

When I found out that The Fifth Beatle had passed away at the beautiful age of 90, it made my eyes well up. The Beatles’ music has always been in my life and has influenced my musical taste forever, as it has for billions of others.

The Great Gig in the Sky just got a lot better. I look forward to the day when I see a concert arranged by Sir George featuring the music of the Choirs of Angels, the best orchestra imaginable, and a rock band of the most unreal talent you could imagine.

Godspeed, Sir George. Mozart is waiting for you.

Jay Sochoka, RPh, is forever grateful for Sir George.