George Martin the “Fifth Beatle” Dies

The Beatles with George Martin

Source: Los Angeles Times

By Richard Cromelin

George Martin was a music producer in London, on the prowl for rock ’n’ roll acts in the early 1960s, when he came across a band that had been turned down by every record company in town.

He wasn’t bowled over by the demo tapes, but, as he later recalled, “there was an unusual quality of sound, a certain roughness that I hadn’t encountered before….something tangible that made me want to hear more, meet them and see what they could do.”

A month later, Martin offered the group a contract. So began his long relationship with the Beatles.

As arranger, orchestrator and occasional player later in the group’s career, Martin was responsible for some of the landmark moments of ’60s rock: the swelling symphonic buildup and the lingering last chord of “A Day in the Life,” the delicate, harpsichord-like piano on “In My Life,” the string arrangement for “Yesterday” that signaled the group’s expanding ambitions.

Martin, who died peacefully in his sleep Tuesday at 90, produced nearly all the Beatles’ recordings, advising them on songwriting and arranging and capturing the vitality of their early performances in the studio.

But his crucial role may have been translating the sometimes hazy, poetic orders of the musically unschooled Liverpudlians into finished products.

That often entailed pushing the envelope. When John Lennon asked for a swirling, circus-like feel on “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite,” the traditionally trained producer was bold enough to snip a tape of Victorian steam organ music into foot-long pieces, toss them in the air, then reassemble them randomly into a piece that fulfilled Lennon’s vision.

“John was pretty off the end at that time,” says Chris Carter, the host of the long-running radio show “Breakfast With the Beatles.” “Things like ‘Strawberry Fields’ and ‘I Am the Walrus’ were so out of left field musically — still brilliant, but they needed to be put into some context…. Without Paul [McCartney] and George Martin, the brilliance of those songs might have never been heard.”

Read the entire article on the Los Angeles Times website.


  1. Michael Warren says

    In a metaphorical sense, we are witnessing a transition here: rock n roll emblematic of the Boomer liberal era. The past is dying. There is a necessary changing of the guard afoot. There are multicultural successors appointed for the White liberal establishment. While the working class is divided by generational, multicultural transformation and American, irredentist populism. The conservative establishment exists as an arm of loyal opposition to liberal social engineering. We witness a post liberalism flirting with socialism or libertarianism. None of this disparate melange of 21st. century America has any clear focus for the future. Cacophony and polarization with a steady decline in standard of living and a demographically insurgent Hispanic minority. All led by the nose by capital which has hunkered down and is hoarding gold and real wealth while colluding to create a dynastic oligarchical structure of priviledge. This is what the reappearance of serfdom looks like. Indentured America 2.0, generational slaves of money manipulators and faceless feudal lords who string along the nations of the West by the chains of debt and currency fraud.

    In times like these, a living Faith is the only answer to stay free, living worship is the only means to strike and abandon the liberal plantation, Orthodox counter culture the means of living Revolution, enabling the spiritual and moral aspirations of masses being herded as sheep into a technocratic stockyard of consumerism, narcosensualism, iconoclasm and neo pagan false religion.

    Orthodoxy has a choice: Mainline self liquidation or total renewal and holistic stewardship of creation. Sitting by on the sidelines and watching the world crash only enables its destruction. Dialogue with the system at this juncture places Orthodox social weaknesses at the mercy of militant secularism. A new white martyrdom of Christian renunciation of the world we engage living a better way as faithful stewards of creation and peers of humanity our surest path to Renewal and strength.

    George Martin is dead and the world that birthed him is gone. We live in desperate times with the choice of compromise: eat, hate and atomize OR fidelity: fast, worship, and benevolently engage. Orthodoxy today is a surer answer to where we can go as a human race. CHRIST is the living rebuttal to false idolatries. We must reject the liberal, false religion of secular minded Renovation. The modernist satanism betraying its secret of a very real, false god, a metaphysical slaver trafficking in deceit, dispossession, destruction and murder.

    Our Orthodox answer is: CHRISTUS Vincit. CHRISTUS Regnat. CHRISTUS Imperat.

    • I actually agree with most of this. I am 48 and in the middle of the boomer and the gen x generation, and one removed from the millennials. People older than me can’t understand how bad it is, because they have personally profited greatly since the times they can remember when they grew up, and they still have some belief in the system. The younger generation sees the bankruptcy – you can see this today on the side of the left, where only the old democrats support Hillary – the youth are largely for Sanders. They can see straight through her and the system she represents. It is also clear for them how much harder (or even impossible) it will be for them to match their parent’s standard of living.

      For us Orthodox, we will survive in small local communities. From my background as a business owner and Sales and Marketing consultant, it is apparent to me that we lack a clear message about who we are that resonates. I work with businesses to develop their own messages about what they do, and THEY have a hard time communicating to others why people should do business with them. Out challenge is that much of our language has been co-opted and ruined by other Christian groups and the negative impressions of Christianity the mass media has peppered the news, music, movies and books with. We will need to reach those looking with a message that cuts through all of the noise. A message that piques the curiosity of potential members while bring true to what we are. This message has yet to be developed – and maybe it needs to get much worse to make it clearer to us just what sets us apart.

      I noticed in my Church, we are all becoming closer and more serious about our faith. More of us are involved. We have coffee socials with full lunches, making sure people stay and get to know each other. Those left are more serious and understand what is at stake. I think that will continue. But this is a local endeavor, done on a Church by Church basis.

      • Michael Warren says

        PODVIG I

        “…According to St Theophan “all the saints accept the only true path to virtue to be pain and hard work… lightness and ease are a sign of a false path. Anyone who is not struggling, not in podvig, is in prelest” (spiritual delusion) (The Path to Salvation, pg 209).

        Our Lord said, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me (Matt. 16:24). St Innocent, in his book, Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven, writes clearly that the way which leads to the kingdom of Heaven is precisely to deny oneself, take up the cross, and follow Christ. Our beloved American saint goes on to explain that “to deny oneself means to give up one’s bad habits, to root out of the heart all that ties us to the world…there are external and internal crosses. To take up one’s cross means not only to bear crosses laid on us by others or sent by Providence, but …even to lay crosses upon oneself and bear them.”

        This is a clear direction to podvig.

        When we take up an additional cross, a podvig, with the blessing of our spiritual father, we find that the Lord Himself comes and helps us to carry that cross, walking side by side with us. Isn’t this what we long for? To have the Lord near, to be close to Him?

        All of podvig is a form of repentance, of turning around and getting back unto the correct path. Because it is so intricately linked to repentance, no one should ever undertake a specific podvig without the approval of his father confessor/spiritual father. The evil one is very crafty and he wants nothing more than to drag us into the same pride through which he fell. He will try to use the very means with which we are trying to overcome our sins to lead us into the sin of pride. Yes, we can become prideful and vain glorious over our own podvig! In fact, it frequently happens that an astute spiritual guide will tell his spiritual child to abandon his podvig.

        When we take on a podvig it is for the sake of opposing the body which draws us down to the earth and away from God. Do I eat too much? Then I must take a podvig of additional fasting or denying myself the special foods in which I tend to indulge Am I lazy? Then I need to work harder. Do I not want to get out of bed in the morning? Then get up earlier to pray. The list goes on and each person, with the help of his father confessor, knows which vices particularly afflict him. Every vice has an opposing virtue and in striving toward that virtue, the vice can, with the help of God (for nothing can be accomplished without prayer and grace from the Lord!), be overcome, or at least lessened to a great degree.

        Any podvig can be for the sake of opposing a passion with which we are afflicted, as stated above, but we can also take on a podvig as a form of prayer for ourselves, our families or any other person. An example of this could be the parent who has a sick child. In addition to praying for that child, the parent can take on a podvig of additional prostrations and/or fasting as an extra effort with that prayer.

        Indeed, we not only can, but should, add a podvig to our prayers of petition to the Lord.

        Throughout the centuries we can see in the history of the Christian Church that living the life of a Christian meant podvig. The early centuries saw hundreds of thousands of martyrs, many known to us by name, but the majority of them unknown. In the more recent history we have witnessed decades of communist oppression which produced thousands of martyrs and confessors for the faith—those individuals who refused to deny Christ and suffered beyond description. Being a Christian meant podvig. It has also been clear throughout the ages that when Christians became lax, when externals were emphasized and not the interior life, when abuses and corruption crept into the Church, podvig came from outside in the form of Islamic or communist persecution. Both individually and collectively, we must realize that if we do not accept and seek podvig ourselves, it will be imposed upon us!”


        • Michael Warren says

          PODVIG II

          “…While most of the faithful accept and observe the fasting days and seasons—and recognize the spiritual benefits from them—we have lost the concept of taking any other additional fasting upon ourselves as a form of podvig. While we give willingly and cheerfully to the poor and to the Church, it is rarely to the point of denying ourselves of any necessities from those resources. We accept our daily prayer rule, but where are the prostrations outside of Great Lent?

          All of the things listed above (and there are indeed many, many more, depending on the individual) can be a form of podvig.

          The Christian life in this fallen world is a struggle. If we are not struggling, then are we on the right path? When all is going well, we tend to let our focus stray away from God, while in hardship we seek Him. We should always remember that Adam was in paradise where he lacked for nothing, but it was there that he lost that perfect communion with God. When did he find Him again? When the Lord descended into hades, grasped his hand and delivered him and all those who had been held there.”

          From The Veil, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Summer, 2005). The Veil is a publication of the Protection of the Holy Virgin Orthodox Monastery. Free subscriptions to The Veil are available by writing or calling the convent: 2343 County Road 403, Lake George, CO 80827; 719-748-3999. Posted on 1/2/2007 with the permission of the convent.

      • Cynthia mae Curran says

        I kind of disagree, most Trump supporters are closed to my aged and Sander supporters are young. Things were not so great when I grew up. I was born into a mobile home because dad was a miner. My family could not afford a tract house until I was 12 years old and my mother had to have employment. We have it easy compared to people that lived in earlier times. My mother grew up in the days when people didn’t have indoor plumbing. What is interesting the more religious people on the right dislike Trump. The Mormons dislike him since they tend to go to church more than many of the nominal evangelicals. Utah is voting for Cruz.

  2. I wouldn’t deny for a moment that I enjoy the music of the Beatles and much of the Rock-n-Roll of the 60’s and 70’s. Many of these artists were (and many, although fewer, still are) brilliant in their creativity.

    A recent trip to Cleveland, a city I had never before visited, occasioned an opportunity to visit the Rock-n-roll Hall of Fame. It was for me a rather eye-opening experience. I cannot say that I hated it entirely because it evoked a degree of nostalgia as I was once again immersed in the music of my youth.

    But I couldn’t help but be struck by the fact that the place I was visiting was essentially a pagan shrine complete with its own ‘saints’ and relics (clothing, instruments, hand-written lyrics, etc.). It was a shrine to the glorification of rebellion and nihilism – a rebellion not primarily against the hypocrisy and emptiness of our culture but against God Himself. The saints most glorified in this shrine are those who died in nihilistic faith without surrendering, rebellious to the bitter end, flipping the bird (as it were) to God. One could see the slow but inexorable progression from a child-like “Oh, what’s wrong with that?” to an outright hatred of the Good and Beautiful reflected in both the artists and their music. One could also see how those behind the scenes seized the occasion of the artists’ talents to profit this progression with cynicism and complete indifference to their participation in the evangelization of nihilism and the destruction of the lives of their clients.

    I left the place with a profound sadness in the depth of my soul.

    • Classical music is great but the instruments always sound the same. With Rock and Roll you get to hear some electronics. The echo kind of sound with the string instruments. Yeah, George Martin all those early Beatle tunes, I Want To Hold Your Hand, the angels had to be stirred!

      • Then you have guys like the DOORS also very innovative and thought provocative.
        Their “Peace Frog” song about the riots in New Haven kind remind of whats going on now in the political process, vintage DOORS and there were some lyrics in his songs
        like “cancel my subscription to the resurrection” When The Music Is Over well, I like
        the sound of the song, but don’t cancel mine ..

  3. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    Against WHOM are we “fighting alone” in this obit?

    Or is this now the Michalopington Post?

  4. Gail Sheppard says

    George Martin added a *texture* to music. He was the “Harold and the Purple Crayon” of his time.

    George, I bet you often shout, “I’m just a soul whose intentions are good. Oh, Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood!”