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George Martin met the band at a time that he was caught between two worlds – and his own upbringing, only now being revealed, influenced his relationship with the group, the book says. He was integral to the Fab Four’s success and they might well have never been the best-selling band in history (with more than 800 million records shifted) had it not been for his musical genius and business skill, according to Maximum Volume, by established Beatles author Kenneth Womack.

So was Martin “the fifth Beatle,” as is often described? Womack replies in an interview: “I think at times he was the third or fourth Beatle – and I don’t mean that as any kind of negative critique of anyone else’s contribution.” Martin died last year at the age of 90.

At the time that he met the stars-to-be in 1962, Martin was deep into conducting a four-year affair in London with his assistant, Judy. His first wife Sheena lived out of town and knew nothing about his secret life. Martin was also trying to conceal his own poor childhood background and this also partly explains why he resisted the Beatles for months before embracing them, the author says in an interview: “For about half a year, he was trying not to be involved in their story – he then intended to record six record sides and then be done with them.”

The author says he was “very surprised about the degree of George’s childhood poverty – he describes a family that had no electricity or running water and had one gas jet.” After school, Martin became a lowly office clerk and scratch pianist; then in World War II, he joined the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm and modelled himself on the officers, changing his accent to a more ‘upper class’ sound.

Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin ..  AVAILABLE HERE.

When he returned home, his family was “having so much difficulty in making ends meet – and this is the first time I know that this has been written – that George’s mother was taking in numerous orphans so that she could earn money from the state,” says Womack, whose sources include George’s eldest son, Gregory Paul Martin. The ex-navy man started studying classical music and got married to Sheena. “He had told her he had come from very humble upbringings but she had no idea how humble.” He broke with his parents as he reinvented himself and started climbing the social ladder.

Womack relates this back to Martin’s initial hesitancy about the Beatles. While he wasn’t sure about some of their songs, shaggy hair, Liverpool accents, the name, their beat-up gear, abilities, studio professionalism, or their first drummer Pete Best, there was something else that bothered him: “These guys were self-described ‘rednecks,’ as Ringo said. Why would George want to align himself with the sort of guys he had been trying to get away from for so long?”

Martin tried them with a cover version of “How Do You Do It,” later a hit for Gerry & The Pacemakers. They hated it. He could see a little potential in “Love Me Do,” “P.S. I Love You” and “Ask Me Why.”

A breakthrough came they offered him a brand new song – a Roy Orbison style slow number called “Please Please Me.” Martin suggested that they radically speed up the ballad. They did, and something clicked. The rest is history: “Gentleman, you have just made your first Number One,” Martin rightly predicted to them. It was the start of a groundbreaking relationship that would change the course of pop.

Womack adds:“When he had thrown his lot in with them, they became a true partnership and there was really no stopping him. He was innovative, sometimes more so than they were.” “George was seen as a squarish fuddy-duddy, even the Beatles saw him that way, but he was as hip as everybody else. Like he had a double life, he was cannier than you might think. When they first debuted ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ to him, he didn’t say, ‘Oh my God’ or run for the hills. George said ‘very interesting’ and went away and thought about it and helped create the palette to bring the ideas to fruition.”

Martin’s career has various lessons for other music executives:

(1) Invest in the future. In 2017, many record companies are looking for ready-made sure-fire talent with an audience. “George was prepared to take the time and develop them step by step – it doesn’t happen much these days,” Womack says.

(2) Be driven by what you enjoy, then it doesn’t seem like work. “George was driven by his music. He was always curious. This kept him from wanting to buy speedboats and live on the Riviera.” While he later purchased a country estate with Judy, his second wife, he was generally happy with just “the trappings of having financial security.”

(3) Take a risk. After a dozen years on a middling salary at Parlophone, Martin had differences with EMI and went into business on his own with just one blue-chip client – The Beatles. He had pride, emotion and financial survival at stake, perhaps more than the musicians themselves. He went on to build Air Studios and Apple Studios. The gamble paid off.

(4) Take time to look for talent. Martin saved the ailing Parlophone company not just by comedy records but by becoming an innovative A&R leader, seeking new artists. He later even visited New York’s Brill Building seeking more hit songs for other musicians he was working with.

(5) Have faith in yourself. In the 1960s, the industry wisdom was that pop was disposable and bands were fleeting fads. The Beatles were rejected by Decca which thought guitar groups were over. Martin gave his all to make music that would endure. “It worked. Songs like ‘Norwegian Wood,’ ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘Paperback Writer’ sound fresh and crisp today,” says the biographer. Even in the mid-1960s, doom-mongers predicted that the group was finished as it stopped touring and The Beach Boys challenged them with singles such as “Good Vibrations.”

“George and the Beatles stepped up to the challenge with ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, ‘Penny Lane’ and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Brian Wilson said ‘my God, they beat me to it.’”

Womack is well qualified to write this book, being the author of The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles and The Beatles Encyclopedia. While the sometimes stiff-upper-lip Martin kept much to himself in his life rigidly compartmentalized between personal and professional matters, Womack’s meticulous research results in a detailed analysis. The opening account of Martin’s first recording session with The Beatles on Wednesday, June 6, 1962 is spread out over many pages. We hear about the A&R man’s schedule of meetings on that day, his lunch and who he meets. Finally we get to the evening. Martin was in the Abbey Road canteen, not paying any attention to the music, and was called in because the Liverpudlians were causing a stir in the studio next door. What happened next is well known but exhaustively told here. After the performance, Martin spent 20 minutes criticizing every aspect of the playing to a silent response. He asked them if there was anything they did not like too, and George Harrison responded with, “well, for a start, I don’t like your tie.” The deadpan retort broke the ice. Martin liked their wit and charisma.

As the book notes: “During that one instant, Harrison had very possibly saved the Beatles from the EMI dustbin. Martin was quite sure that he didn’t like the group’s musicianship or their original material, but after years of toil at Parlophone Records, he knew comedy, and these guys, if nothing else, were funny. Even in the darkest of moments, when the chips were down, they knew how to laugh at themselves, as Harrison had so clearly revealed. And Martin could work with that.”

Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin is published by Chicago Review Press. It is subtitled The Early Years, 1926-1966 and is the first volume of the first full-length biography of Martin and takes the story up to Rubber Soul and his 40th birthday in 1966…  AVAILABLE HERE.



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Paul began his eight-night NYC-area run at the Prudential Center. He’s doing two nights there, two at MSG, two at Barclays Center, and two at Nassau Coliseum. 55 years since the release of The Beatles’ debut single “Love Me Do” (which Paul played) His 38-song setlist was similar to most of his recent tours, kicking off with “A Hard Day’s Night”.





A Hard Day’s Night
Save Us
Can’t Buy Me Love
Letting Go
Temporary Secretary
Let Me Roll It
Foxy Lady
I’ve Got a Feeling
My Valentine
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
Maybe I’m Amazed
We Can Work It Out
In Spite of All the Danger
You Won’t See Me

Love Me do
And I love her
Here Today
Quennie Eye
The Fool on the hill
Lady Madonna
Eleanor Rigby
I wanna be your man
Being For the Benefit of Mr.Kite
Band on the Run
Back in the USSR
Let it Be
Live and Let Die
Hey Jude


Sgt.Pepper´s (Reprise)
Hi Hi Hi
Golden Slumbers
Carry That Weight
The End


Paul returned for an encore and, given the day, he honored the the victims of the September 11, 2001 tragedy before playing “Yesterday”

Paul Signs Hofner bass for charity:



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Ringo sat down with Breakfast With The Beatles host Chris Carter to share details of his 19th solo album, Give More Love, which will be released September 15.

Ringo walks listeners through his entire new album exclusively on The Beatles Channel, providing commentary on each song’s meaning and personnel. Ringo Starr’s Give More Love track-by-track special premieres on Friday, September 15 at 5 PM ET. Encores: Friday, September 15 at 8 PM ET; Saturday, September 16 at 2 PM ET; Sunday, September 17 at 11 AM ET; Tuesday, September 19 at 11 PM ET; Thursday, September 21 at 12 PM ET.

Recorded at Ringo’s home studio in Los Angeles, Give More Love has 10 new tracks featuring collaborations with a little help from his friends – including Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Edgar Winter, Steve Lukather, Peter Frampton, Benmont Tench, Timothy B Schmit, Richard Marx, Dave Stewart and Don Was, to name a few.

“I dance and cheer them on because I love what they do,” Ringo says. “We have a rapport with all the players and none of us have attitude, and none of us are afraid to just rock.”

Give More Love also includes a new version of Ringo’s Top 10 hit Back Off Boogaloo, which is based on the original recording Ringo made when he wrote the song. Ringo shared the story behind this new version – WATCH IT HERE:


In October, Ringo will hit the road in the US with his All Starr Band, the same beloved lineup he has performed with since 2012: Steve Lukather, Todd Rundgren, Gregg Rolie, Richard Page, Warren Hamm and Gregg Bissonette.




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In support of his debut solo album, IN///PARALLEL, Dhani Harrison has announced a brief tour that will take him to several U.S. cities in November. It’s his first-ever tour as a headlining artist. The dates are as follows:

Nov 6th – New York – Knitting Factory
Nov 7th – Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall
Nov 19th – Seattle – The Crocodile
Nov 20th – Portland – Doug Fir Lounge
Nov 22nd – San Francisco – The Chapel
Nov 28th – Santa Ana – The Observatory
Nov 30th – LA – The El Rey

The album will be released via BMG Records on Oct. 6. Dhani, the son of George and Olivia Harrison, performed his first solo show at the Echo in Los Angeles July 24. Watch a clip from the show below. (He also played Panorama Music Festival in New York City, on July 30.)

PRE-ORDER the CD and the VINYL …   H E R E.


Dhani has also released the second single from the album, “Admiral of Upside Down.” According to a press release, “The flourishing orchestral song has the motion of a never-ending cycle, emblematic of personal growth and evolution, which offers listeners a perspective into Harrison’s own developments and introspective thoughts that he’s explored while creating the album. In crafting this solo project, he’s taken a deep dive into his own identity, and from that has emerged an audio experience of self-awareness. ‘The record is about self-discovery, self-love, self-healing,’ Harrison explains. ‘You can’t be loved until you learn to love yourself. You can’t help others until you learn to help yourself.’ In this new stage of his musical transformation, Harrison steps it up with a grand-scale vision that begs for a spectacular live presentation. The sound stems inspiration from visionary icons like David Bowie, Radiohead and Massive Attack, to fellow film composer Hans Zimmer. ‘It’s an introspective trip from where I was to where I am now,’ he says about the album. ‘I had things happen during recording this that changed my perspective on everything.’”


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Kathleen, or Kate to her friends, was a 20-year-old Beeston girl in 1963 and on Thursday, March 7 saw The Beatles up close at the first of the band’s four visits to Nottingham. What’s more, she got them to sign their autographs for her album. The autographs go under the hammer at Mellors & Kirk on October 4, and are estimated at £1,000 to 1,500.

The postcard-sized leaf is signed “Love from John Lennon XXX” and “George Harrison X”. Theirs are the most highly prized Beatles signatures – for the obvious reason there will be no more, but also because the piece dates from the early years, the height of Beatlemania.

Gerry Marsden of Gerry and the Pacemakers fame has also signed the same piece. The Nottingham event was the first of manager Brian Epstein’s six ‘Mersey Beat Showcase’ concerts at different venues, which also featured Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, the Big Three and Cilla Black.

Recently Mellors & Kirk sold all four Beatles signatures obtained by a former worker at the Old England Inn on the A1 where the band stopped en route for a late night supper. She nipped out of the kitchen and got their signatures on a scrap of paper, for which we obtained £2,500 from an American collector. Beatles memorabilia commands high prices at auction as people want to own something directly connected with the most influential pop musicians in living memory.

Ringo’s own copy of the Parlophone Beatles album of 1968 sold for $790,000 in 2015, and a Sergeant Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band LP signed by the Beatles sold at auction for the equivalent of £190,000 in 2013.

That sort of money would have been unthought of in March 1963 when the band had to unload their own equipment from a van when they arrived at the Nottingham venue, the Elizabethan Ballroom on the top floor of the Co-Op in Upper Parliament Street. Amazingly, on the night the room was apparently only half full.

It was to be a very different story on The Beatles’ three other visits to Nottingham later in 1963 and early 1964.
On May 23 in 1963 they were at the Odeon sharing the billing with Roy Orbison, and on December 12 that year returned to a tumultuous reception from thousands of ecstatic young fans. All police leave in the city was cancelled and a fleet of ambulances were put on standby. The Fab Four also visited the city on November 5, 1964.
Kate has treasured her memento of that historic night for 54 years, but isn’t sad to part with it because somebody else will treasure it.
It goes to show that its often the objects acquired without the least thought for future profit that turn out to be the best investments.
John, Paul, George and Ringo have attained a sort of immortality that only artists with something unique can. There is something so new and appealing yet sweet and sentimental about the lyrics and music which changed the way a new, post-war generation of baby boomers woke up to music.