Beatles' Penny Lane Trumpet Player Dies

05/10/2011
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(Gibson) The man who was most famous for playing the piccolo trumpet solo on The Beatles' "Penny Lane" has died, according to the Los Angeles Times. Classical musician David Mason passed away on April 29 after a brief battle with leukemia. He was 85.

The story goes that Paul McCartney was seeking to add some extra instrumentation to "Penny Lane" and he saw Mason play Bach's "Brandenburg" Concerto No. 2 in F Major on television. The next day, producer George Martin brought in Mason to record with the band. "I did not even know who The Beatles were when I was asked to do a recording session with them," Mason told England's Bath Chronicle in 2003. "For me it was just another job."

Mason brought nine trumpets to the session and eventually picked the B-flat piccolo trumpet to deliver the distinct solo. McCartney sang the solo aloud, Martin wrote out the notes and Mason performed his task, according to The Beatles Recording Sessions. He was paid about $45 for his contribution. more on this story

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