George Martin Reflects On The Beatles

(Gibson) One can forgive Sir George Martin for not doing too much press these days. The former Beatles producer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, who turned 85 earlier this year, has not produced an album since 2006's Beatles mash-up, Love, for Cirque du Soleil. Beyond that, he's answered every conceivable question about his former colleagues one could ask. But with a new documentary set to air on the BBC, Martin sat down with The Independent to talk about his career, and yes, in particular, those magical days with the Fab Four.

"I wasn't music at all. It was comedy," Martin said of the quality that first drew him to the group at their first audition in 1962. But very quickly, he came to see that there was an astonishing musical genius under those haircuts. "I think we recorded well over 200 titles and, of those, probably 60% were great songs," he said admiringly. "I mean not just a pass-by thing, but really great. And I would have given my teeth to have written even one of them."

Still, genius or not, Martin says he can't look at them with the same adoring eyes as the public. "You see, I can't be rational about this, because The Beatles aren't The Beatles to me as they are to someone on the street," he said. "You ask them what they think of The Beatles and they say, 'Oh, they are fantastic.' The Beatles are four people I knew very well, and two of them are still living. So it's not this big icon that everybody talks about. I still find it difficult to believe that they are probably the finest rock band we've ever had, or the most famous, or whatever. But I can't look at them like that." more on this story

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