All posts tagged Sir George Martin

George Harrison Lost Guitar Solo

Here is some sonic spelunking from the Martin Scorsese 2012 documentary Living In The Material World. Sir George Martin, Giles Martin, and Dhani Harrison are sitting at a mixing console listening to the stems of Here Comes The Sun. Sir George tells Dhani, “Try this” as he isolates his fathers lead vocal. “What do you think of that?” asks Sir George. “That’s great.” replies Dhani.

Giles pots up the string track commenting that “this and Something had great string arrangements on it.” Then he points out to Sir George; “Here  was a guitar solo that he played that never made the final cut” as Danhi slides the fader on a track never heard beyond the confines of Abbey Road.

Dhani, “It’s totally different to anything I’d ever heard.”
Sir George (to Giles), “We never used it?”
Giles, “No.”
Sir George, “I’d forgotten about that.”
Dhani, “I never even knew about it.”

Many thanks to Marco Moir for recommending this clip.

Sergeant Pepper Four Track Master

For artists, limitations can be the mother of invention. Leonardo da Vinci famously stated that “small rooms or dwellings set the mind in the right path; large ones cause it to go astray.” For Sir George Martin and his team, the right path was Abbey Road where they pushed 1960’s recording technology to its limits.

It was fifty years ago today, give or take, when the height of British studio recording technology was a Studer four-track tape deck. Modern-day musicians best this technology today ten-fold on their phones alone, and have access to an almost unlimited number of tracks on the average laptop recording rig. However, in the 1960’s four tracks were not limiting: they were empowering. Multi-track recording opened vast new areas of creativity, and allowed geniuses like Sir George to invent the next era of popular music.

The First Chord of A Hard Days Night

In this excerpt from his CBC radio program, Randy Bachman (The Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive) explains the opening chord to the classic Beatles tune, A Hard Days Night. George Harrisson once described this sforzando 12-string sting thus:

It is F with a G on top, but you’ll have to ask Paul about the bass note to get the proper story.
George Harrisson – (source The Beatles Bible)

Bachman’s interest in this strident kickoff chord took him to the source. During the recent remastering sessions of the Beatles collection, Giles Martin invited him to Abbey Road for a listen. “What do you want to hear?” asked Giles, two-time Grammy winner and now official custodian of the material. Randy went straight to a ProTools assisted examination of that iconic signature, a chord that opened the song, the album, the movie, and sonically defined the The Beatles early mop-top era.

Roll on down the vinyl highway with Randy’s Vinyl Tap, Mr. Bachman’s critically acclaimed CBC radio show. And special thanks to for turning me on to the video.