Tuesday 23 July 2019

Legendary music producer gives students a Fab Four history class as he collects UCD accolade

Colin Bartley

THE man known as the Fifth Beatle, who helped compose some of the world's best-loved pop songs, was honoured in Dublin yesterday for his contribution to music.

George Martin (82) strode into University College Dublin to receive his award from the Literary and Historical Society.

Although 38 years have passed by since the Fab Four's final bow, Martin is still very much innovating with the music of the Scouse supergroup.


Alongside his wife Judy and son Giles, who has co-produced the latest Beatles show, 'Love, with George', Martin graciously accepted the James Joyce Award.

This accolade has previously been bestowed upon author JK Rowling, UN weapons inspector Hans Blix and the American comic actor Will Ferrell.

"I'm delighted to be here and I am very honoured to be asked to do this. This is a great university you have got here and this is a great thing I have been asked to do. I'm really very pleased," he said.

But before the award entered the hands that produced some of popular music's most abiding moments, Martin took the full auditorium on a "magical mystery tour" of the Beatles career.

What Martin brought to life for the audience was akin to watching the 'Beatles Anthology' on DVD. Intertwining old studio clips, music, interviews and photos from the Beatles' pomp in the 1960s, Martin gave a unique insight into the genius that helped mould the world's most-lauded group.

During his hour-long performance, Martin said the multi-media interventions were deliberate. "There is a reason for all the old clips. It's not just to break the boredom, they give me time to sit down for a while."

He explained that after 50 years of producing he thought he had "played his innings."


But a chance offer from 'Cirque Du Soleil' put him back in the studio to produce the Las Vegas hit show 'Love' -- a new 80-minute production of all the Beatles' recordings.

And although he found it hard to get away from the productions and music, he said he believed the Beatles' legacy would far outlive him and all involved in their creation.

"It is 46 years since we started and I think in 46 years' time we'll all be dead and gone, but the Beatles music will still be here," he concluded.

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