Monday 23 October 2017

Dermot Bolger: How 'Fifth Beatle' created a soundtrack of our lives

The late George Martin with Ringo Starr accepting an award in 2008. Photo: AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian
The late George Martin with Ringo Starr accepting an award in 2008. Photo: AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian
The Beatles in 1967. Photo: PA Wire

Dermot Bolger

Even in 1962, the Irish singer Brendan Bowyer was an experienced musician, with an eye for new talent and an awareness that talent needed nurturing.

That is why, when he was lead singer with the Royal Showband, who had just topped the bill at the Liverpool Empire Theatre, he paused in the car park afterwards to give words of encouragement to four young local musicians sitting on a wall who had played as a support act to open the show.

They definitely had something, he assured them, and should stick with it. Bowyer was right. They had something and they stuck with for another eight years. But what an eight years it was. It transformed 20th Century music, with recordings that remain as vibrant now as when their journey together ended in acrimony in 1970.

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