LOS ANGELES–I’m an unabashed Beatles geek, so it was a kick to see George Martin take the stage down here at press tour a few days ago. He was at the Beverly Hilton to promote On Record: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, a PBS documentary series encompassing the 100 year history of recorded music. Don’t look for it next week or even next year–it’s not scheduled to air until 2010.
Here’s my report in today’s Toronto Star on Sir George’s slightly testy visit. Martin has undoubtedly heard every Beatles query imaginable. He’s hard of hearing anyway, so he doesn’t want to waste time trying to hear one more silly question like, what’s your favorite Beatles tune, or could the Jonas Brother be the next Beatles.
Still, it’s not like you can ask John or George these questions anymore, either.
Anyway, here is a chunk of Martin’s opening remarks, Beatles peoples, on why he wanted in on this documentary. The man sounds rather driven to win, even at 82:
This project is obviously very important to me personally. I don’t like losing. I really don’t. I like winning. Everything that I do, I strive to make sure that it does work, try to do things in a slightly unusual way. Recently, I mean, five years ago, I started a project which ended up two years ago with the opening of the “LOVE” show in Las Vegas. That was a massive task because when I was called in in 2003, the brief was, you can have anything you like from the archives of EMI to make up a soundtrack lasting an hour and a half, seamless soundtrack, but it must be new rather than old. Not a question of compilation of tracks, that’s too easy. So with my son, we worked — actually it took three years to do. We evolved a soundtrack which was different from
anything that anybody had ever heard and in surround sound, you get immersed in the music. A great project. Thankfully, it did actually come up extremely well.
The show is selling to knockout audiences even after two years, and the album won two Grammys. So that’s the kind of thing I like doing. If that had failed, I would have kicked myself, and I would have kicked my son, as well.