“The specialist in beginnings, endings, and solos”

Edward Greenfield, on the Guardian archives, in a short 1969 profile of George Martin:

It is at this point that Martin will remind you of one of the comic records he made with Peter Sellers—a sketch about a horse-dealing major who ran an academy for rock-and-roll singers. Of young Twit Conway, the major says to the woman reporter: “You’ve seen for yourself: he’s just as normal and well-balanced as any other 17-year-old ex-plasterer’s mate suddenly earning a thousand quid a week.” The Beatles, Martin admits, have indeed changed, personally as well as musically. “’It would have affected Winston Churchill, let alone four 22-year-olds.”

The piece is interesting for a few reasons: the anachronistic reference to a “woman reporter”;[1] the pre-digital invocation of Betteridge’s Law; the beautifully clickbaity (purchase-baity?) headline. But mostly I like the glimpse into a world where the Beatles were still producing new music. The tone of the article is strangely matter-of-fact, given the scandalous suggestion of the headline and lede; but this is just another day’s article in 1969, part of the build-up to the release of a new album by the biggest band in the world.

I can’t think of many things that generate that kind of enthusiasm these days. Just Marvel movies and Apple products.

The linked article is abridged. Be sure to click through to read the original.

  1. If only it were an anachronism in every field.  ↩