Sir George Martin Receives US Honour-July 12 '08 Jul 16, 2008 3:23:09 GMT -5
Post by yerblues1968 on Jul 16, 2008 3:23:09 GMT -5
Sir George Martin (far right) is seen here with Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney
and George Harrison.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE GRAMMY TRIBUTE TO BEATLES PRODUCER GEORGE MARTIN
L.A. Times Music Blog
July 14, 2008 5:00pm
The most touching moments at Saturday’s (July 12) Grammy Foundation salute to longtime Beatles producer George Martin came from those who shared stories of their associations with Martin and/or the Beatles.
Burt Bacharach pictured here with Dionne Warwick, singer Tom Jones, and guitarist Jeff Beck
Burt Bacharach performance of "Alfie." (5.37 minutes)
Tom Jones with Toni Braxton performing "Knock On Wood." (3.23 minutes)
Jeff Beck's performance of "A Day In A Life" at 2001 Montreux Jazz Fest. (5.03 minutes)
Before delivering his own whisper-sung version of the hit theme song from “Alfie,” veteran composer Burt Bacharach (above) recalled meeting Martin for the first time in the mid-1960s when Cilla Black was recording the song in England (before Dionne Warwick’s U.S. hit version). “I must have driven everyone crazy,” Bacharach said. “I think we did 34 takes.”
Tom Jones told of sharing a drink with Paul McCartney in an English pub circa 1968 and asking, “When are you going to write me a song?” McCartney came back with a tune he offered Jones, but said it ought to be his next single. Because his record company already had another single in the pipeline for release, Jones wistfully noted, “I had to let this song slip. You win some and you lose some,” then jumped into the opening line: “The long and winding road …”
Ironically, the arrangement would have been more fitting for a tribute to Phil Spector, filled as it was with the strings and horns echoing the 1970 version Spector produced for the “Let It Be” album. That version long irritated McCartney and was one impetus for the 2003 release of “Let It Be … Naked,” which stripped Spector’s production off those sessions.
Music conductor, David Foster, guitarist, Joe Walsh and singer, Alison Sudol of A Fine Frenzy.
Joe Walsh performance of "Life's Been Good." at Wembley Arena (8.14 minutes)
Alison Sudol performance of "Across the Universe" at the World Cafe. (5.49 minutes)
Near the end of Jones’ event-closing performance, emcee and conductor David Foster coaxed Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh out of the crowd and onstage to join Jones in Eddie Floyd’s R&B hit “Knock on Wood.” Foster then asked for an encore, and Walsh launched into an impromptu version of what came off like a bar band’s third-set stab at “Life’s Been Good.”
Walsh earlier had ponied up $10,000 for one of four charity items auctioned off by Foster to increase the night’s take for the Grammy Foundation, established in 1989 to promote the role recorded music has played in American culture.
The big item was a reproduction of Martin’s score for the string arrangement he wrote for “Yesterday,” signed by Martin and McCartney. It fetched $14,000. Other items were artwork donated by Ringo Starr and Herb Alpert and a virtual appearance in a forthcoming edition of John Madden’s NFL videogame (be on the lookout for Walsh’s mug racing toward the goal posts).
Alison Sudol technical difficulties aren’t uncommon at galas like this one, held outdoors at USC’s McCarthy Quad. Even so, you had to feel an extra measure of empathy for Alison Sudol, lead singer of A Fine Frenzy. She stepped onstage with her band to sing the Beatles’ “Across the Universe,” but a faulty microphone prevented the words from flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup, or anything else. As the band vamped the intro, Foster quickly handed over a functional mic and the song unfurled after just a short delay.
Speaking of sympathy, how about the thankless task handed to singer-songwriter Naomi Sommers? The singer-songwriter humbly toted her acoustic guitar onstage immediately after British guitar god Jeff Beck’s knockout performance of the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life.” For her part, Sommers, introduced as Martin’s latest talent discovery, went a very different direction, playing an original folk-bluegrass tune with accompaniment from her mandolinist father, Phil Rosenthal.
When Martin himself took the stage following an effusive introduction from Recording Academy President Neil Portnow that elicited a standing ovation, he said, a slight shake in his 82-year-old voice, “I’m not used to this, you know. It’s fantastic.”
Neil Portnow, President of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS),
gives advice on how to start a career in the music industry. (5.36 minutes)
But far from capping Martin’s career, Saturday’s salute constituted just another step along a still-unfolding path, as Martin is currently working on an eight-part history of recorded music that he’ll be hosting. “On Record: The Soundtrack of Our Lives” is scheduled to premiere in the U.S. on PBS in the fall of 2010.
– Randy Lewis
Sir George Receives US Honour