Paul McCartney has issued a statement on the death of Sir George Martin, who passed away yesterday (March 8) aged 90.

“I’m so sad to hear the news of the passing of dear George Martin,” McCartney wrote on his website, accompanied by a black-and-white photo of the pair. “I have so many wonderful memories of this great man that will be with me forever. He was a true gentleman and like a second father to me.”

“If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle it was George,” he wrote, explaining that it was “hard to choose favourite memories” of his time with him because there “are so many.” He did, however, use the post to recall the recording session for Beatles hit ‘Yesterday’, when Martin suggested putting a string quartet on the track.

“With the gentle bedside manner of a great producer he said to me, “Let us try it and if it doesn’t work we won’t use it and we’ll go with your solo version.”

“He took my chords that I showed him and spread the notes out across the piano, putting the cello in the low octave and the first violin in a high octave and gave me my first lesson in how strings were voiced for a quartet.”

He signed off the statement with “God bless you George and all who sail in you!,” sending love to Martin’s family, before calling his “dear friend” “a fine gentleman” and praising his “keen sense of humour,” and “ability to poke fun at himself.”

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr has also paid tribute to the producer.

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