George Martin Was ‘Like a Second Father,’ Paul McCartney Writes in Tribute to ‘Fifth Beatle’

“The world has lost a truly great man who left an indelible mark on my soul and the history of British music,” writes McCartney

Paul McCartney has praised “fifth Beatle” George Martin as a “second father” in an essay about the music producer, who died Tuesday at the age of 90.

“I’m so sad to hear the news of the passing of dear George Martin,” the rock icon wrote on his website. “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. He guided the career of The Beatles with such skill and good humour that he became a true friend to me and my family. If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle it was George. From the day that he gave The Beatles our first recording contract, to the last time I saw him, he was the most generous, intelligent and musical person I’ve ever had the pleasure to know.”

In the essay, McCartney remembers the time where the band was recording “Yesterday,” and Martin had the idea of “putting a string quartet on the record.” After initial objection, McCartney is thrilled “to know his idea was so correct.”

“I am proud to have known such a fine gentleman with such a keen sense of humur, who had the ability to poke fun at himself,” he added. “Even when he was Knighted by the Queen there was never the slightest trace of snobbery about him.”

Martin died at the age of 90 on Tuesday, according to a message from Ringo Starr on his Twitter.

“God bless George Martin peace and love to Judy and his family love Ringo and Barbara George will be missed,” Starr wrote on Twitter Tuesday evening.

Martin signed the band from Liverpool, England to a record contract with EMI’s Parlophone Records in 1962, after many other labels had turned them down. An indispensable presence in the studio, he went on to produce almost every Beatles song, becoming known as the “Fifth Beatle.”

Martin helped the band progress dramatically in just a few years, arranging their music and allowing them to become more sophisticated and adventurous musically. His works with the group “Eleanor Rigby,” on which he arranged and conducted strings inspired by Bernard Herrmann’s “Psycho” score; and “A Day in the Life,” the epic song that ended the epochal “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album.

Martin produced every Beatles album except the band’s final one, “Let It Be,” which features widely-derided production by Phil Spector.

“The world has lost a truly great man who left an indelible mark on my soul and the history of British music,” wrote McCartney.