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George Martin Dies: Rockers React

Steve Finn, Getty Images
Steve Finn, Getty Images

News of producer George Martin‘s passing has inspired many of the countless artists influenced by his work to share their memories and farewell messages on Facebook and Twitter.

Martin’s family has confirmed reports of his death, noting that he “passed away peacefully at home” at the age of 90. Surviving former Beatles members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, who worked hand in hand with Martin for the duration of the band’s career after he signed them to their first record deal, were naturally among the first — and most emotional — to pay tribute.

“I have so many wonderful memories of this great man that will be with me forever,” wrote McCartney in a lengthy memorial essay. “He was a true gentleman and like a second father to me. He guided the career of the Beatles with such skill and good humor 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.”

McCartney and Starr are but a few of the many artists who’ve come forward to pay their respects — a group that also includes the families of George Harrison and John Lennon as well as a growing array of rockers whose own approach to the studio was deeply shaped by the groundbreaking work Martin did with the Beatles and a long list of other clients.

Queen guitarist Brian May was moved to write a remembrance at his personal site, offering sad condolences to Martin’s family and noting his own appreciation for his work. “Always always positive, and deeply thoughtful and creative, the man was a gentle giant of popular music,” wrote May. “I didn’t know him well, but our few conversations were full of light. Massive respects and love. Bless you, George!”

None of the tributes pouring in from the rock world — more of which you can read below — mean more than the one from Martin’s son Giles, who embarked on his own career in music and later worked alongside his father in the studio for the Beatles remix project Love. Giles bade his father a loving farewell, writing, “I’m so proud to have been your son. I’ll miss you more than words can say. Thank you for the all times we had together.”

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