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Jeff Beck says Beatles “as good as George Martin allowed them to be”


The Beatles probably would have gone down in history as a pretty good bar band had it not been for their producer George Martin, according to Jeff Beck. The guitar virtuoso, who worked with the studio wizard on a pair of acclaimed albums in the 1970s, said on Thursday the Beatles were “as good as George Martin allowed them to be.”

jeff1 ” To my ears I wasn’t hearing much,” Beck said during a Q&A at the Grammy Museum. “George put (in) all these chords and these fantastic sounds, and all the experimentation was afforded by George. He enabled it. Up to that point they were singing the Star Club (in) Hamburg and doing Gene Vincent songs.

“When we got later the psychedelic stuff, George put all that together. So without George, I don’t know. But of course the songwriting’s there, the melodies are there, marvelous. But they would be much more crude and raw, I think.”

Beck said Martin even had a great deal to do with embellishing John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s songwriting, as evidenced by the sixth chord on the “Yeah Yeah” part of “She Loves You.” “I don’t think they were doing that then,” Beck said. “George said, ‘You put that note there, boy, and that’ll be a hit.’ That’s the way I see it.”