3 Classic Rock Icons Celebrated Birthdays Over the Weekend
This past weekend, three enormously influential musicians all celebrated birthdays.
We begin with Sir George Martin, the 'fifth Beatle', English record producer, arranger, composer, conductor, audio engineer and musician..
Martin was born on January 3, 1926 in London, England, and turned 89 on Saturday.
His work on each of the Beatles' original albums was extensive, because his musical expertise helped bridge the gap between the Beatles' raw talent and the sound they wanted to achieve (most of the Beatles' orchestral arrangements and instrumentation, as well as frequent keyboard parts on the early records, were written or performed by Martin in collaboration with the band).
However, to be fair, John Lennon did not perceive Martin's work to be quite so extensive--in the book, 'The John Lennon Letters', he wrote that Martin took too much credit for the Beatles' music.
On to another icon: John Paul Jones celebrated his 69th birthday over the weekend, born on January 3, 1946 in Kent, England.
Where would Zeppelin be without Jonesy? Can you imagine a song like Ramble On without his bassline? Or the gorgeous string and brass arrangements he contributes on Kashmir?
Not to mention his piano and mellotron arrangement on The Rain Song; as noted at ultimateclassicrock.com: "his ability to orchestrate (synthesized) string sections were a big part of the reason Led Zeppelin were able to expand their sonic palette far beyond heavy guitar rock."
And then there's Stephen Stills, born on January 3, 1945, in Dallas, Texas.
Stills was ranked #28 in Rolling Stone Magazine's 2003 list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and #47 in the 2011 list.
He became the first person to be inducted twice on the same night into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with Crosby, Stills, and Nash and Buffalo Springfield.
This is one of my favorite Stephen Stills solo tunes: