Beatles producer SIR GEORGE MARTIN was honoured in Ireland on Saturday (27Sep08) with the James Joyce Award from the University College Dublin's Literary and Historical Society.
Martin, who has often been referred to as 'the fifth Beatle', received the accolade for his lifetime contribution to music.
In accepting the honour, the 82-year-old recalled fond memories of working with the Fab Four as students as Beatles fans listened intently.
A Dublin-based Beatles tribute band performed at UCD before Martin took the stage and addressed the audience, which included his wife Judy and his producer son Giles.
Joking about the techniques he used when he began his career, Martin, who recently topped a Rolling Stone poll of the best producers, said, "You are looking at a real dinosaur."
And he told his audience that he was far from impressed when he first heard the Beatles, telling their manager Brian Epstein "if he wanted me to sign them based on what he had played me of their music, the answer had to be 'No'."
But he added, "They imparted a sense of well being. I was hoping they might do the same for the audience."
Martin went on to give up studio secrets and little-known Beatles facts, stating the group quit touring in 1966 because, "The girls were screaming so loud that Ringo Starr could only keep up by watching the bums wiggling in front of him."
He concluded his acceptance speech by quoting from the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: "You're such a lovely audience, we'd love to take you home with us."
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