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'Fifth Beatle' passes on wisdom

Fab Four: Martin spotted star potential
Fab Four: Martin spotted star potential

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LONDON (CNN) -- Former Beatles producer Sir George Martin is to pass on the management and creativity skills he gained while working with the Fab Four to those eager for success in the corporate world.

The 76-year-old producer, who worked with the Beatles for most of the 1960s, is to address leading members of the business community.

And his experiences over the past 50 years as a music producer with big talents such as Elton John, Jeff Beck and Celine Dion, could provide some invaluable advice.

"I think it is relevant that in business as in art there are certain principles. You have to show leadership -- you have to be inspiring. You have to take risks and be innovative and think laterally -- don't go for the obvious," he told CNN.

Martin certainly took a risk in 1962 when he signed The Beatles, a little known band from Liverpool that had been rejected by other record labels in England.

After being struck by the band's "star quality", Martin gave them a recording deal with his Parlophone Records label.

Martin: Good corporate environments allow their people to have ideas
Martin: Good corporate environments allow their people to have ideas

"I fell in love with them because they had this charisma right from the word go".

"George Harrison joked with me the very first day when I said 'have a listen to this and tell me what you don't like'. And he said 'I don't like your tie for a start'. The others thought he had blown it but I laughed like mad".

He quickly turned The Beatles into accomplished musicians, allowing them to experiment with classical instruments and develop their own ideas.

Martin believes that artistic freedom is just as important in the business environment.

"I think good corporate environments do allow their people to have ideas and to generate them.

"You have got to develop individuality with people and come up with the right ideas to pull with other people and to work closely together to combine their talents," he said.

Martin's music credentials include over 50 number one singles in the U.S. and UK across a range of genres from rock and jazz to classical and film sound tracks.

But his most memorable achievement will perhaps be his status as the "fifth Beatle", and his ability to harness the talents of Paul McCartney and John Lennon.


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