It was sad to hear about the death of Sir George Martin.
The record producer loved the enchanting Caribbean island of Montserrat. He loved its beauty, relaxed atmosphere and the warmth and the discretion of its friendly people. The biggest names in rock and pop could come and go from the Air Studios without being hassled.
I had the pleasure of seeing this iconic recording base in February 2016. The site has, sadly, fallen into disrepair as it was within an exclusion zone set up in the 1990s when the volcano erupted. Locals told me that Sir George didn’t want anything done to the site. Maybe he wanted to remember it as it was. It is, effectively, frozen in time.
But Montserrat remained in his thoughts and actions. Sir George helped provide financial support and media awareness of the plight of the Montserrat people after the eruption made one-third of their island uninhabitable. Every one I spoke to, who had lived in Montserrat during those legendary times, talked about him with great affection. He also funded a cultural centre. Sadly, his failing health prevented his return to the island recently.
A local couple, Steve and Clover Lea run a superb local coffee shop and the massive contribution Montserrat has played in pop and rock is apparent. This wall in their cafe is plastered with albums recorded at the iconic studios.
The Great Destinations Radio Show will feature Montserrat in August and there’ll be many articles and audio clips on this Facebook page and our website. The Great Destinations Radio Show will air weekly on around 40 UK community and commercial radio stations and ex-pat services at the end of May.