James Bay was invited by Giles Martin to sing at George Martin’s memorial
James Bay was personally invited to play ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ at George Martin’s memorial service by his son Giles Martin.
The 25-year-old musician was presented with the PRS for Music Most Performed Work prize at the Ivor Novello Awards held at the Grosvenor House hotel in London on Thursday (05.19.16) and as he went up to collect his statuette host Paul Gambaccini told the star-studded audience that James’ moving performance had been a “highlight” of the funeral.
The singer – who earned his award for his track ‘Hold Back The River’ – admitted he was honored to have been asked by Giles, 46, to perform a version of the classic Beatles song in tribute to his father, who worked as a producer and arranger for The Fab Four.
Speaking to BANG Showbiz at the ceremony, he said: “I met Giles Martin a year or so ago and he has become a bit of a fan of mine and he invited me to play. It was a super personal day, not for me, but for the Martin family and it was absolute honor to play.”
James also revealed producer-and-composer Giles chose which track he was to perform, and he was very pleased to do a rendition of ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ because it was written by the late George Harrison who is his favorite Beatle.
James added: “Giles chose the song. I’m a big Beatles fan and in particular George Harrison, what an honor. The Beatles made such lovely music and they’re hugely important to all of music.
For me, George Harrison as a songwriter on his own is right up there.”
The service took place at St Martin In The Fields church in Trafalgar Square, London, on May 11 and Beatles star Sir Paul McCartney, his daughter Stella McCartney, Sir Elton John, Alexander Armstrong, Bernard Cribbings and Yoko Ono – the widow of late Fab Four bandmate John Lennon – were among the 600 mourners.
As well as James’ musical tribute, ‘Let It Be’ hitmaker Paul – who was also joined in The Beatles by Ringo Starr – gave a eulogy in which he praised his close friend and long-time collaborator Martin, who passed away peacefully at his home at the age of 90 in March.