February 18, 2013 9:27

One-time Beatles frontman Tony Sheridan dies

McCartney nicknamed the British rocker 'The Teacher' for his influence on the group

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Tony Sheridan, the British rock 'n' roll guitarist and singer who was backed by The Beatles at their very first recording session, has died aged 72.

The news was made public by a Facebook post from the family of the deceased on Saturday (February 16). It read, "Our beloved father and friend! Thank you for your love and inspiration. You left us today at 12.00 pm".

Sheridan met The Beatles (then featuring Pete Best in Ringo Starr's place on the drumkit) in the early 1960s in Hamburg, Germany, where Sheridan died. Then a well-known figure on the Hamburg club scene, he joined forces with The Beatles to record a number of rock 'n' roll tracks and standards including 'My Bonnie', 'Ain't She Sweet' and 'When The Saints Go Marching In' under the name Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers.

McCartney called larger-than-life Sheridan 'The Teacher' – it was Sheridan who orchestrated the band's pre-fame look of leather bomber jackets and cowboy boots and introduced them to imported American R&B records by the likes of Little Richard.

A resident at the Top Ten Club, Sheridan was an unpredictable performer, often turning up drunk, tumbling off stage and mooning at fans, reports The Telegraph. The Beatles would turn up to see him play every single night. Later, they became his backing band at the same club, playing for up to seven amphetamine-fuelled hours a night.

Sheridan released his last album, 'Vagabond', in 2002. He made a rare live appearance in 2012 at Beatlefair in San Diego, California, a few weeks before undergoing heart surgery in Germany.

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