AOL Spinner reports that Tony Sheridan, the singer/guitarist who played with The Beatles on their earliest recordings, has died. He was 72 years old.
Sheridan got his start in music as a guest musician on the TV series Oh Boy!, which led to him performing with early rock pioneers like Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran whenever they would tour the U.K. In 1960, he and his band were offered a gig at the Kaiserkeller club in Hamburg, Germany, but Sheridan soon found himself alone in Germany after his band left for England again. While playing in Hamburg with a makeshift band, he came across a band of young men from Liverpool who were playing at the nearby Indra club.
As soon as Sheridan met the young Beatles, he formed a close relationship with the four. George Harrison in particular was fond of Sheridan and took every chance he got to jam with him. After seeing Sheridan and The Beatles play together, Polydor producer Bert Kaempfert tapped the group to play together on a collection of songs released in Germany under the name “Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers.” Those recordings, later released as “Tony Sheridan and The Beatles” after Sheridan’s backing band became the most famous band in the world, have gone down in history as the only recordings of The Beatles in their nebulous phase as a loud, raucous rock ‘n’ roll band.
As of press time, no cause of death has been released for Sheridan. Paul McCartney issued a statement on his website calling Sheridan “a good man.”