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Beatles' Collaborator Tony Sheridan Dies: British Rocker Played Role in Early Band Recordings

Beatles ZumaPress.com

You can't tell the story of the Beatles without Tony Sheridan, who has died at age 72. 

The British rocker met the band in its formative years in Hamburg, Germany. Pete Best was the drummer; Stu Sutcliffe was on bass; John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison weren't yet world famous.  

"I was without a band at that time, and so we got together," Sheridan wrote in the album-liner notes for In the Beginning (Circa 1960). "They backed me in solo numbers, and I played guitar with them when they did their spots." 

All about Lennon's band before the Beatles

The gigs led to a recording session, which led to a track, "My Bonnie," that became something of a sensation on the Hamburg scene of the early 1960s.

Sheridan, who, though roughly the same age as Lennon, was already an established guitarist, sang lead vocal; "My Bonnie" was released under Sheridan's name, with the Beatles billed as the Beat Brothers.

Sheridan also figured into the Ringo Starr chapter of Beatles history: He employed the former Richard Starkey in Hamburg prior to the Liverpool gang hiring him.

"Just say goodbye to Tony Sheridan just he died I had a great month [1960-1961] playing with him was great bye," Starr wrote in a tweet Monday.

On his Website, McCartney called Sheridan "a good guy."

"We regularly watched his late night performances and admired his style," McCartney wrote. ":He will be missed."

Sheridan's death, which was said to have occurred on Saturday, was reported by a German record label, the Associated Press reported. Cause of death was not known.

A look back at other stars who've passed away this year

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