The story of a musical genius

Colin Mockett OAM brings his new show Made in Montserrat to the Potato Shed. (Supplied)

The brand new show by local entertainer, writer and historian Colin Mockett OAM comes to the Potato Shed this month.

Made in Montserrat focuses on the story of influential producer and arranger George Martin and his decision to build a luxurious studio on the Caribbean island of Montserrat in 1979.

The studio was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo only a decade later, but during those ten years it was the site of many timeless recordings by internationally renowned acts including Elton John, Dire Straits, the Police, the Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Sheena Easton and Australia’s own Little River Band.

The new show follows a familiar format for followers of Mockett’s work, who has produced a long series of presentations featuring him narrating the stories of musical giants – such as Elvis, Chuck Berry, Hank Williams and Buddy Holly – while a group of live musicians perform the subjects’ important works.

Mockett said the opportunity to tell the story of a towering figure such as Martin involving a volcanic island was too good to pass up.

“He was called the fifth Beatle, he ran the Abbey Road Studios and was a classically trained musician,” he said.

“So he’s the bloke who put an orchestra behind Paul McCartney for Eleanor Rigby, things like that. He gave that extra element to the Beatles… he was the musical genius behind the move from She Loves You, pop stuff, to Sgt Pepper’s, which was a full orchestral arrangement.

“One of the reasons he chose Montserrat, apart from the silence – because no matter where he put his studio, there was always background noises of cars and things – was that it had been bypassed by what we call 20th Century progress.

“It didn’t have any fast food, it had a lovely slow pace to it, and the people of Montserrat didn’t recognise Elton John or Sting or Mark Knopfler. So the people who went to record there had the delight, for them, of not being recognised and pestered for autographs and things.”

Also featuring musicians Adam Parsons, Geoff Sinnbeck and Neville Findlay, Made in Montserrat will be at the Potato Shed on Tuesday, July 16. Visit for tickets and more details.