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Tony Sheridan, a British musician who worked with the Beatles before the group became famous, died Saturday at age 72.
The New York Daily News reported that Sheridan died in Germany following recent heart surgery.
It was in that country that Sheridan played at clubs and met the Beatles during the early 1960s. At that time, the band, then known as the Silver Beatles, consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best.
Sheridan often played on the same sets as the group, which was signed as his backup band. Their biggest hit was 1961’s "My Bonnie," which hit fifth place on the British charts.
According to the Telegraph, Sheridan convinced the Beatles to perform in black leather bomber jackets and cowboy boots. But that look changed to suits once Brian Epstein became their manager.
The group and Sheridan later separated, with the Beatles (later dropping Sutcliffe and Best but adding Ringo Starr) becoming pop legends and Sheridan moving toward jazz.
"Tony was a good guy who we knew and worked with from the early days in Hamburg. We regularly watched his late night performances and admired his style. He will be missed,” McCartney said.
Sheridan performed in 2012 for the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ Star Club appearances.