Photo via Tony Sheridan’s homepage

Paul McCartney has issued a short, personal statement about the passing of pioneering rock and roll singer/guitarist Tony Sheridan. The Norwich, Norfolk musician died on February 16 at the age of 72.

Sheridan was an early influence on The Beatles and collaborated with group after they met while working the Hamburg, Germany club circuit in 1960. The original Beatles—John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stu Sutcliffeand Pete Best—backed Sheridan in concert and on several recordings in 1961 and 1962. Their best known collaboration is “My Bonnie,” which charted as a single. Sheridan welcomed a second rush of fans in the mid-60s after The Beatles skyrocketed to fame. Eventually, he grew tired of the hype which surrounded the band and turned his attention elsewhere. He regularly played for Vietnam troops during the late ’60s.

The singer/songwriter/guitarist remained part of the extended Beatles orbit until his passing on Saturday. His most recent recording, 2005’s Chantal Meets Tony Sheridan, includes the only official version of “Tell Me If You Can,” a song Sheridan wrote with McCartney in 1962.

McCarntney posted the following statement on Sheridan earlier today:

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.