Hank Marvin grew up in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne during the 1940s/50s. He first learned to play banjo and gigged with various skiffle groups in the area before he and his school pal, guitarist Bruce Welch, moved to London where they joined Cliff Richard’s backing band and became known as The Shadows.
Hank’s metallic echoed picking on a red Fender Stratocaster – with generous employment of tremolo arm – is often regarded as the sound that inspired numerous guitar heroes such as: Jeff Beck, Ritchie Blackmore, Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, Brian May, Neil Young and, of course, Mark Knopfler, all of whom cite Hank as a major influence.
Cliff & The Shadows early chart-toppers – ‘Move It’, ‘Living Doll’ and ‘Travellin’ Light’ – kick-started a truly awesome string of 43 Top 20 hit singles in just ten years, whilst The Shadows alone scored five No.1 hits that included the legendary Apache which was to become the instrumental hit of the decade. It made Number One, became an instant classic and saw the start of a string of over thirty hits for the group who pioneered the now familiar band line up of two guitars, bass and drums.
HANK MARVIN may have been a Shadow for more than three decades but today he stands under his own spotlight having recorded a sustained series of solo albums.
More than 60 years on from when he started, Hank B. Marvin is assured his place in British music history.