Talk about foundational UK rock guitarists and it pretty much all comes back to Hank Marvin. After all, he was the first Briton to wield a Fender Stratocaster, imported at great expense back in 1959.
The unmistakable sound he wrung from it, with innovative use of the tremolo arm, was like a clarion call for a whole generation of future rock stars, including George Harrison, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Brian May and many more.
Marvin was just 16 when Cliff Richard recruited him for a UK tour, soon adding his guitar to No. 1s like “Living Doll” and “Please Don’t Tease”. 1960’s towering “Apache” established The Shadows as a hit-making machine in their own right, racking up no less than 14 Top 10 singles until their thunder was stolen somewhat by another gang of handsome young fellas with guitars. Undoubtedly, however, The Shadows had set the template for The Beatles and all British bands to follow.
While The Shadows have successfully reformed several times over the years – coming second in 1975’s Eurovision song contest, packing out Wembley with Cliff in 1989, a huge farewell tour in 2009/10 – Marvin has plenty of other strings to his guitar, playing with everyone from Roger Daltrey to Jean Michel Jarre and Dire Straits to Duane Eddy. More recently, he’s been concentrating on performing and releasing with his Gypsy Jazz Trio.
So what do you want to ask an original guitar master? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday April 22 and Hank will answer the best ones in a future issue of Uncut.