Hank Marvin Gypsy Jazz
Hank Marvin has been a major influence on guitar heroes ever since he first played lead guitar with The Shadows,
the UK’s top instrumental outfit during the 1960s.
Hank’s metallic echoed picking on a red Fender Stratocaster –
with generous employment of tremolo arm – is often cited as the inspirational source of the fretboard pyrotechnics
of Jeff Beck, Ritchie Blackmore, and numerous other guitar icons – Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, Brian
May, Mark Knopfler and Neil Young – who began by playing in groups imitating The Shadows, of whom Marvin, in
his black horn- rimmed specs, was the principal public face.
Cliff’s 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. The Shadows, four instrumental virtuosos, soon became legends themselves, scoring
five No. 1 hits – including the legendary ‘Apache’ – and numerous other international Top 10 hits as well as appearing in and writing songs for hit movies such as ‘The Young Ones’ and ‘Summer Holiday’ before disbanding –
for the first time – in 1968.
It was then that Marvin’s solo career began with his eponymous Top 20 album, then in the early 70s, seeking a fresh
artistic direction, Hank joined up with Bruce Welch and John Farrar to record two vocal harmony albums ‘Marvin Welch & Farrar’ and ‘Second Opinion’, with a subsequent release entitled simply ‘Marvin & Farrar’.
Towards the end of the 70s a re-formed Shadows hit the top of the album charts with “Twenty Golden Greats,
followed by more top ten albums. They hit the singles Top 10 again, first with ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ followed
by ‘The Theme From The Deer Hunter’, and ‘Riders In The Sky’.
Then in 1982 Hank charted with a solo single ‘Don’t
Talk’ and, after working with The Shadows during the 80s, went on to record a sustained series of solo albums
throughout the following two decades, several of which reached the Top 10 and Gold Record status.
During the recording and subsequent live performances of these albums Hank introduced more of his acoustic guitar work than
before which met with audience approval, this audience response was the catalyst for his top ten acoustic “Guitar
Player” CD in 2002.
Hank and his band, which included his son Ben on guitar, performed their last concert tour, a 63-
date sprint around Europe culminating with a final show at The London Palladium in 2002.
In 2009 Cliff Richard and The Shadows joined forces to rerecord
many of their great hits from the late ‘50s to the mid ‘60s this was combined with a hugely successful sell out arena
tour of the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and South
Africa. The DVD of the tour topped the DVD charts.
Hank's professional journey has repeatedly taken him around
the globe and seen him acknowledged as one of the world’s
leading musical talents.
Jimmy Page - “Hank had the first Fender Stratocaster that came
into England and he made a great impression on me.”
Brian May - “I, in common with thousands of others, started to
learn Hank’s single note style. None of us ever quite got that
Eric Clapton - “When I was thrashing around on acoustic guitar
there was someone who had already found and settled on a
clear, pure sound; that was Hank Marvin. The result was a clear,
sweet melody over a strong rock beat.”
Jeff Beck - "Hank is 80% of the reason I started playing guitar”