The Shadows

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by ScubaGeek, May 3, 2019.

  1. ScubaGeek

    ScubaGeek Tele-Meister

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    I just got a six CD set called The Shadows The Early Years, presenting all of the band's recordings (well, the ones without that Cliff guy hogging the spotlight, anyway) circa 1959-1966.

    I was vaguely acquainted with The Shadows in the past, but I had mostly just read about them in various places, and had only heard a little bit of their music. Well, that changes right now!

    Yeah, I can see how Hank Marvin and his Fiesta Red Stratocaster (reputedly the first in the UK, as was Bruce Welch's Telecaster and Jet Harris' Precision Bass) really turned people's heads upside down. I think I'm gonna dig listenign to this!
     
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  2. Togman

    Togman Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I love this music with a passion. I play in A Shadows tribute band in the UK. See my Red Strat with Gold hardware in my avatar.

    These guys (in all of their various line-ups) are stellar musicians. I would rate Bruce Welch as one of the best rhythm players out there.

    Enjoy!
     
  3. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    My music teacher friend, a bass player and I ( Maths teacher & Electronics) would play Summer Holiday at our Summer Holiday break up luncheon. It became a favoured tradition as we handed out the sheet music and words and everyone would sing along.:)
     
  4. clackers49

    clackers49 TDPRI Member

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    Great band and musicians apparently Cliff bought Hank the strat we couldn't buy them earlier due to import restrictions , so many guitarists ended up with Hofners and Watkins rapiers .
     
  5. Twang Deluxe

    Twang Deluxe Tele-Meister

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    The Shadows are one of my favourite groups. I read that Bruce actually never played a Telecaster and he only used it for the photoshooting of an album cover.

    What do you think?
     
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  6. ScubaGeek

    ScubaGeek Tele-Meister

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    Well, listening to disc one of this set, I definitely hear a lot of acoustic rhythm guitar. Bruce is pictured with the Telecaster on the cover of their first album, and there's a few other photos I've seen where he has a Tele. Who knows what he actually used on the records where he's playing electric, though, if it's not the Tele. Seems kinda strange that you'd have a guitar shipped over especially for your band, then only use it for press photos, unless it was something where he got the guitar and decided he didn't like it.



    The story Hank tells, is that Cliff came to him one day and said "I want to buy you a good guitar, what would you like?" and Hank naturally, like everyone else, wanted what Buddy Holly played, which was of course a Strat. But yeah, Cliff apparently had to have The Shadows' Fenders shipped to the UK especially. I guess that's how successful he was at the time, that he could get around import embargo.

    There were all kinds of "low budget" guitars that various guitarists were playing. I believe George Harrison played something called a Futura, in the early days of The Beatles, before he got his Gretsch Duo-Jet. He said he actually wanted a Strat, like everyone else, but due to the embargo, they were unavailable. I think he said when The Beatles were in Hamburg, there was someone selling one second hand, and he was going to buy it, but somebody else beat him to it (I think he said it was the guitarist from Rory Storm And The Hurricanes).

    BTW, one thing I'm really liking about this set, is that they've mostly preserved the track lists of the various releases, i.e. singles seem to be presented with the A side first, and the running orders of the LP's and EP's seem to be kept intact, as well (though I notice that side two of the first LP is split across the end of disc one and the beginning of disc two).
     
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  7. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Poster Extraordinaire

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  8. Togman

    Togman Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    This is an interesting interview that sheds some light on the early days of the Shadows. Bruce Welch being interviewed by Rick Wakeman.

     
  9. Twang Deluxe

    Twang Deluxe Tele-Meister

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  10. Geo

    Geo Friend of Leo's

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    Their farewell DVD is really good.
     
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  11. suthol

    suthol Friend of Leo's

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    This is absolutely spot on

     
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  12. Geo

    Geo Friend of Leo's

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    You don't get to hear Hank sing very often.
     
  13. UltraOne

    UltraOne TDPRI Member

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    Years ago I got to corresponding with a gentleman in the UK who turned me on to the Shadows. I've been a devoted Ventures fan from day one, but talking like the teenager I really am--I really dug the Shadows! My friend would send me Shadows CD's or tapes and I would send him Ventures stuff and American football memorabilia.

    Then I got a chance to go to England on vacation(holiday) and went to a flea market on Portobello Street. It's there that I bought the six disc compliation discussed here. Great sounds. I love the soul-fulfilling pure sound of that Stratocaster on those discs.

    Yes I love the Shads. Yes I love fish'n chips. Yes I'm an Anglophile.
     
  14. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    The Shadows were nearly unknown in the US, so as a kid I never heard of them. In fact I was almost 50 before I discovered them, when I started getting into surf styles. Listening to (and watching) Hank Marvin changed the way I play guitar — radically — in that genre. The Shadows are one of my all-time favorite bands, I just might get that 'box set.'

    I've been learning the Shadows' rendition of the "Thunderbirds" TV theme, featured in the Thunderbirds movie, where they appear in puppet form (with little matching Stratocasters and everything).
     
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  15. Sleepyscholar

    Sleepyscholar Tele-Meister

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    It's funny that a red-and-white strat is so indelibly associated with Hank (my bro had a red-and-white strat copy, which was the first electric I ever played, and the second tune I learned was Apache). Hank's 'signature' model was a Burns, of course. I had a go on a recent Chinese-made recreation of it (a Marquee, I think) and liked it a lot, but all the same, you just can't imagine Hank with anything other than a strat, can you?

    What I found amazing in the stories was that there was no 'choosing' of the guitars. Cliff just ordered the strats, and Hank took what he was given!
     
  16. ScubaGeek

    ScubaGeek Tele-Meister

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    I knew who The Shadows were because, groowing up in the 80's, I saw them mentioned in books and guitar magazines. First time I saw mention of them was in a book called Rock Hardware, which showed a Burns ad with Hank in it (during the late 60's, The Ventures endorsed and used Burns guitars, Jim Burns has been described as "the British Leo Fender"). Then there was another book called, I think, Guitar Greats, which was a series of articles on various guitarists, notably May, Blackmore, Clapton, Beck, Page and a few others, and one of them was on Hank Marvin. That's maybe when I started to realize how big a deal The Shadows were in the UK.

    Then there was the occasional mention of The Shadows in Guitar Player (not very often but there a few tidbits about them in GP, including Hank being mentioned in an article on the all time great Strat players in piece they published in the mid 90's). And I also remember them being mentioned in at least a couple books on the history of the Strat (one had a lengthy essay from Hank where he told the story of Cliff buying him the first Strat and how much he enjoys playing it).

    One book had a photo that was taken at a ceremony that was done in London, in the early 80's, I guess just before Hank emigrated to Australia, might have even been the day he was flying out. The UK division of Fender wanted to give Hank an award, so they had this ceremony, supposedly Hank only had a couple hours time that he could devote to the event. But when he gets there, they do this presentation and the representative from Fender says, "We're sorry, but a few of your fans found out and they asked they could come and thank you themselves. And this curtain opens, and all these guitarists who were inspired by him step forward. If I remember correctly, the photo had Hank surrounded by Jeff Beck, David Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, Hal Lindes (Dire Straits rhythm guitarist at the time), I think Frampton was in it, and a couple other guys. So apparently, even though Hank said he could only give them an hour or two of his time, he ended up staying late into the evening, hanging out with all these cool guitarists who came up after him and who cited him as an influence.

    Ya know what, now I think about it, The Shadows even got a mention on MTV back in the day (probably only time anyone talked about them on a US produced TV program). Martha Quinn had this daily trivia thing, where viewers sent in trivia questions and she'd read them on the air and answer them. This one time, it had something to do with Mark Knopfler, I believe, citing Marvin as his biggest influence, and asking which band Hank played with.

    So I saw a lot of talk about The Shadows before I ever actually heard them. I probably would have checked them out years ago, but their records have always been hard to come by Stateside.

    That's not the way Hank told it. According to Hank, Cliff came to him and said "I want to get you a good guitar, what would you like", and like everyone else, Hank was into Buddy Holly, and wanted a Strat like Buddy's. The way he tells it, they got the catalog sent over form California, and they picked out a Strat with what he insists was called a Flamingo Pink finish, and gold hardware, I believe.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
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  17. ScubaGeek

    ScubaGeek Tele-Meister

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    Ya know what, now I think about it, The Shadows even got a mention on MTV back in the day (probably only time anyone talked about them on a US produced TV program). Martha Quinn had this daily trivia thing, where viewers sent in trivia questions and she'd read them on the air and answer them. This one time, it had something to do with Mark Knopfler, I believe, citing Marvin as his biggest influence, and asking which band Hank played with.

    So my point that I didn't finish in my last post is that I saw a lot of talk about The Shadows before I ever actually heard them. So it's been a long time coming and I'm really dig this set that I got.
     
  18. redneck

    redneck TDPRI Member

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    Even prior to these hank played a GUYATONE
     
  19. Sleepyscholar

    Sleepyscholar Tele-Meister

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    I didn't quite phrase it right. Sure, he chose the model from the catalogue, but what I mean is, he didn't try out a few guitars and choose the one he liked.
     
  20. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

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    Since this is a Tele forum it seems appropriate to rehash the other old version of how Hank Marvin came to play a Strat which seems to indicate James Burton was more of an influence on the choice than Buddy Holly. I'd always thought he was talking about James Burton's work with Elvis because Cliff Richard was always marketed as the new Elvis. But 1959 was too early for that of course so my mistake.

    And having been born in 1950 and living in the UK I remember how enormous the Shadows were until the Beatles took over. It's always a pleasure to hear of the Shadows' continuing popularity.

    This is the version from Hank I read:


    “That first Strat made an appearance in 1959. My Antoria had a horribly bent neck, so Cliff wanted to buy me a good guitar. We decided that the Fender was the way to go, because we’d seen Buddy Holly with one on the Crickets album cover, and it was pretty cool.

    "It was great looking, and we liked the sound of it, and we’d heard that James Burton used a Fender, so we got a catalogue from the States. We could see that Buddy’s guitar was the Stratocaster and as that was their top-of-the-range model, we assumed that James Burton would also have one. For some reason, we always thought it was called Flamingo Pink. But apparently they never had any such colour; it was Fiesta Red – anyway, we ordered that in what was pretty much the top-of- the-range specification.”
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
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