The Shadows

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

The Shadows Pencil Portrait
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The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.

Order

A2 Pencil Print-Price £60-Purchase

*Limited edition run of 250 prints only*

All Pencil Prints are printed on the finest Bockingford Somerset Velvet 255 gsm paper.

P&P is not included in the above prices.

Comments

Last update: 12/2/17

It’s a stratocaster, the first to be owned by anyone in the UK, played through a Meazzi Echomatic tape delay and a Vox AC30 amp. Using mostly the guitar’s bridge pickup, but picked near the neck, the man who would be Buddy Holly palmed the vibrato arm to impart his trademark twang.

Commencing with toms and a cleanly strummed A minor chord, the rhythmic/lead interplay on ‘Apache’ between Bruce Welch and Hank B. Marvin would herald The Shadows’ declaration of independence from Cliff Richard, and inspire more than one generation of young englishmen to purchase a guitar.

Even today, more than five decades on from their first national hit record, Saatchi & Saatchi has created an ad for Mattessons centred around the strapline “for when you’re Hank Marvin”, the rhyming slang for starving. The 40 and 60 second TV ads, which promote the Mattessons Fridge Raider processed meats product range, show hungry teenagers dressed as Hank Marvin. The teenagers are depicted wearing his signature glasses, as well as wigs and carrying red Fender Stratocaster guitars as they return home from school. The soundtrack to the ad is The Shadows’ iconic tune ‘Apache’. The spot was written by Matt Skolar and art directed by Eoghain Clarke. It was directed by Andy McLeod through Rattling Stick.

Hank’s stratocaster was imported from America by Cliff Richard, and finished in Fiesta Red, with gold hardware and a tremolo arm. The Mattessons advert’s creators, agency Saatchi & Saatchi, have obviously taken pains to get a look that’s as accurate as possible; to the untrained eye, this might look like an original imported 50s model. Nevertheless, guitar geeks (and I must include myself here), have noticed that 18 seconds into the advert, “Hank Marvin” heads a football and clearly shows the guitar’s headstock with the Squier by Fender branding, so this’ll be their Bullet Strat (Fiesta Red) model with a dark rosewood fretboard. At an entry level price of £84, it’s got all the look of a more expensive Fender, yet in view of the number of guitars required for the shoot, Mattessons were able to keep a tight control on its advertising budget.

http://www.elsewhere.co.nz/absoluteelsewhere/5754/hank-marvin-interviewed-2013-living-in-and-out-of-the-shadows/

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The story of The Shadows is marked with personal tragedy. As a mark of respect to their bassist John Rostill, the group never sought to permanently replace him in their line-up, after his tragic death at the age of 31. An innovative musician, and a fine songwriter, Rostill was the longest-serving and last bassist to be a full-fledged member of the group. Born in 1942 in Birmingham, England, the young John was one of the city’s busier bassists, touring with acts such as the Terry Young Six, the Flintstones, and the Interns, and as part of British soul music legend Zoot Money’s early backing band. He also played in the bands recruited to back such visiting artists as the Everly Brothers and Tommy Roe, and on bills with such up-and-coming talent as Gerry & the Pacemakers.

In 1964, bassist Brian “Licorice” Locking decided to exit the Shadows’ lineup, and Rostill received the offer to replace him. He duly joined as a full member, yet at a point in time when the group was searching for fresh direction. Relegation fodder for the memorabilia and light entertainment circuit, The Shadows were ‘yesterday’s men”, a point resoundingly brought home to Bruce Welch when Paul McCartney first played him his fledgling composition “Yesterday” on holiday in the Algarve in 1964. George Harrison was also encouraging the group to move into vocal harmony work, and Rostill’s compositions would be at the vanguard of this change in their musical approach.

Rostill was thrown literally into deep water for his introduction to the group, joining in time to appear in the movie ‘Wonderful Life,’ and then a world tour. On-stage and on record, he brought a unusual fingerpicking bass style to the group’s sound, coupled with a forceful, driving approach. Lead guitarist Hank Marvin described Rostill as “a virtuoso on the instrument,” truly unreserved praise for a musician who would often play distinctively high up the neck.

He and his playing went over well with the group, the fans, and the critics, and allowed the band to evolve their sound successfully into the second half of the ’60s, up until what was intended as their official breakup in 1968, ten years after the start of the group’s professional history. He also emerged as a composer during this period, his name appearing as writer or co-writer on several of their charting singles.

http://www.trevormidgley.com/BurnsGuitars/ShadowsBass1964.html

Rostill was back with the group for a brief reunion the following year on a tour of Japan (and the accompanying live album) that, in retrospect, the participants agree was done solely for the huge fees offered. He was then recruited into Tom Jones’ band, and spent the next four years backing the Welsh-born soul/pop singer (and can be heard of two Jones live albums, from Caesar’s Palace and Las Vegas). The following link contains a shot of Rostill suitably bearded in his early 70’s pomp, an image far removed from his Shadows’ heyday.

http://tomjonesintl.com/toms-music/behind-the-scenes/back-in-the-day/

In the interim, two of his former bandmates, Hank Marvin and Bruce Welch, after attempting a new musical career as part of Marvin, Welch, & Farrar, re-formed the Shadows in 1973. Rostill was still working for Jones at the time and couldn’t initially re-join the lineup — he was also pursuing his songwriting more actively than ever, and, when he wasn’t on the road with Jones, was often cutting demos in his home studio.

He was to have re-joined his old band, but it wasn’t meant to be. On November 26, 1973, Bruce Welch visited Rostill’s home, planning to work with him on some songs, and was unable to get a response when he knocked on the door of his home studio. Welch and Rostill’s wife entered the studio and found the bassist dead from electrocution. Ironically, over the next three years, three of Rostill’s songs, “Let Me Be There,” “Please Mr. Please,” and “If You Love Me, Let Me Know,” all became million-selling hits in recordings by Olivia Newton-John. Elvis Presley would also feature this last composition in his stage act in 1976/77.

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Further tragedy would stalk the group. In 1997, Hank lost his eldest son. The pair had been estranged for more than a decade before Dean Marvin’s lifeless body would be discovered in his bed at a homeless hostel in London. He was thirty four. Louis Lewis, general secretary of the YMCA hostel, described Dean as a “a nice person, but at the same time a private person. He had lost contact with his family,” he said. “I think there was a feeling that they didn’t want to be involved with him and he didn’t want to be involved with them. The only thing he was very proud of was the fact that Cliff Richard was his godfather.”

In 1983, Dean told a newspaper that religious differences had caused a rift between the pair. Admitting to a drink problem, he confessed that his alcoholism had cost him his office job and left him surviving on dole handouts.

A devout Jehovah’s Witness, Hank would later comment: “It’s never ideal that a close relative should walk away from you like that, but as I’ve matured I’ve realised that just because you have a blood bond, it doesn’t mean you will always be friends.”

Moving to Australia in the 70’s enforced a separation from two of his surviving five children. He sees them once a year when in Britain.

If Hank had hoped his entire family would convert to the Jehovah sect, then he would be disappointed. More importantly, I would question why he should even have tried. After all, their doctrinal position on such subjects as the deity of Christ, salvation, the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, and the atonement shows beyond a doubt that they do not hold to orthodox Christian positions on these subjects. Now I take no issue whatsoever with this, nor in fact, with any religious doctrine that provides support, comfort and a sense of purpose to peoples’ lives. What I do object to is the evangelical aspect to their work, ‘witnessing’ from house to house, offering Bible literature, recruitment and the conversion of people to the truth. Now I wouldn’t classify myself as an erudite man, but I am well read; comparatively it would seem, to the sect’s perceived unthinking target mass – those in need of salvation – to whom the movement addresses its primary efforts.

Recommended listening

The Shadows (1961)

http://www.musicradar.com/totalguitar/hank-marvin-interview-the-shadows-album-track-by-track-288282

Recommended reading

Surfing

Shadow Music [Friends of The Shadows]

http://www.shadowmusic.co.uk/

Malcolm Campbell's Shadows website

http://www.malcolmcampbell.me.uk/

Shopping Basket

The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.

Order

A2 Pencil Print-Price £60-Purchase

*Limited edition run of 250 prints only*

All Pencil Prints are printed on the finest Bockingford Somerset Velvet 255 gsm paper.

P&P is not included in the above prices.