Hank Marvin wanted to be like his Am4erican Idols, James Burton. Chet Atkins,
Duane Eddy with guitar experiments aimed at their American sound. As Marvin
became more and more popular as a guitarist the tables turned and everyone wanted
to sound exactly like him. As described in detail from journalist Tony Bacon,
Hank’s percussive lead lines defined the sound of the early sixties electric guitar.
When the first Crickets album arrived it showed a fender that everyone could see and
yearn for. In 1959 there was little chance of getting any American instruments in
England, least of all a Fender Stratocaster. Marvin got hold of a fender catalogue and
found that even a private individual could order one from the factory in California.
He obtained a flamingo pink fender stratocaster and by 1960 changing the name of the group he was in from the Drifters to The Shadows had a massive hit with the track ‘Apache’.
Tony Bacon in his edited version of Rock Hardware refers to Hank Marvin as the best and most famous electric guitarist in Britain in the early 1960’s. Using his echo from the unit plugged in between the guitar and amplifier, the result, echoing and fading the notes. ‘Kon-Tiki’ and ‘The Savage’ both came out in 1961 for the Shadows, both tracks exposing this Hank Marvin method. The group also recorded ‘Wonderful Land’ in 62 and ‘Atlantis’ in 1963.
Guitar Maker, James Ormiston- Burns and Hank got together in 1963 to design a so-called ‘improved’ stratocaster. Calling it the Burns Marvin, the result appearing on the market in 1964. Selling well due to the Shadows hits, with over 30 models completed before becoming available.
Marvin’s idea here was to remain perfectly in tone with, if possible, more variation in tone controls.
Bacon describes subtle experimentation with the tracks ‘Foot-tapper’ and ‘Geronimo’both in 1963.
However, by the end of 1965 hits began to trail off with their last top twenty entry of the decade being ‘War Lord’
Footnote: The Shadows had 31 British hit singles from Apache in 1960 and also were 2nd in the 1975 Euro-vision song competition with the vocal ‘Let Me Be the One’.