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De eerste rock & roll-idolen, in de jaren vijftig, waren van Amerikaanse afkomst. Europese jongelui probeerden mee te doen. Zo ook Harry Webb. Als Cliff Richard verscheen hij in het najaar van 1958 in de Britse hitlijsten met de rocker ‘Move It’. Het was de eerste in een lange rij van top tien hits, waarvan diverse singles op nummer één belandden, zoals ‘Living Doll’, ‘Travelling Light’, ‘Please don’t tease’, ‘The Young Ones’, ‘Bachelor Boy’ en in 1999 nog ‘The Millennium Prayer’.
    Cliff liet zich begeleiden door drie gitaristen en een drummer, die als de Shadows door het leven gingen. Hank B. Marvin nam de solopartijen voor zijn rekening. Zeker in het begin van de jaren zestig werd hij in eigen land als een gitaargod gezien, de voorganger van Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Ritchie Blackmore, Mark Knopfler en Brian May.
    In zijn boek Popnamen stelde Pim Oets anno 1971: “The Shadows introduceerden de metalige, geheel elektrieke, cleane begeleiding in een opstelling die later de standaarduitrusting werd van de snel de hele wereld overspoelende explosie van Engelse popgroepen: leadguitar, bassgitaar, rhythmguitar en drums”.
 
 
407 1 Shadows

 
 
Brian Robson Rankin
 
 
De gitarist die we kennen als Hank B. Marvin werd op 28 oktober 1941 in Newcastle geboren als Brian Robson Rankin. Op school werd hij al Hank genoemd. “When I was in the first year at grammar school, I was one of several lads who hung around together, and four of us were called Brian, which meant that three of the four acquired nicknames, and I was called Hank although I don’t think I ever knew the reason for the name”, vertelde hij in 1983 aan Stuart Grundy.
    Die naam bleef, evenals de B van zijn echte voornaam. Brian leende de ‘achternaam’ Marvin van een door hem bewonderde country & western-artiest: Marvin Rainwater (1925-2013), die in 1957 bekend werd met het door hem zelf geschreven ‘Gonna find me a bluebird’.
    Marvin, zoals we hem in dit artikel zullen noemen, viel in die tijd op omdat hij een bril droeg. Dat gedrag had hij durven overnemen van een van zijn idolen, Buddy Holly.
    Pim Oets: “Hank bekende me dat de toernee van Buddy Holly & The Crickets door Engeland in het voorjaar van 1958 de onmiddellijke aanleiding was voor de formatie van Cliff Richard & The Shadows in september van hetzelfde jaar”.
    Op zijn beurt durfde John Lennon het aan om ook als brildrager naar buiten te treden.
 
 
Jonge jaren
 
 
Van een leraar op school kocht Hank z’n eerste instrument, een banjo. Hij speelde en zong repertoire van Leadbelly en Big Bill Broonzy. De folksong ‘Stagger Lee’, in 1958 een hit voor Lloyd Price, hoorde tot het repertoire dat Hank uitvoerde.
    “I had a couple of albums and EPs of those people. I actually saw Big Bill Broonzy at Newcastle City Hall. This was maybe 1956 or 1957. It was great, it excited me a lot. At that stage I was looking to be a clarinet player, not a guitarist”.
    Op school ook leerde hij Bruce Cripps kennen, die in de Shadows bekend werd als Bruce Welch.
 
 
407 2 Big Bill BroonzyBig Bill Broonzy
 
 
Voor zijn zestiende verjaardag, in 1957 dus, kreeg Hank een Hofner-gitaar van zijn vader. Barney Kessel en Django Reinhardt werden zijn favoriete jazz-gitaristen. “When I first heard Django Reinhardt, I didn’t know about his left hand being deformed. I liked his fluency and his tremendous freedom of expression appealed to me”.
    In die tijd begon hij zich ook voor popmuziek te interesseren, vertelde hij in 1983. “The strong rhythmic beat of rock ’n’ roll immediately got through to me and to millions of young people. I suppose it was early country/rock really, a fusion of country-influenced people like Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis with the black influence of Little Richard, Fats Domino and Bo Diddley, those guys that had been around for a while. They fused all that and got white rock & roll which I thought was great”.
    Hank kon zich later nog wel herinneren hoe en wanneer het begonnen was. “It was probably something like ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ on the radio, and it wasn’t really that far removed from the blues, but very exciting, very vibrant. I started listening to Radio Luxembourg. That’s about all you could get in those days. A bunch of us used to crowd around a radio and rock for half an hour on a Saturday night”.
 
 
Skiffle
 
 
Als je in de jaren vijftig in Engeland in de popmuziek iets wilde bereiken, zat er weinig anders op dan skiffle-muziek te maken. Lonnie Donegan was de koning van de skiffle en ‘iedereen’ deed hem na. Ook Marvin: “My first group was called the Crescent City Skiffle Group, and did not include Bruce Welch, who was in another local skiffle band, the Railroaders”.
   Skiffle zorgde ervoor dat Britse jongelui zelf muziek ging maken. “Many of them had never played an instrument before. They had bought guitars, probably because of Lonnie Donegan, but that whole movement made people realise that they could get together, grab a guitar, and sing all these songs and have fun. It was thoroughly enjoyable.
   But I think more importantly it encouraged people to make their own music. People felt before that to make music you had to play the piano. Most homes had one. But then you have to have piano lessons, and to many it’s daunting – they can’t afford it. They don’t have the time. It isn’t portable. But then to see these guys on television singing things like ‘Rock Island Line’, ‘Bring A Little Water Sylvie’, and strumming guitars – wow!”
   Voor het uitvoeren van skiffle had je nauwelijks (dure) apparatuur nodig. “There were no amplified guitars, they were all acoustic. You could hear amplified guitars on jazz records and the rock & roll records which were starting to come through. Nothing was that loud in those days. A singer like Lonnie Donegan worked with a house PA system so he could be heard to sing. He had an acoustic guitar, a stand up bass, the drummer played quietly and the electric guitar didn’t need to be loud”.
 
 
407 3 Lonnie Donegan 1958Lonnie Donegan 1958
 
 
Van skiffle naar pop
 
 
Marvin was niet gek op Britse artiesten die de Amerikaanse rock & roll-sterren probeerden na te doen. Achteraf kon hij beredeneren waarom. “The Tommy Steele records, they didn’t quite sound American to me. I know that a lot of the session musicians who played on those records didn’t like it. They were frustrated jazz musicians. They played sessions for a living, obviously, so they did anything, but they didn’t like it.
   That, to me, showed on the way that some of those records were played. They had this warmer, almost jazzy guitar sound, and they’d play a solo like they wished they could play a jazz solo but it wasn’t quite appropriate”.
   In Amerika was het anders. “A lot of the American rock records were played by musicians who understood the music. Not so much the ones that came out of New York and Philadelphia in the early ’60s, but the ones from the late ’50s, played by country musicians who liked black music. They liked R&B and it all showed. It sounded like they believed in it, that echoey guitar sound, that twang you weren’t getting on British records. So that was one of the early differences, the integrity and the belief in what they were doing”.
 
Door zijn vriendschap met Bruce Welch wist Hank de overstap van de skiffle naar de rock & roll te maken. “The Railroaders had to start playing rock & roll at a dance we promoted because the other group didn’t turn up - Bruce knew a lot of rock & roll songs, so we quickly learned them in half an hour and played the next set as a rock & roll band instead of a skiffle group, and after that, I started to listen to rock & roll and found it very enjoyable”.
 
 
Londen
 
 
Met al die belangstelling voor muziek kwam er van leren op school onvoldoende terecht. Hank en Bruce waren ’s avonds laat nog op pad met spelen in clubs. Het maken van huiswerk stelde weinig voor. “We weren’t doing very well at school. Bruce, in fact, left school early, which I thought was absolutely right. I couldn’t see myself pulling anything together. I wasn’t at all motivated”.
   In het noordelijke Newcastle, niet ver van de grens met Schotland, hoorde het tweetal over de carrières van opkomende Britse popartiesten. “Those were the days when things were starting to happen and people were being so-called discovered - Tommy Steele, Wee Willie Harris and so on – and there was always the possibility that something could happen, and the place where it was likely to happen was London.
   So I took my little record player, and we had a suitcase each, a guitar each, a tiny amplifier about the size of a cornflake packet, and went to London”.
 
Hank en Bruce waren zeventien jaar toen ze het initiatief namen om in april 1958 samen naar Londen te trekken – tegen de wens van hun ouders in.
   Vanuit de Britse hoofdstad stuurden ze brieven naar huis, hoe goed het allemaal ging. In werkelijkheid was dat voorlopig niet het geval. “Obviously our letters home said how wonderful it was in London, but we sometimes went very hungry, and I mean very - two days without eating”.
 
 
Muziek maken in Londen
 
 
In Londen wist het tweetal mee te spelen met andere ambitieuze jongelui die het wilden maken in de nieuwe wereld van de rock & roll. Ze ontdekten dat je terecht kon in de 2 I’s coffee bar, Old Compton Street 59, Soho, vernoemd naar de twee voormalige eigenaars Freddie en Sammy Irani.
   Marvin: “It wasn’t easy at the start - we mainly earned money playing at the 2 I’s coffee bar, in the small cellar there, into which they could cram about two hundred people, and which had a very shallow stage at the end from which about five musicians could perform”.
   In de coffee bar speelde iedereen met iedereen. “They had a regular group of players who used to form makeshift groups, and Bruce and I very quickly got onto the scene there, along with Brian Locking, Brian Bennett, Tony Meehan and Jet Harris, and a country & western singer called Rick Richards. We’d play down there as often as we could in order to pay the rent”.
 
Hank herinnerde zich nog lang wat hij in de coffee bar meemaakte. “Usually, five of us would form a group to play a repertoire of the latest rock & roll and pop hits. The favourites were Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly & the Crickets songs, early Gene Vincent and Presley material, anything by Little Richard, Fats Domino, things that were popular, even skiffle, so it was quite a variety of music, and we’d play down there as often as we could in order to pay the rent.
   Another 2 I’s regular was Mickie Most, who, with Alex Wharton, comprised the Most Brothers. They both had blond hair, trying to do a British Everly Brothers, but their version of ‘Wake Up Little Suzie’ was really bad and typical of British rock & roll of the time, very wooden and with an awful arrangement which lacked all the charm and country feel of the original”.
 
 
407 4 2 is coffee bar
 
 
Hank en Bruce werden ook lid van de Five Chesternuts. Het kwam zelfs tot een plaat – een nieuwe ervaring. “We made a single, which was the first one I’d played on, financed by Leslie Conn, who was managing the group and was connected with an American label called Carlton Records. He had a lot of faith in the group, what with Bruce and myself and Peter Chester, who was quite a good songwriter, so we made this single of ‘Teenage Love’ backed with ‘Jean Dorothy’, which sounded like ‘Jean Darthy’ with our pseudo-American accents, and we even got on 6.5 Special, which was fantastic”.
 
 
Cliff Richard
 
 
In diverse publicaties is te lezen dat de 2 I’s een plek was van waaruit je indruk kon maken in de Londense pop scene van die tijd. Talentscouts, managers en mensen van platenmaatschappijen vonden er het soort jonge artiesten naar wie ze op zoek waren.
   Zo viel Hank B. Marvin bij menigeen in de smaak. De jongeman uit Newcastle kreeg het aanbod om mee te doen bij een poging om de Vipers Skiffle Group nieuw leven in te blazen. Uit die groep was Tommy Steele als popzanger naar voren gekomen. “Wally Whyton asked me to join the Vipers at a time when he was trying to revitalise the group, or perhaps resurrect would be a better word, and wanted someone to play lead guitar. He thought I could do the job, and I was cheap enough, I guess, and he also got Jet Harris”.
  
Marvin deed dus tijdelijk mee met de Chesternuts en de Vipers. Steeds opnieuw bleef hij in de picture door zich geregeld in de coffee bar te vertonen. Zo kwamen Bruce Welch en hij ook terecht bij Cliff Richard, die hoog in de hitlijsten beland was met zijn eerste single ‘Move It’.
   “Roadmanager Johnny Foster came to the 2 I’s looking for Tony Sheridan, who he’d heard was a good guitar player, and who he wanted because Cliff had his first big tour booked as a supporting act to the Kalin Twins”.
   De Amerikaanse Kalin Twins waren enorm populair geworden door hun single ‘When’. Ze leken wel de nieuwe Everly Brothers te gaan worden – in elk geval met de broers te concurreren. Cliff, achttien jaar, wilde de kans niet laten lopen om in het voorprogramma van de Kalin Twins op te treden. Maar hij had geen begeleiders.
 
Marvin bevond zich op het juiste moment op de juiste plek. “Tony Sheridan wasn’t there, but by chance I was down there with Rick Richards. Rick persuaded me to play for Johnny, who seemed fairly impressed, and asked if I’d like to do the tour with Cliff. As I was already doing it for the Most Brothers, that meant I’d be playing for two people on the tour which would be good money, so I agreed”.
   De roadmanger van Cliff Richard had nóg een gitarist nodig als begeleider. “I recommended Bruce, and we arranged to meet with John and Cliff, and then we all took the bus to Cliff’s family house in Cheshunt to rehearse”.
   Voor eigen vervoer was nog geen geld.
 
Het klikte niet meteen met de zanger van ‘Move It’. Cliff besteedde nogal wat aandacht aan zijn voorkomen – Hank en Bruce zagen er voor hem niet uit. “We first met Cliff when he was being fitted for his now famous pink jacket. He looked at us and sneered and we looked back at him and sneered. He obviously thought we were a couple of yobs, which is what we looked like, and he looked a bit the same, with a very greasy sort of 1958 hairstyle, tight black trousers and crêpe soles”.
   In tweede instantie pakte de kennismaking goed uit. “We got chatting and found we had a lot in common musically, which broke the ice, and when we got down to the nitty gritty of playing, we had a great afternoon going through the five songs he was going to play”.
 
 
Begeleider van Cliff Richard
 
 
407 5 2 adadvertentie
 
 
In plaats van mee te spelen in onbekende groepen kreeg Marvin nu de kans om zich te vertonen aan een groot publiek. Ondanks de hit van de Kalin Twins was het publiek voor Cliff gekomen, bleek, ook al omdat hij goed in de smaak gevallen was door zijn optredens in het tv-programma ‘Oh Boy!’, vernoemd naar een hit van Buddy Holly. Het werd geproduceerd door Jack Good en gepresenteerd door Tony Hall.
   “We met the bus and went off up to the Midlands for our first concert, and that was it, really - a fantastic reception for Cliff. I’d never seen anything like it considering he was a brand new face at the bottom of the bill, but it was clear that the bulk of the audience were there to see him. ‘Move It’ was in the Top Ten and they’d seen him twice on ‘Oh Boy!’ where he’d made a big impact and that was why they were there.
   The reaction was fantastic - straight away, he was definitely the star of the show, and when we saw him work on stage, we thought ‘Wow, this guy’s got something’, because he just had them eating out of his hand. Obviously, he was totally inexperienced, but he just had that natural something and the audience responded so well. We were amazed, because we didn’t expect anything like that, and we’d certainly never been in a situation with 2,000 people screaming non-stop”.
 
In zijn boek Fijn om jong te zijn (1960) tekende Cliff zelf op: “Ik kreeg een aanbieding voor een tournee met de Kalin Twins die uit Amerika waren gekomen. Vergis je niet, zij waren de sterren. Maar tegen de tijd dat de reeks voorstellingen eindigde stond ‘Move It’ hoger op de hitparade dan hun plaat. Je kan je wel voorstellen, hoe goed het me deed, een even grote ontvangst van het publiek te krijgen als zij. Het was alleen maar, omdat een Engelse artiest door het publiek net zo goed werd gevonden als Amerikaanse zangers.
   Twee dagen voor ik op tournee moest had ik plotseling een nieuwe gitarist nodig omdat Ken Pavey wegens huiselijke omstandigheden niet meekon. In de 2 I’s vond ik Hank B. Marvin en hij nam zijn vriend Bruce Welch mee. En dus ging ik met twee nieuwelingen en met ‘Sammy’ Samwell en Terry Smart op reis. Er stond in dezelfde tournee nog een andere groep en daarbij speelde Jet Harris. Als extra gitarist deed hij soms met ons mee en toen ‘Sammy’ Samwell ons verliet, omdat hij zich helemaal aan het componeren wilde wijden, kwam hij vast bij ons”.
 
 
In de studio bij Norrie Paramor
 
 
Als begeleiders van Cliff, de Drifters, zoals ze genoemd werden, maakte Hank bovendien kennis met Norrie Paramor van Columbia Records (EMI), die verantwoordelijk was voor de plaatproducties van het teenageridool. “Norrie Paramor had seen us work on stage with Cliff and liked the sound. Cliff wanted to use us for recording because he felt we had an exciting sound and atmosphere which he wanted to use on the record”.
   Bij de volgende plaatopname, ‘Livin’ Lovin’ Doll’, mochten de Drifters meedoen. “Norrie booked us for Cliff’s next session, but obviously, being very cautious and sensible, he also booked other musicians as well - Terry Smart was on drums, and he was in the group, and so was Jet Harris on bass guitar, but there was a guy called Frank Clark also booked for stand-up bass, then there was Bruce on rhythm guitar and myself on lead, but also on lead guitar a session player named Ernie Shear, who had played lead on ‘Move It’.
   Misschien wel vanwege het succes van ‘Move It’ kwam Ernie Shear in aanmerking om de solo-partij voor zijn rekening te nemen. Hank werd in zekere zin ‘veroordeeld’ om Shear op ritme-gitaar te begeleiden, tot ongenoegen van Cliff Richard.
   “Cliff wasn’t too happy about that, and he had a point - he felt that Ernie wasn’t really into rock & roll. He felt that Ernie tended to do the same thing every time on a rock & roll record, and there wasn’t really any variety.
   Anyway, Norrie wanted him, so he played a few fills and the solo and it was like ‘Move It’ revisited”.
 
Cliff Richard nam het initiatief. Hij wist Paramor zover te brengen dat er twee versies werden gemaakt, een met Shears en een met Marvin. “Cliff was much happier with my version, and because it was a better overall performance, Norrie agreed to take it. That was the last time Norrie ever booked any other musicians”.
   Hank B. Marvin had wat bereikt.
 
 
407 6 Paramor Cliff Drifters
Norrie Paramor, Cliff, Drifters
 
  
Van Drifters naar Shadows
 
 
In 1959 mochten de Drifters, begeleiders van de beroemde Cliff Richard, ook zelf een single opnemen. Het nummer heette ‘Feelin’ Fine’ en was geschreven door Sammy Samwell – helemaal in de stijl van Cliff. Voor alle duidelijkheid: een vokaal nummer.
   In 1967 liet Hank zich weinig lovend uit over die eersteling: “‘Feelin’ Fine’ was probably one of the worst records ever made”.
   De single van de Drifters werd zelfs in Amerika uitgebracht, met een bijzondere consequentie, zoals weldra in Foon te lezen was: “‘Feelin’ Fine’ met ‘Don’t be a fool with love’ werd in de U.S.A. gelanceerd en de verkoop ervan was direct veelbelovend. Maar er bestond al een groep die zich The Drifters noemde, een groep die in het hele land bekend was. De vier Engelse jongens verloren dan ook het proces dat tegen hen aanhangig werd gemaakt. Alle verschenen platen moesten uit de roulatie worden genomen. Op straffe van een flinke dwangsom moesten zij overhaast een andere naam kiezen”.
 
 
407 7 Drifters zingen in de studioDrifters zingen in de studio
 
 
Bij een tweede single, het instrumentale ‘Jet Black’, speelde Jet Harris de hoofdrol. De single verscheen in Amerika onder de naam The Four Jets. De begeleidingsgroep van Cliff nam nu bij wijze van experiment een instrumentale single op – een mogelijke afwisseling met de zang van het idool.
   “Our recording contract described us as a vocal group”, bekende Hank anno 2007 in een interview.
   Marvin: “We’d heard a few American instrumentals by people like Duane Eddy, who was becoming popular, and we were intrigued that people were having success with that type of thing, so we thought we could write something like those and do it ourselves, which would make a nice change from Cliff singing here and there - and I mean that in the nicest possible way!
   We enjoyed rather better sales than with the first single, although we weren’t sure whether that meant our audience was increasing or just that more people liked this record than the last one. The next step was another vocal single, ‘Saturday Dance’, which we felt was the best thing we’d done, and in fact it only just missed the charts, so once again we’d reverted to being a vocal group”.
   Op instigatie van Bruce Welch traden ze intussen op als de Shadows.
 
 
‘Apache’
 
 
In dat zelfde interview, voor de Sydney Morning Herald, was te lezen: “Their breakthrough hit, ‘Apache’, was an instrumental, and that’s what they became known for. On ‘Apache’ Marvin played his new Fender Stratocaster with its tremolo arm: believed to be the first Stratocaster ever played in Britain.
   The guitar was a gift. ‘Cliff said: Hank, I’d like to buy you a decent guitar’. The one I favoured was the Stratocaster because we knew Buddy Holly had played one. But I also thought James Burton, who played lead guitar with Ricky Nelson, used a Stratocaster”.
 
Hoe moesten de begeleiders van het idool verder na een aantal singles, die de hitlijsten niet gehaald hadden?
   Het maandblad Beat Instrumental gaf informatie anno 1967. “What worried Hank B. Marvin and Bruce Welch was the selection of a follow-up. They sat together and talked.
    Said Hank: ‘Shall we go for another vocal, or is it better to try another instrumental?’
    Bruce said nothing much.
    But somebody overheard the query. His name was Jerry Lordan, a songwriter-singer who’d got into the charts with his ‘Who Could Be Bluer’ self-penned song. He was on tour, too. Eventually Bruce said: ‘I don’t care what style we go for, just so long as it’s a hit number’.
    Jerry tapped Hank on the shoulder. ‘I’ve got a song that might suit your style’, said he.
    ‘How does it go?’ asked Hank and Bruce.
    Jerry wasted no time, ‘Just get my ukulele’, said he. ‘and I’ll play it over for you’. And he played and hummed over a melody called ‘Apache’.
    He did a single chorus. Say about 45 seconds-worth.
    But it was the vital moment in the career of the Shadows, so says Hank Marvin. ‘We said it sounded a very good number and that we’d record it when we got back to London. We told our recording manager, Norrie Paramor, and he was pretty interested. But we had another number lined up – ‘Quartermaster’s Stores’. The old army song ... ‘My eyes are dim, I cannot see, I have not brought my specs with me’.
    We had a special arrangement of that one and it was going to be an instrumental. But we felt it made us sound a bit like Johnny and the Hurricanes. ‘Apache’ was obviously different, even if the other thing was perhaps, more obviously commercial.
    Norrie didn’t feel ‘Apache’ was tremendously strong at that time. But eventually we persuaded him to make it the A side. Actually we knew that Bert Weedon had recorded Jerry’s number but we understood that it would never come out as a single.
    Then we had the moment of near terror. We heard that Bert was going to bring out ‘Apache’ after all. We all thought he’d have a hit with it and that we could forget our version. Actually, though, Bert’s version wasn’t very good”.
    Het was een belangrijk moment voor Hank B. Marvin c.s.: “The Shadows confounded their critics and proved that they could be charttoppers without Cliff”.
 
 
407 8 Apache advertentie

 
Optreden zonder Cliff Richard
  
 
Na ‘Apache’ moesten de Shadows bewijzen dat ze echt bestaansrecht hadden – niet alleen als begeleiders van Cliff Richard.
   Hank B. Marvin keek in 1967 terug op het eerste optreden van de groep. “We’d always been regarded as being Cliff’s backing group, despite moving in on the solo record scene.
    So we were due to play as top of the bill at Bristol, sometime in 1960. No Cliff. Just the Shadows. It was a one show thing. And we were terrified. We had no idea how we’d be accepted by the fans. We’ve never been so frightened. The place was packed and we hung around in the dressing-room, trying to organise the last things on our 25-minute act. As soon as we got out there, with ‘Apache’ still so fresh, we couldn’t go wrong. Our little comedy bits had so much response. Everything went right.
    But in the dressing-room it was fantastic. Bruce probably was the worst. He’s like that. His excitement, or nerves, shows through. He doesn’t just move around, he rushes around. He leapt back and forwards, checking things. ‘Are you going to brush your hair?’ ‘Clean your boots?’, ‘Where’s your guitar ?’, ‘Are the lights okay?’ He tested just about every thing.
    Even when it was obvious we were ready to go, he still checked on things. His attitude in moments like this doesn’t help a lot and we shouted at him to shut up. But really he was only actually showing what we all felt. Here we were, the Shadows, having to carry a top-of-the-bill spot all on our own.
    We went well that night. That was the moment, there at the end when all the noise was going on, that we knew we could establish ourselves, both on record and on stage”.
    Beroemde artiesten zijn soms een stuk onzekerder op het podium dan je als liefhebber denkt als je naar hun optreden kijkt.
 
 
407 9 Shadows Cliff Jerry LordanShadows met Cliff en Jerry Lordan
 
 
Vertrek van Jet Harris
 
 
In 1995 vertelde Hank meer over de ‘comedy bits’ van de Shadows, zoals het gelijktijdig maken van stapjes tijdens een nummer.
    Ze hadden het afgekeken van een Amerikaanse groep, de Treniers. “In 1958 Jerry Lee Lewis did his first, aborted tour of the UK. We were fortunate, Bruce myself and a few others went to see him at the Gaumont State, Kilburn. Unknown to us, because this was a couple of months before we met him, Cliff also went to the show.
   In 1959, probably around springtime, we were doing a week at the Leeds Empire, and we were talking about how we could improve our presentation, ’cos up until then it was very anarchic & roll: running around the stage, dropping on your knees, kicking your legs in the air, basically doing anything you wanted.
   We remembered the Jerry Lee Lewis show we’d seen in Kilburn the year before, the support was an American R&B band called The Treniers. The sax, the bass and the two singers moved around the stage together doing little movements, and we thought that looked fantastic. So we thought, Why not try that? We were just working on a new number anyway, ‘Willie And The Hand Jive’, where Bruce and I were going to sing backing vocals with Cliff, and we worked out that we would stand beside Cliff, and when it came to the guitar solo we would all walk back in unison, and we would do these little walks with a kick at the end of each one. So we worked it out and after a couple of days we put it in the show – very nervous about it. The reaction was phenomenal, we couldn’t believe it. It nearly stopped the show”.
   Die pasjes, dat hielden ze erin. Pim Oets: “Stapje links, stapje rechts, stapje terug”.
 
In hetzelfde interview, met Jon Savage in 1995, onthulde Marvin ook waarom Jet Harris de Shadows ‘verlaten’ had en voor zichzelf begonnen was. “Jet was a very important part of the band in those days. He was older than us by about two or three years, and he’d had experience with Tony Crombie’s Rockers. He had probably the first bass guitar in the country, and he knew more about music than the rest of us. He had a very moody image, the dyed blond hair, which originally happened as a bit of a gag on the last tour he did with Tony Crombie...
   The problem was, it appeared that Jet couldn’t handle alcohol, and it started to get the better of him, it was affecting the band, our performances, he was encouraged to have treatment. We obviously wanted to resolve it, and help him out, but it didn’t work, and eventually we had no option but to ask him to leave. We were looking at the future of the group as a whole, and it wasn’t right that one person who seemed hell-bent on destroying himself should destroy the rest of the band”.
 
 
Einde van de Shadows
 
 
407 10 Hank B. MarvinHank B. Marvin
 
 
Jaar na jaar stonden de Shadows – en natuurlijk ook Cliff Richard – aan de top. Totdat de echte sixties nieuwe muziek en nieuwe idolen brachten. Voor Marvin was het vervelend dat de groep zich bij optredens moest beperken tot het spelen van de hitsingles. Aan Pim Oets vertelde hij: “De Shadows werden op het laatst een soort routine. De mensen vroegen steeds maar de ouwe hits, en die hadden we al zo vaak gespeeld, die konden we wel dromen”. Hij had meer pijlen op zijn boog. In 1968 hield de groep het voor gezien.
   De close harmony zang van Crosby Stills & Nash was een bron van nieuwe inspiratie. Samen met John Farrar gingen hij en Bruce weer zingen – onder de naam Marvin, Welch & Farrar. Hank: “We maken geen enorm oorspronkelijke muziek, maar wat we wel proberen is om gewoon fijne, aardige muziek te maken. En daar doen we erg ons best op. Ik hoop dat de mensen het willen horen”. De singles ‘Faithful’ en ‘Lady of the morning’ (1971) deden het goed in Nederland.
   Het succes van de Shadows in Nederland leidde in 1979 nog tot de nummer één positie in onze top 40 – met ‘Theme from ‘The Deer Hunter’’. Daarmee was in zekere zin een einde gekomen aan een tijdperk – een tijdperk waarin Cliff Richard en de Shadows muzikaal in Europa domineerden.
 
 
Harry Knipschild
14 oktober 2020
 
Clips
 
 
 
Literatuur
 
Cliff Richard, Fijn om jong te zijn, Helmond 1960
‘Shadows debut a success’, Disc, 1 oktober 1960
‘The Shadows’, Foon, 1961
‘Vital moments – the Shadows’, Beat Instrumental, december 1967
Pim Oets, ‘Hank B. Marvin:dat rustige is voor mij de fijnste soort muziek’, in Popnamen, 1971
Stuart Grundy, ‘Hank B. Marvin’, in John Tobler, The Guitar Greats, BBC Books 1983
Jon Savage, ‘Four-Eyes, One Vision: The Shadows’, Mojo, februari 1995
‘Hank keeps his specs appeal’, Sydney Morning Herald, 9 augustus 2007

 

 
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