The Shadows
Original backing band for Cliff Richard

The Shadows looking very dapper indeed! (From Left) Bruce Welsh, Tony Meehan, Jet Harris and Hank Marvin, very early promo shot.

The Shadows Were the Most Influential Band in the Pre Beatle Era

Ah ....The Shadows !

Like every other kid who was a budding guitarist, The Shadows were by far my biggest influence. The Shadows were by far the most influential U.K. group of its kind, in an era dominated by the single artist.                                                                                                The original line up of Hank Marvin, (lead guitar) Bruce Welch, (rhythm guitar), Jet Harris (Bass) and Tony Meehan on drums. This line up helped turn a generation of 50’s and 60’s kids into homegrown rock and rollers.

The Shadows Hits Begin

Hanks shiny red Fender on display!

Aided by Hank Marvin’s shiny red fender guitar, his horn rim glasses and the three step “Shadows Step” the Shads became a worldwide sensation. Originally named “The Drifters” Cliff Richard found them in the Two I’s coffee bar in Soho.                                                            Changing their name to The Shadows to avoid confusion with the U.S. vocal group, they recorded “Apache” after 2 flop singles.

“Apache” went to number 1 on the U.K. charts in1960 and was the forerunner of a sting of classic records over many decades. The Shadows other number 1 hits included “Kon Tiki”, “Wonderful Land” “Dance On” and “Foot Tapper” all between 1961 and 1963.

It was a magic moment when I came home from school one day to find the bright red cover of “The Shadow Greatest Hits” waiting for me. A reward for not failing grade 7!.

The Shadows Line Up Changes

Yet another publicity session, Bruce, Tony, Jet and Hank.

Jet Harris and Tony Meehan had departed by 1962 and had a hit of their own “Diamonds” featuring Jet's bass as lead, and a nice drum solo by Tony Meehan.

And More Lineup Changes For The Shadows

John Rostill, 2nd from left, joins the band with Brian Bennett next to him.

Brian “Liquorice” Locking joined The Shadows on bass; he was then replaced with John Rostill. John remained with the band until his death at 31 in November 1973.

Various bass players have sat it with the Shadows since, including Marc Griffith, formerly of Mathews Southern Comfort. Brian Bennett became the drummer and is with them to this day. Strangely, I still think of Brian as "the Shadows new drummer"!

How many years has he been there?

Cliff filming Expresso Bongo, with the Shads.

The Shadows backed Cliff Richard on all his hit records, and appeared in the films “Wonderful Life”, “The Young Ones” and “Summer Holiday”. 

They recorded classic albums “The Shadows”, (cover notes by Cliff), “Out of The Shadows”, “Dance With The Shadows”, and “The Sound Of The Shadows”

The boys having a Knees Up!

How often have you heard a Shads classic on the radio, and thought….”ah, great tune this……is it “36-24-36”? Is it” The Frightened City”? Maybe its “The Savage”? Its not that they all sound the same, sure they all sound like the Shadows, but there are so many of them. And, speaking of names, how about some of their tune’s names?

The Shadows on Vinyl


The Shadows Very Best is a collection of all the bans greatest recordings. It has "Apache", "Man Of Mystery", "The Boys" and "The Savage". Twenty classic tracks in all.

Get The Shadows at Their Very best HERE

The Shadows Best Of. Or you could try this similar album. 18 tracks with "See You In My Drums" "Frightened City" and others.

Grab them both while you can!

Grab The Shadows Best Of HERE