Hank Marvin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hank Marvin
Hank cropped.jpg
Marvin in 2007
Background information
Birth name Brian Robson Rankin
Born (1941-10-28) 28 October 1941 (age 72)
Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom
Genres Rock, instrumental rock, rock & roll, gypsy jazz
Occupations Musician
Instruments Banjo, guitar, piano, singer
Years active 1956–present
Associated acts The Shadows, Cliff Richard
Notable instruments
Hank Marvin Signature Stratocaster
Burns "The Marvin" and the "Shadows Custom Elite Guitar"

Hank Brian Marvin (born 28 October 1941),[1] also known as Hank B. Marvin, is an English musician, a multi-instrumentalist, as well as a vocalist who is best known as the lead guitarist for the Shadows. The group, which primarily performed instrumentals, was formed as a backing band for vocalist Cliff Richard.[1] Marvin has a distinctive guitar sound and appearance, primarily using a clean sound with distinctive echo and vibrato giving a dreamy effect.[2]

Personal life[edit]

He was born Brian Robson Rankin in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. As a child, he played the banjo and piano. After he heard one of Buddy Holly's songs, he decided to also learn the guitar.[1]

He chose the name Hank Marvin while launching his music career. The name is an amalgamation of his childhood nickname of Hank, which he used to differentiate himself from a number of friends also named Brian, and Marvin Rainwater, a country and western singer.

When Marvin was 16, he travelled with his Rutherford Grammar School friend Bruce Welch to London, where he met Johnny Foster, Cliff Richard's manager, at The 2i's Coffee Bar in Soho. Foster was looking for a guitarist for Cliff's upcoming tour of the UK, and Marvin agreed to join as long as there was also a place for Welch. Foster had actually been looking for guitarist Tony Sheridan at the 2i's, but by chance he encountered Marvin. Marvin and Welch joined The Drifters, as Cliff's group was then known, beginning their careers as professional guitar players.

Marvin met Cliff for the first time at a nearby Soho tailor's shop, where Cliff was having a fitting for a pink stage jacket. The Drifters had their first rehearsal with Cliff at the Webb family home (Cliff's parents) in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire.

Since 1986, Marvin has lived in Perth, Western Australia. He has been known for brief impromptu appearances on stage when musician friends visit the Perth area, such as in February 2013 when Cliff held a concert at Sandalford Winery. He is a devout Jehovah's Witness.[3] Marvin runs a recording studio: Nivram studios (part of Sh-Boom studios in Tiverton Street, Perth, owned by Trevor Spencer and Gary Taylor).

In the London area, Hank Marvin is humorously used as cockney rhyming slang for "starvin" ("starving").[4] This slang was referenced in a 2012 television advertisement for Mattessons meat company.[5]

Marvin and Jean-Pierre Danel, 2007
Richard and The Shadows, 2009


Marvin influenced many guitarists, including George Harrison,[6] Eric Clapton,[6] David Gilmour, Brian May, Mark Knopfler,[7] Peter Frampton,[8] Steve Howe,[9] Roy Wood,[10] Tony Iommi,[11] Pete Townshend,[12] Ritchie Blackmore and Jeff Beck.[13]

In Canada, Cliff and The Shadows met with success, especially from 1961 to 1965 when they enjoyed several top 10 hits. Canadian guitarists Randy Bachman[14] and Neil Young have credited Marvin's guitar work as influential.[15]

Solo career[edit]

As well as playing with The Shadows, Marvin has had a successful solo career. His first critically lauded self-titled solo album consisted of instrumentals, which featured his guitar set to more orchestrated backing, was released in 1969 following the first disbanding of The Shadows in late 1968. The single 'Sacha' taken from this topped the singles chart in New South Wales, Australia.[16] His solo career was then suspended for a time due to various Shadows reunions, first for a Far East tour and 'live' album in 1969, then a studio album in 1970 ("Shades of Rock") and again later on in the early seventies. He has been willing to experiment with styles and material, doing some purely instrumental albums, some with mostly vocals (e.g. "Words and Music", "All Alone With Friends"), one with only acoustic guitars and one with a guitar orchestra ("The Hank Marvin Guitar Syndicate").

In 1970, Marvin and Welch formed Marvin, Welch & Farrar, a vocal-harmony trio which failed to appeal to many Shadows fans or to contemporary music fans, despite cutting two critically acclaimed albums later re-evaluated by many fans. 'They became 'Marvin & Farrar' for a vocal album early in 1973 and then reverted to being The Shadows in late 1973, for the all instrumental Rockin' with Curly Leads album. The Shadows then represented the United Kingdom in the 1975 Eurovision song contest coming second.

As a writer, Marvin was solely responsible for "Driftin'", "Geronimo", "Spider Juice" (his daughter's name for orange juice), "I Want You to Want Me" for The Shadows, and "The Day I Met Marie". He co-wrote Cliff's 1960 hit; 'Gee Whizz It's You' (with Ian Samwell), As co-writer with Welch, Brian Bennett, and John Rostill, he wrote other hits, mainly for Cliff, including; "On The Beach", "I Could Easily Fall in Love with You", " Time Drags By", and "In the Country".

In 1969 and 1970 he teamed with Cliff Richard for two 'Cliff & Hank' hit singles, his own song;'Throw Down A Line' (also recorded by Marvin, Welch & Farrar), and 'The Joy of Living', while Cliff also had a hit with his ecology themed song 'Silvery Rain'.

In 1977, Marvin performed lead guitar on Roger Daltrey's third solo album One of the Boys, on the tracks Parade and Leon.

He co-wrote Olivia Newton John's 1977 hit 'Sam' (with John Farrar and Don Black), and has produced albums for the British singer/TV personality Des O'Connor.

In 1988, Marvin collaborated with French keyboardist and composer Jean Michel Jarre on the track "London Kid", which appeared on Jarre's Revolutions album and took a guest role in the Jarre's Destination Docklands concert at London's Royal Victoria Dock. Jarre stated that The Shadows' success had a huge influence on him and his decision to devote the majority of his career to instrumental music.

In 1992, Duane Eddy guested on Marvin's album Into the Light on the track "Pipeline".

Marvin and The Shadows reformed for a 2004 Final Tour, which was successful and a 2005 European tour was also organised.

Marvin dueted twice with French guitarist Jean-Pierre Danel – on his 2007 and 2010 albums, both top-ten hits and certified gold. Their two singles hit the iTunes charts in France, Norway, Finland and Germany. Marvin also participated on one of his DVDs and wrote the foreword for Danel's book about the Fender Stratocaster.

While his Shadows colleagues Welch and Bennett accepted the honour of an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2004 Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to music, Marvin declined, citing "personal reasons".[17]

Early career groups (pre-Shadows/Drifters)[edit]

1956 – Riverside Skiffle group → Crescent City Skiffle Group
  • Marvin (banjo), John Tate (guitar), Derek Johnson (guitar), Joe Rankin (bass), Mal Malarky (mandolin), and Howard Muir (wb)
1956–1957 – The Railroaders (#1)
  • Marvin (guitar), Welch (guitar), George Williams (guitar), Jim (drums)
1956–1957 – The Railroaders (#2)
  • Marvin (guitar), Welch (guitar), Eddie Silver (guitar), George Williams (bass), and Jim ? (drums)
1958 – The Vipers (aka The Vipers Skiffle group)
  • live concert
  • Wally Whyton (vocals), Johnny Booker (guitar), Hank Marvin (guitar), J. Harris (bass), and Johnny Pilgrim (wb)
1958 – The Five Chesternuts
  • 7" single – ("Jean Dorothy" on Columbia)
  • Gerry Hurst (vocals), Marvin (guitar), Welch (guitar), Neil Johnson (bass), and Pete Chester (drums)

UK solo tours[edit]

  • 1994 – w/Brian Bennett (drums), Ben Marvin (guitar), Warren Bennett (guitar/keyboards), Mark Griffiths (bass)
  • 1995 – w/Ben Marvin (guitar), Warren Bennett (guitar/keyboards), Mark Griffiths (bass), Matthew Letley (drums)
  • 1997 – w/Ben Marvin (guitar), Warren Bennett (guitar/keyboards), Mark Griffiths (bass), Matthew Letley (drums)
  • 1998 – w/Ben Marvin (guitar), Warren Bennett (guitar/keyboards), Mark Griffiths (bass), Matthew Letley (drums)
  • 2000 - w/Ben Marvin (guitar), Warren Bennett (guitar/keyboards), Mark Griffiths (bass), Peter May (drums)
  • 2002 – w/Ben Marvin (guitar), Warren Bennett (guitar/keyboards), Mark Griffiths (bass), Fergus Gerrand (drums)

Production credits[edit]

  • Spaghetti Junction Work's Nice – If you can get it/Step right Up Columbia DB 8935
  • Des O'Connor – Another Side Des O'Connor – LP – NSPL 18559.
  • Flair – Stop look & listen – LP – MLP 15611.
  • Flair – Fair – LP – CC 227324
  • Flair – Fair play – LP – CC 327224

Duets and guest appearances[edit]

In addition to the above, Marvin also plays guitar on the following tracks of library music recorded for Bruton Music:



(V) – Vocal

Year A-side B-side UK Singles Chart[18] Notes
1968 London's Not Too Far (V) Running Out of World (V) (The Shadows)
Columbia DB 8326
1969 Goodnight Dick Wahine
Columbia DB 8552
1969 Sunday For Seven Days Sacha
Columbia DB 8601
1969 Throw Down A Line (V) Reflections
Columbia DB 8615 (Cliff and Hank)
1969 Slaughter on 10th Avenue (The Shadows) Midnight Cowboy
Columbia DB 8628
1970 The Joy of Living (V) Leave My Woman Alone (V) Boogatoo
Columbia DB 8657 (Cliff and Hank)
1970 Break Another Dawn Would You Believe It (V)
(Unreleased, promo only)
1970 Break Another Dawn Morning Star
Columbia DB 8693
1970 Morning Star Evening Comes
(Australia and New Zealand only)
1977 Flamingo Syndicated
EMI 2744 (Hank Marvin Guitar Syndicate)
1981 Sacha / Sunday For Seven Days Morning Star / Evening Comes
(New Zealand only) Hank Marvin EP
1982 Don't Talk (V) Life Line (V)
Polydor POSP420
1982 The Trouble With Me Is You (remix) (V) Captain Zlogg
Polydor POSP479
1983 The Hawk and the Dove (V) Janine
Polydor POSP581
1983 Invisible Man (V) All Alone With Friends
Polydor POSP618
1986 Living Doll
(Cliff Richard and The Young Ones featuring Hank B. Marvin)
1989 London Kid
(Jean-Michel Jarre featuring Hank Marvin)
1992 We Are The Champions (with Brian May) Moontalk / Into The Light (CD)
Polydor PO 229
1993 Wonderful Land (with Mark Knopfler) Hot Rox (CD) / Nivram
Polydor PO297

Studio and live albums[edit]

  • 1969 Hank Marvin No. 14
  • 1977 Hank Marvin Guitar Syndicate (no chart position)
  • 1982 Words and Music No. 66
  • 1983 All alone with friends (no chart position)
  • 1992 Into the light No. 18
  • 1993 Heartbeat No. 17
  • 1995 Hank plays Cliff No. 33
  • 1996 Hank plays Holly No. 34
  • 1997 Hank plays Live No. 71
  • 1997 Plays the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber No. 41
  • 2000 Marvin at the Movies No. 17
  • 2002 Guitar Player No. 10
  • 2007 Guitar Man No. 6
  • 2013 Django's Castle (Download only - no chart position)
  • 2014 Hank No. 8

Compilation albums[edit]

  • 1987 Would You Believe It...Plus (reissue of 1969 LP with bonus tracks)
  • 1994 The Best of Hank Marvin & The Shadows No. 19
  • 1995 Handpicked (no chart position)
  • 1997 The Very Best of Hank Marvin & The Shadows The First 40 Years No. 56
  • 1998 Another Side of Hank Marvin (no chart position)
  • 2001 The Singles Collection 'The 80's & 90's' Hank Marvin & The Shadows (no chart position)
  • 2004 Shadowing The Hits (no chart position)
  • 2004 Guitar Ballads (no chart position)
  • 2007 Hank Marvin & The Shadows Play The 60's (no chart position)
  • 2008 The Solid Gold Collection (no chart position)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Hank Marvin – Guitar God.
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 42885. p. 197. 4 January 1963. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  3. ^ Ross, Deborah (17 March 1997). "Specs, God and rock'n'roll". The Independent (London). 
  4. ^ "H". London Slang. 4 May 2010. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "'Hank Marvin' stars in new Mattessons advert". MusicRadar. 21 June 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Hank Marvin: Everyone Has To Move On". ultimate-guitar.com. 25 September 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  7. ^ Balmer, Paul (2007). The Fender Stratocaster Handbook: How to Buy, Maintain, Set Up, Troubleshoot, and Modify Your Strat. MBI Publishing. p. 7. ISBN 0760329834. "Hank Marvin had a huge influence on guitarists such as Brian May of Queen, Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits,..." 
  8. ^ Whitaker, Sterling C. (2003). Unsung Heroes of Rock Guitar. Booksurge. p. 111. ISBN 1591097584. 
  9. ^ Prown, Pete; Sharken, Lisa (2003). Gear Secrets of the Guitar Legends: How to Sound Like Your Favorite Players. Hal Leonard. pp. 63, 66. ISBN 1617745014. 
  10. ^ Marten, Neville; Giltrap, Gordon (2010). The Hofner Guitar: A History (2 ed.). Hal Leonard. p. 40. ISBN 1423462742. 
  11. ^ Gulla, Bob (2009). Guitar Gods: The 25 Players Who Made Rock History. ABC-CLIO. pp. 133–134. ISBN 0313358060. 
  12. ^ Giuliano, Geoffrey (2002). Behind Blue Eyes: The Life of Pete Townshend. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 16. ISBN 0815410700. 
  13. ^ Clayson, Alan (2002). The Yardbirds: The Band That Launched Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page. Hal Leonard. p. 46. ISBN 0879307242. 
  14. ^ Bachman, Randy (2012). Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap Stories. Penguin. p. 155. ISBN 0143185772. 
  15. ^ Gulla 2009, p. 237
  16. ^ Barnes, Jim; Dyer, Fred; Scanes, Stephen (1986). The Book Top Forty Research 2nd Edition 1956-1985 (doc). Top Forty Research Services, N.S.W. Australia. 
  17. ^ "Actor Hurt leads Queen's honours". BBC News.
  18. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 264. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]