“My first musical love was the debut album by The Shadows – in mono. It’s got a picture of them with all their lovely sweaters on, and all their lovely Fender guitars. A teenage boy’s dream, those guitars. I bought it with my own money in a record shop in Acock’s Green in Birmingham, and I’ve still got it.
“Anyone who plays the guitar at my age – I’m 66 - will have had The Shadows as heroes. It started for me with Bert Weedon when he used to be on the telly, doing the Five O’Clock Club. I bought his Play In A Day book but it took me two weeks to tune the guitar. I then found the guitar that I had was unplayable anyway [laughs].
“But when I could play a little bit, Hank Marvin became my hero. Luckily I got to meet both Bert and Hank on several occasions. When I was young we used to go to Thank Your Lucky Stars, a brilliant weekly show, filmed on Sunday nights in Aston and everybody that was in the charts appeared on it. We’d queue up and get all the autographs. I got Hank’s, and Joe Brown’s, and countless others. It was wonderful to meet these guys, they were absolute gents.
”The Shadows is still an incredible album when I play it now; the recording and musicianship is iconic. That sound, that tone. It showed the Strat off as the guitar. And the great thing is that today I can go down the road into town and buy one for 60 quid. I’ve got several of these cheaper ones around the house cos I love the shape of the instrument, and they cover up a lot of dodgy plasterwork [laughs]. These are great for young kids getting into playing. They have new heroes, but for me it’s Hank and The Shadows that started it all off.”