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My First Love: Dave Pegg on The Shadows

“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.”


Jo Kendall

Embracing weird, wild and wonderful sounds, Prog's Associate Editor Jo's also a Classic Rock columnist, an avid tea-drinker and cupcake fancier.