Ap ache

Test for echo

Total Guitar - - BLACK PEAKS -

Player Hank Marvin Sin­gle (1960)

It’s hard to over­state the im­por­tance of The Shad­ows in rock ’n’ roll his­tory, and specif­i­cally the evo­lu­tion of elec­tric gui­tar play­ing. They brought it to the fore, and at the turn of the 60s their lead man Hank Marvin was the first elec­tric hero to those that would be­come idols in his wake. Imag­ine your fan­base in­clud­ing a young Gil­mour, Har­ri­son, Clap­ton, May, Knopfler, Iommi, Town­shend, Black­more and Beck… you get the pic­ture.

Writ­ten by English com­poser Jerry Lor­don (who would also write other hits for the Shads with Won­der­ful­land and At­lantis) and first recorded by tu­ition king Bert Wee­don, it would be Hank’s gang who took Apache to the top of the UK charts af­ter track­ing it at Abbey Road, and it be­came their sig­na­ture tune in the process.

Such is its al­lure that over the years many, many Hank-

wor­ship­ping play­ers have de­voted count­less hours into cap­tur­ing his tone, with end­less dis­cus­sions of tape echo in their wake. And that is part of the three key tonal com­po­nents here – aside from Hank’s hands – and one is of his­toric im­por­tance quite aside from the mu­sic.

Hank’s Strat used on the song was the first to ar­rive in the UK, via Cliff Richard who, of course, The Shad­ows backed. Though the maple ’board Strat was de­scribed as Fi­esta Red, its unique Flamingo Pink fin­ish made it un­mis­tak­able. Hank used a Vox AC15 EF86 preamp ver­sion with it for the song and his first multi-tap echo unit (so-called as it turns a sin­gle note into mul­ti­ple re­peats and are in­te­gral to Apache) that he’d been in­tro­duced to by fel­low mu­si­cian Joe Brown. It was love at first lis­ten. This Ital­ian Meazzi Echomatic 1 unit boasted five tape heads of­fer­ing a va­ri­ety of echo types, plus a con­trol that could al­ter the drum, be­came his first and the die was cast for the Shad­ows’ dis­tinc­tive sound. It re­mains a prized piece for echo en­thu­si­asts to this day.

“Those echoes were em­bry­onic for me,” Hank told our sis­ter mag Gui­tarist in 2012, “and very much a part of that early sound and those favourite [sounds] would be the ones that I re­turned to as a start­ing point to see how it worked.” Char­lie Hall’s ded­i­cated work in repli­cat­ing Hank’s multi-tap de­lay sounds re­sulted in Ale­sis Quadraverb units pre­loaded with his the Echoes Of The Past patches. They were so suc­cess­ful Hank him­self ended up us­ing one but fail­ing that, you’ll need two ana­logue de­lay pedals…

Hanksa­lot Mr Marvin pos­si­bly laugh­ing at all the play­ers who have at­tempted to copy his leg­endary tone

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