Recently, I was asked about my favorite guitar solo.
There are a few recordings that changed my life. One was Bobby Darin’s ‘Dream Lover’, another was The Beatles ‘Love Me Do’, and ‘Apache’ by The Shadows. ‘Dream Lover’ was the first 45 rpm record that my brother and I owned and loved, and we would play it over and over again (somehow) on our grandfather’s old wind up gramophone.
The moment I heard ‘Love Me Do’ I knew that life was going to be different now that The Beatles were in it – and I was right. Soon after that I was in London, with Marty and Joyce Wilde on a magical, musical journey and The Beatles were in London and they were the leaders of the ‘scene’ there.
We can often remember the moment we first heard a song or a record. That was the case with me and ‘Apache’. The mystery and depth of it, and the minor key darkness and major key relief absolutely captured me. It was the summer of 1960. I was working ( at 13 years old ) with a theatre company in Lyme Regis and one of the company had a radio that we would tune in without fail to the ‘pop’ shows on the BBC Light Programme. We knew when they would be coming on – there were so few pop shows on the government controlled airwaves. I heard ‘Apache’ for the first time on that radio in that little theatre. It was such a huge record that year I was in heaven and I have adored the record ever since. It still never fails to work it’s magic on me every single time I hear it. Apache is one long beautiful guitar solo.
Today, one of my close friends is Bruce Welch and we love playing the old songs together for fun and for our songwriter pals. I have also had the honour of playing on stage with him and Hank, the late Jet Harris and Liquorice Locking with Marty singing, all together at The London Palladium. I could hardly believe it was happening – sharing a stage with my heroes was one of the most wonderful times I have ever known.
However – the question was my favourite guitar solo of all time – well of course – it’s James Burton’s solo on Ricky Nelson’s ‘Hello Mary Lou’.