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Famous Guitars

'59 Stratocaster - Hank Marvin

Serial# 34346

'59 Stratocaster - Hank Marvin

Most associated with:

Hank Marvin
Born: Oct 28, 1941

Current Ownership:

Bruce Welch, UK
(The Shadows Member)

Previous Ownership:

Cliff Richard

Maybe Britains most legendary guitar. At least the most influential one. When Hank Marvin and his band The Shadows came on TV and appeared in magazines with his prized 1959 Fiesta Red Strat, Every kid in Britain wanted one.

Even David Gilmour (who played Telecaster at the time) has said he wanted to play a Strat because of Hank Marvin playing one.

This Strat is said to be Englands first.

There is not much to say about the specs of this guitar. It was custom ordered by Cliff Richard from Fender in Fiesta Red for Hank, with gold hardware and has remained stock ever since. Needless to say, the guitar was perfect for Hank Marvin who quickly adopted it and became a master of the subtle tremolo use that was to become "The Shadows" staple guitar sound.

The Shadows eventually scored a endorsement deal with Burns Guitar around 1961 and the Red Strat was put aside. Cliff Richard who technically still owned the instrument, decided to take it back in to his ownership. Story then goes (Not sure this is true) that Richards took an unwise decision and had the guitar refinished in white color. The guitar was later given to  Bruce Welch (2nd Guitarist of The Shadows) by Richards as a thanks for studio contribution on a few of his albums. Welch eventually had the guitar restored back to Fiesta Red and it has been up to this day in the care of Welch.

Hank Marvin has jokingly said that Bruce Welsh "stole" the guitar.

Fender has released several models of this guitar. Mostly during the 90s. Even Fender Japan has issued a couple and there is also a Squire one.

Bruce Welch tells the story on acquiring the '59.

(The photo of the Fiesta Red Strat is not the real one. Just illustration)

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