It’s fitting that Malcolm Campbell provides both the continuity and overview in relation to this current epic undertaking because, in a different life, as a Reader in Ancient Greek at St Andrews University, he was the author of over a dozen books on language and literature. As well as taking a keen interest in popular music of various persuasions and from all periods, he is also a lifelong devotee of The Shadows and their music. In recent years he has become one of the world’s foremost commentators on the group and their recorded work. He has reviewed, in considerable depth, almost 80 Shadows and Shadows related CDs, books and videos/DVDs. The majority of these Reviews have appeared in Shadsfax. As well as annotating half-a-dozen CDs, Malcolm has acted as a consultant on Shadows Reissues for Crimson, Demon, Eagle Records, EMI, M&S and Union Square. Several years ago he set himself the arduous (and seemingly impossible) task of both documenting and commenting upon every known Shadows (and Cliff Richard/Shadows) release (78 rpm, 45 rpm, EP, LP and CD) from all over the world. He has now written and published four incredibly detailed discographies: A Guide To The Shadows And Hank Marvin On CD (1999); The Shadows At EMI – The Vinyl Legacy (2001); The Shadows At Polydor – The 1980s And Beyond (2003) and (in conjunction with Les Woosey) an updated, richly illustrated and greatly expanded edition of A Guide To The Shadows And Hank Marvin On CD (2005). These tomes are recognised worldwide as being the definitive works on The Shadows’ recording history. Malcolm also provided the programme notes for the Final Tour brochures of both Hank Marvin (2002) and The Shadows themselves (2004/2005).
Rob was initially hooked on Cliff Richard and The Shadows when his teenage older sister bought Move It! . His abiding obsession with the image and sound of The Shadows per se was cemented further when he saw them performing (with an all Fender line-up) on a friend’s TV sometime during 1959/1960. After hearing ‘Apache’ on Saturday Club, there was no going back and it was the first record that he ever bought – on the occasion of his eighth birthday!! Like Les and Malcolm, Rob has been collecting Shadows singles, EPs, LPs, CDs, books and other ephemera/memorabilia for almost half a century! During that time he has been able to meet and talk to all of The Shadows and their supporting/backing musicians. In particular he has interviewed Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch, Brian Bennett and Jet Harris at considerable length. Rob has become a recognised international authority on The Shadows. His notes, reviews, articles and features have appeared in numerous fanzines and professional magazines including: New Gandy Dancer, Pipeline, SCOFA, Shadsfax, Music Collector and Record Collector. He spent six years researching the life and career of the late Shadows’ bassist John Rostill. His privately published biography of John, Funny Old World, was critically acclaimed by both Shadows fans and members of The Shadows themselves. His appreciation of the life and career of Jerry Lordan was published in Record Collector. Rob has compiled and annotated ca. 25 Shadows or Shadows-related LPs and CDs. He has also acted as a Shadows/Instrumentals consultant for Ace Records, Castle Music, EMI, Fury Records, Polydor, PolyGram, Sanctuary Music, See For Miles, Spectrum and Universal. His exhaustive and definitive researches into The Shadows BBC Radio sessions (originally published in Shadsfax) have been summarised and incorporated into the present book.
Les was born and raised in Liverpool and studied there too although today you would barely notice the accent. As a teenager he frequented such legendary establishments as Litherland Town Hall, The Alexandra Hall, The Cavern Club etc., and haunted the city’s great guitar and record shops like Hessy’s, NEMS, Rushworths and Cranes. He experienced Merseybeat at first hand (and they were heady times never to be repeated) but Les was transfixed by The Shadows before the Beat Boom began in earnest and that passion has never left him. He saw The Shadows perform at Southport’s Floral Hall ca. late 1960: “I stood with my chin on the stage….and gazed up at The Shadows as they performed (it seemed) just for me! I was mesmerised, and I was also hooked for life!” Indeed, Les has been a lifelong collector of Shadows’ recordings, documentation and memorabilia. His incisive observational abilities and acute listening skills have been vital to the success of this project. His knowledge of background information in relation to Shadows tracks is unrivalled. During the course of twenty years or so, Les’ notes, articles, reviews and features have appeared in SCOFA, Shadsfax and New Gandy Dancer. He acted as proof-reader (his meticulous attention to detail has to be seen to be believed!) and occasional advisor for The Shadows At Polydor, which led to his becoming the co-author of the revised edition of A Guide To The Shadows And Hank Marvin On CD. Les is a recognised authority with regard to the numerous alternative versions, mock-stereo tracks and other variants (many of which have been discovered by him) existing within The Shadows’ vast recorded output. He has also compiled (in conjunction with Malcolm) a guide to The Shadows’ Radio Luxembourg Recordings, a summary of which has been incorporated into the book.
RB, LW & MC At Shadowmania 2005
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