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Hank Marvin’s Custom Shop Stratocasters

Hanhankk Marvin is inarguably one of the most influential guitarists of all time. The Shadows remain a British institution and comfortably beat out the Beatles and the Stones for the title of the first British Pop Rock band.

But then, they did have a secret weapon.

Hank Marvin’s unique guitar style, the centerpiece of the bands sound, has influenced any guitarist you’d care to mention, from Mark Knopfler to David Gilmour, George Harrison to Pete Townshend, Jeff Beck, the list goes on.

And no wonder he was the first in Britain to develop such a sound. He was the first person in the UK to use a Stratocaster.


Hank’s use of the whammy bar broke new ground for guitarists everywhere, and in more recent years, he has adapted his main instruments to aid this by improving tuning stability.


Fender has released several Hank Marvin signature models, beginning in the early 90’s.

Hank apparently didn’t get along with the Lace Sensors in the earlier models, but lately he’s been exclusively using a more exclusive run


This is the “Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition Dealer Select 1959 Custom Red Stratocaster”. Developed in 2009 by Fender, it is a direct copy of the original Strat Cliff Richard bought for Hank to use in the 50’s.

In “Flamingo Pink” with gold hardware, a birdseye maple neck, and a neck profile and hand-wound pickups to copy the originals, it’s essentially a signature model without the signature on the headstock.


Hank however has made a few modifications. The guitars he now uses have a graphite nut, Fender noiseless pickups, locking tuners, a VML easy-mute tremolo arm, and either graphite string trees or none at all.

It’s a beast of a guitar. But for the purists who prefer the original, Bruce Welch still plays it in the Shadows alongside Hank’s newer model!



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