“It was what I like to call “the golden period”. It was non-stop!,” enthused Brian “Licorice” Locking recalling his 18-month stint with The Shadows between 1962 and 1963 when I interviewed on October 6 last year.
It’s sad then that just over a year later, I have to report that Brian, who replaced The Shadows original bass guitarist Jet Harris, died earlier today in North Wales at the age of 82 after a long illness.
As well as playing alongside Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch and Brian Bennett on Shadows hits such as Guitar Tango, Dance On!, FootTapper and Atlantis, Brian also featured on several Cliff Richard recordings including Summer Holiday, Bachelor Boy and Lucky Lips.
I had the good opportunity to interview Brian last October about his career in music. This included playing alongside Marty Wilde, Vince Eager Eddie Cochran and in particularly his time with The Shadows and of course, Cliff Richard.
The interview took place prior to an appearance with Newport based musician Maurice Woodcroft at Newport’s Riverfront Theatre in November. I was originally going to review the Riverfront show but a prior engagement prevented me from attending.
Fortunately, both Maurice and Brian did a warm-up gig at Newport’s Lyceum Tavern the night before of which I did attend. Performing a selection of Shadows hits on guitar and harmonica, Brian entertained the Newport audience for several hours and even took time out to chat with several patrons in the pub during the interval.
I recall he was particularly kind to me as I had gone over to a table to speak to him as he autographed a few of my Shadows records and posed for photographs. Although he had left The Shadows as far back as 1963 to concentrate on his beliefs as a Jehovah’s Witness he was still incredibly pleased that people remembered his association with the worlds most successful instrumental group.
Brian was a star in every sense of the word. We present a video of Brian along with Maurice Woodcroft performing Atlantis, a No.2 hit for The Shadows as a tribute via YouTube.