Royston Ellis with The Shadows (1959 - Late 1960)
The Shadows were an instrumental rock 'n' roll group, formed initially as a backing band for Cliff Richard. They became the most popular and succesful British beat group before the arrival of the Beatles with a string of hits from 1960 to 1963: ‘Apache’, 'Kon Tiki', 'Wonderful Land', 'Dance On', 'Foot Tapper' etc.
When they backed Royston Ellis during 1960, their heyday lineup was Hank Marvin on lead guitar; Bruce Welch on rhythm guitar; Jet Harris on bass and Tony Meehan on drums.
They became the most influential UK group of its kind in the early '60s, turning a whole generation on to homegrown rock'n'roll, after the release of their fourth single “Apache”.
Incidentally, this record became a hit in summer 1960 when Royston Ellis was backed by the future Beatles who at that time were complete outsiders, refusing to cover Cliff Richard & The Shadows hits and to mould on their style. As a result no British label accepted to sign them until June 1962.
With the advent of the Beatles, in 1963, the Shadows were increasingly perceived as anachronistic…
Royston Ellis wrote many books about The Shadows among them the Biography “The Shadows By Themselves” (1961).
His first volume of poems, “Jiving to Gyp” was dedicated to their lead vocalist Cliff Richard as well as the Biography “Driftin' With Cliff Richard” written with their bass player Jet Harris.
In the late '50s and the early '60s, Royston Ellis was asked by television programmes to explain what teenagers were all about. Ellis ended up with his own series, “Living For Kicks,” in which he explored the controversial issues of the day such as gayness, pep pills and sex before marriage.