Where to begin...?
In 1957, when I was 12, I appeared on television and radio as one of Carrol Levis's Discoveries. The Carrol Levis show was the forerunner of Hughie Green's Opportunity Knocks talent show and I was a member of a Skiffle group called Les Skifflettes. We had a washboard, a tea-chest bass, and about eight guitars! It didn't matter how well you played as long as the guitar looked good.
Between then and my mid-teens I was influenced by guitarists like Scotty Moore, who did some of the best solos in the early years on recordings like Elvis Presley's 'Blue Suede Shoes', 'My Baby Left Me' and 'Hound Dog'.
James Burton's solo on Ricky Nelson's 'Hello Mary Lou' was classic example of country style pickin'.
In England, Joe Moretti and Big Jim Sullivan were the two guitarist's doing good things as session musician's on recordings like Johnny Kidd's 'Please Don't Touch', 'Shakin' All Over' and 'Restless'.
Michael Cox's version of Chuck Berry's 'Sweet Little Sixteen' showed Jim Sullivan at his very best. Richie Blackmore's guitar on Heinz's 'Just Like Eddy' was very effective.
Around 1960 I was doing the Pub and Club scene along with Bobby Elliott and Bernard Calvert when I was approached by a then unknown Hollies who had apparently earmarked me to take over from the guitarist they had at the time.
The rest, as they say, is history....