The Shadows - Apache - Amazon.com Music

2021 Song Draft- Round 3 Pick 8- Run-Sew-Read selects- ‘Apache’- The Shadows.

Apache–The Shadows
Instrumental written by Jerry Lordan
Released 1960; reached #1 on the UK singles chart

The Shadows were not the very first to record and release Apache; that recording was by influential UK guitarist Bert Weedon, a few months before The Shadows’ version.  The Shadows’ version was recorded at Abbey Road Studios.
The Shadows: https://youtu.be/QhIs1k8yuPU

In 1964, Apache was recorded and released in the US by The Ventures, who gave it more of a surfer music vibe. I enjoy The Ventures’ version, but the Shadows version is my favorite.
The Ventures version: https://youtu.be/B33bV0J5hLs

There is a lengthy Wikipedia page on this song, which includes an assertion attributed to George Harrison that The Beatles played Apache in their Hamburg gigs.  I want to hear that.

There are guitar experts in this draft who I know could write a superb technical review of this song.  You know who you are, and are welcome to share your expertise in your comments.  I have very little guitar knowledge, so I won’t attempt it. I merely enjoy hearing the song.

For some of my draft picks, the only way to narrow down the long list of songs was to make categories.  Apache topped my ‘Instrumental’ category. My other instrumental contenders were (in no particular order): Walk Don’t Run, Music Box Dancer, Dueling Banjos, Wipeout, Rumble, Love is Blue, Raunchy, and Classical Gas.  Basically, I could have done an entire Top 10 of nothing but instrumentals. But Apache was the first one that came to mind; and with each instrumental song I considered, it stayed at the top of the list. 


  1. Great pick Diana. As I think I made clear on a previous post, I also love instrumentals, and ‘Apache’ is one of the best from the 60s. Love those surf guitars. My parents had that Ventures album, so their version is the one I remember most. But I like the Shadows’ version a lot too.

  2. This song takes you back to the early sixties even if you were not there.

    I’m no expert but he is playing a Fender Stratocaster with lot of reverb! The Fender gave it a thin sound and the reverb made the song sound full. Hank Marvin also used what I call a “whammy bar” on the guitar (tremolo arm) to make it wobbly in parts. Hendrix would later use that bar to take songs to space.

    I think Harrison and Lennon used this song and The Shadows in general to base the Beatles song “Cry For a Shadow” on.

    Hank Marvin is great…I love his doubling on the pick.

    Nice pick! no pun intended.

    • And there’s some of that guitar expertise I was missing! Thanks for the info! The Harrison-Lennon take on the Shadows was interesting. I wonder if any recordings exist of them playing Apache in Hamburg. I did a quick search when preparing this post, but nothing came up. Only the mention of Harrison saying they played it. I’d love to hear what they sounded like.

    • I’m glad I could help!
      I remember reading they did it in Hamburg…minus the dance steps of course. I’ve never heard a version by them though.

      It was the song Man of Mystery by the Shadows that they had not heard that was the follow up to Apache…they had Rory Storm hum and whistle it to them so they could try to learn it…that turned into Cry For A Shadow.

      I remembered that part because it was such a strange way to learn or write a song lol.

    • LOL yea they would not go there for sure. That is where I would have loved to see The Beatles. Away from home and playing just what and how they wanted.

    • Isn’t that cool? Rory Storm was a bad stutter but he got them started by whistling but couldn’t remember the rest…so they just filled it in where they thought it should go….out came Cry For A Shadow

  3. More instrumentals in the takes.. So many good ones. Great choice on this. You are sending me into that vibe. Love that sound. Like your other options also. I came across a cool album a while ago. ‘Guitar In The Space Age’ by Bill Frisell. You might dig it.

  4. Great pick. I love Hank Marvin’s guitar sound. I had heard Burt Weedon’s recording didn’t know the version by The Ventures – the latter is pretty good, though the rendition by The Shadows remains my favorite.

Comments are closed.