“Ray really played the lead early on; he’d play lead to Walk, Don’t Run and Apache and all that stuff, and I’d play rhythm.
"What happened was that I was so cocky, I thought I’d remember what I heard, but I’d play it wrong. It took me a while to realise that’s actually called ‘improvisation’! I kind of faked... not faked it; you kind of learn whatever way you can, you know, by whatever means strikes you at the time. Ray was more musically trained; he had guitar lessons, and was a really good picker. I just used to pick up things that I liked and copy them badly, and just f***ing go for it.
“Ray used to love Ricky Nelson records. Apart from the fact he used to have that typical-of-the-time, swanky kind of voice, a lovely voice, I used to listen to the guitar. Even now, I still regard the guitar solo on Hello Mary Lou as one of the best rock-guitar solos on record. It’s a beautiful solo. I only played it last week, and thought, ‘Woah, it’s so beautiful’. I was a big, big fan of Jimmy Burton. Anything with him on, I used to perk up and listen to it over and over and over again.
“But, also, it was amazing how guitar solos from that period seemed really to finish off the record. You’ve got your song and the intro, the chorus, couple of verses, guitar solo. To me, it was the highlight of the song. It’s funny; we grew up on music like that.
"Hound Dog is a really short record, and most singles didn’t last three minutes. The first time we went in to a studio and started to write our own stuff, they said, ‘Make sure it’s under three minutes, or we can’t get it played on the radio. People will get bored’. There was a kind of unwritten rule about keeping songs really short, especially if you wanted them to be a hit.”