His fingers stroked the strings of the guitar to compose one of the most memorable arpeggios in the history of rock in
The House of the rising sun
Provided that passport for eternity, guitarist of
, he has died at 77 years old.
ABKCO Music broke the news in a statement describing
as a "pioneering guitarist who influenced the sound of rock and roll for decades to come."
The band headed by
was one of the main references in the mid-60s thanks to its rock passed through the sieve of folk and blues.
Much of that fame came from his version of
The House of the Rising Sun
, in which Valentine played a key role.
recalled it when saying goodbye to his partner on social networks: "The opening notes of Rising Sun will never sound the same! ...
You didn't just play them, you lived them!
Heartbroken by the sudden news of Hilton's death. We had great moments together, "he wrote.
The guitar with which
played that arpeggio, a Gretsch from Tennessee that he bought in 1962, has also gone down in history thanks to the music video that accompanied the song, which topped the charts around the world.
, who died on Friday, according to his wife, was born in
(northern England) in 1943 and soon discovered his guitar vocation in a skiffle group, a genre that mixes elements of blues, jazz and folk.
Orphan since the age of 16, he channeled his overflowing energy first into the "skiffle" group The Heppers, and later into the rockers Wildcats, where he became known for rolling on the ground while playing guitar.
It was precisely this savage attitude that allowed him to join the
at age 20
, the group that
, and later joined by
, on drums.
"What really made
a rock group was
, because I don't think that rock element was in the band until we found it. Not only did he play rock 'n' roll, he had the look. He was a guy with a slicked-back greasy mane, cheap leather jackets, pointy shoes, black jeans and a smile on his face, "
in a recent interview.
Together they reaped other great successes -although never at the level of the House of the Rising Sun- such as
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
We Gotta Get Out of This Place
Baby let me take you home
Only three years later, in 1966, the band disintegrated as a result of internal tensions, and, although
re-founded the group with other colleagues,
did not return to be part of it, although he did participate in subsequent meetings and played with the singer. on tours.
, the guitarist launched into a solo career in California (USA) with which he was not very successful, before returning to his native United Kingdom.
inducted, along with the rest of the band, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
In recent years, the guitarist, who moved to live in Connecticut (USA), returned to "skiffle" music with his project Skiffledog and joined Burdon, with whom he maintained a close friendship, on tours in 2007 and 2008.
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