Terence Harris MBE (6 July 1939 – 18 March 2011), known as Jet Harris, was an English musician. He was the bass guitarist of the Shadows until April 1962, and had subsequent success as a soloist and as a duo with the drummer Tony Meehan.
He was born Terence Harris into a working-class family in Kingsbury, north-west London. His prowess as a sprinter at Dudden Hill secondary modern school earned him the nickname Jet. Leaving school at 15, he went to work with his father as an apprentice welder making milk churns at the Dairy Supply Company in Park Royal.
As a child he played the clarinet, but his interest in bass rhythms was piqued by hearing records by the pianist Winifred Atwell. This inspired him to make his own double bass. In 1958, Harris joined the backing group of the singer Larry Page before going on tour with Tony Crombie and the Rockets, one of the first British rock'n'roll instrumental groups. Crombie got a Framus bass guitar for Harris, making him one of the first British exponents of the instrument. He later favoured the Fender Precision bass
After playing with the Vipers skiffle group and the Most
Brothers, he was invited to join Cliff Richard's backing group, then called the
Drifters, whose lead and rhythm guitarists were Hank Marvin and Bruce Welch
respectively. In 1959, the quartet made their first recordings as the Shadows,
a name change suggested by Harris, because of the prior existence of the
American vocal group the Drifters.
left to right, Bruce Welch, Cliff Richard, Jet Harris and Hank Marvin.