Bob Bogle of the the Ventures died yesterday, he was 75. Bogle started as the lead guitarist and switched to bass after Nookie Edwards who originally played bass switched to guitar. Whatever…in their own way the Ventues probably influenced more guitar players than anyone in history.
The Ventures made dozens of albums, my favorites are the one just called The Ventures (I think it’s their second album, they’re all wearing red jackets on the cover), The Ventures In Space, Twist With The Ventures, Play Electric Guitar With The Ventures (which was great to tune to before guitar tuners were invented), Guitar Freak Out, and Twist Party Vol. 2. They also star in one of the coolest rock’n’roll documentaries of all time: Beloved Invaders, which chronicles their 1965 tour of Japan, where it was said they outsold the Beatles two to one.
Anyway, Bogle’s death gives me an excuse to run the above clips, all from Beloved Indvaders. Here’s a few favorite tunes: Drivin’ Guitars, Exploration In Terror, He Never Came Back, The Bat, RoadRunner, and War Of The Satellites. The Ventures were really the quintessential American band, no leader’s name out front, they seemed practically faceless, yet together it was as if they were all part of the same living organism. How many kids picked up their first guitar after hearing Walk Don’t Run? How many bands formed, inspired by the Ventures? How many Fender and later Moserite guitars did they sell? And how many albums did they make? Anyone ever try and count ’em?