The Ventures’ Bob Bogle 1934-2009

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?

18 thoughts on “The Ventures’ Bob Bogle 1934-2009”

  1. the Ventures a go-go and “surfing” are really good ones too.I pulled out the ones you recommended…good stuff.I believe Bob played bass with Nokie Edwards playing lead.Jeff

  2. “I believe Bob played bass with Nokie Edwards playing lead.'Actually, they swtiched after a few years, but Edwards played lead for most of the time he was in the band, I think I'll go back and correct it.

  3. This is a pretty exhaustive list of original Ventures albums I found on the web a few years back; I know, because I used it to try and get as many of the 60s LPs as I could find. I got most of them, but not all!

  4. I think that their influence would be hard to overstate. Never met a guitar player that didn't dig The Ventures on some level. A lot of the garage bands in the sixties maintained surf tunes in their sets well into the british invasion. By the way, The Ventures cover of “Werewolf” is entitled “The Fourth Dimension” not “The Bat” and appears on “The Ventures In Space” LP. Sad to hear we lost another original.

  5. RIP…It's true that The Ventures put out a bajillion records – a lot of them nice but pretty lightweight – but after the early highlights the Hound mentioned the ones to look out for are pretty much any of the live ones from the Nokie years. Hearing what they sounded like on stage in their prime was a revelation, and you can definitely get a sense of their power from the Beloved Invaders clips.Aside from being one of the great guitar bands, they also had one of the few drummers that could drop in a 5 minute drum solo without making me want to throw shit:

  6. and they stayed good! the were amazing when i saw them at the mudd club & even in the 90's at coney island high…ventures in space still gives me weird coke nightmares due to a certain time in my life…hahaha…it really is amazing how they played in a line just workin it…beloved invaders is hysterical cuz theur voices are dubbed into japanese & sound insane! they totally changed south east asia when they toured there & opened up western music conciousness to hong kong, singapore & malaysia & literally hundreds of bands formed in their wake…(japan too), i have been collecting literally hunderds of ventures inspired records from there, some are insane…

  7. Something that goes un-noted is the fact that most of those psychedelic rockers of a few years later more likely than not learned to play guitar by listening to Ventures records. Add a fuzz box, some pseudo mystical lyrics, slow the tempo a bit, and what have you got? My personal theory anyhow. I hear more surf in those records than the blues.

  8. ” I hear more surf in those records than the blues.”Isn't surf just blues w/reverb? All the notes in Pipeline and Wipeout are in the major blues scale (which is Rumble played backwards). And of course the Ventures made some of the best psychedelic records ever. A record to illustrate the point is Bo Diddley's Aztec (which Bo doesn't play on, it's the Duchess, not that it matters, it's still a great record).

  9. “Isn't surf just blues w/reverb?” Yeah, and psychedelic guitar is delta blues w/reverb (if you're including the deltas of the Nile, the Tigris and Euphrates). That middle eastern sound runs through the best of both surf and psych, and makes Dick Dale (Armenian) a natural. (It also makes guys like Erkin Koray of Turkey worth checking out – it's fascinating to hear that sound come full circle. There are a bunch of clips of Koray on Youtube, like , but you'll probably want to avoid the later, proggier ones.)As for the Ventures influence on Asia, look no further:

  10. “That middle eastern sound runs through the best of both surf and psych, and makes Dick Dale (Armenian) a natural.”Right, Miserlou being the classic example….

  11. I have a great live double LP recorded in Japanback in the early 1980's and they were fantasticwhen I saw 'em sometime in the 1990s, beforeMel Taylor passed.

  12. Yeah jneilnyc, I think that's a more precise explanation of what I meant.I meant “the blues” in more of the Folk Revival / white guy with a goatee sense. Yknow: The Blues. I'm mostly thinking of the changes you hear in, say, Walk Don't Run as compared to the I IV V thing. Either way I think it's safe to say the Ventures taught more or less every kid that picked up a guitar in the 60s how to play.That's the impression I get from conversations with my own father, anyway.What do I know, I'm 27.

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