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Post new topic Last of the Classic Ventures Lineup, Don Wilson, has passed
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Author Topic:  Last of the Classic Ventures Lineup, Don Wilson, has passed
Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania and Gallatin, Tennessee
Post  Posted 23 Jan 2022 2:56 pm    
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Don Wilson passed yesterday, just a few days shy of his 89th birthday.

I cannot possibly overstate how influential Don and Nokie have been on my musical journey. My first guitar interests were blues and surf/instrumental music, which persist to this day, on both guitar and now steel. I also met them, separately, at various shows - NAMM & a couple of guitar shows. Both great and encouraging people. RIP Don, and it definitely feels weird to be without any of the original classic Ventures lineup.


Last edited by Dave Mudgett on 23 Jan 2022 8:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joe Krumel

 

From:
Hermitage, Tn.
Post  Posted 23 Jan 2022 3:34 pm    
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Yeah,we all took something away from their great band. I miss hearing guys like these just simply makin' music.
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Dave Hopping


From:
Colorado, USA
Post  Posted 23 Jan 2022 5:39 pm    
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Not unexpected, but a deep loss nonetheless.

"If there's a Rock and Roll Heaven, you know they've got a H*** of a band..." Crying or Very sad
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Don R Brown


From:
Rochester, New York, USA
Post  Posted 23 Jan 2022 6:15 pm    
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The first record album I ever bought was their "Telstar". RIP Mr. Wilson!
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Last edited by Don R Brown on 24 Jan 2022 9:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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Larry Dering

 

From:
Missouri, USA
Post  Posted 23 Jan 2022 6:23 pm    
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Sad news. I doubt there's a guitar player in our age group that wasn't influenced by the Ventures. I certainly was and still listen to them to this day. My prayers to the family and friends.
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Rich Upright


From:
Florida, USA
Post  Posted 24 Jan 2022 10:31 am    
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Like all guitar players from that era, I was tremendously influenced by the Ventures. I remember wearing out my copy of "Play Guitar with the Ventures", sitting for hours just trying to play along with the record. Still have some of their stuff on vinyl. I also remember the first time I saw a pic of them onstage with their blonde Fender piggybacks & white Mosrites, and couldn't wait till I could afford one, and 50 years later made that dream a reality when I finally got my white '65 Mosrite Ventures model.
Thank you for the wonderful music, Don. I hope you knew how influential you were to a generation of pickers. You will be missed
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2022 1:07 pm    
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There are several interesting clips of a 2016 interview with Don Wilson on YouTube. He talks about his various guitars and the band in the early days, and being inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame, etc. Here is one of them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-pjcPlVoQA
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Michael Hillman


From:
Boise, Idaho, USA
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2022 1:18 pm     Sad news indeed - the end of an era
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Like everyone else who picked up a guitar (or even a bass guitar) in the early 60’s, it’s impossible for me to describe the influence of The Ventures. I well remember the first time I heard “Walk, Don’t Run” blaring from my brother’s old Coronado radio. We were working on a hay baler, greasing all of the 148 zirks, in the midst of a busy haying season. As the song played, we just looked at each other wondering what kind of new song was that?? Though it was first released in December of 1960, it was the summer of 1961 before we heard it played continuously in our area, and soon everyone with a band was trying to copy The Ventures. Must have been the fall of 1961 when a local radio station about 60 miles away sponsored a concert/teen dance in a high school gym, featuring The Ventures, Bobby Vee, and one of Seattle’s top bands, The Checkers. All awe-inspiring performers, attending that was the highlight of our young, star-struck lives, and everyone went home with a new determination to copy their style. Two years later, The Ventures again came to this same venue. By then, our playing had matured a bit, and we worked up the courage to go backstage and approach our idols. They were so kind, and took the time to show our lead guitarist how one particular lick he was struggling with in one of their songs should be played. By this time Nokie was playing lead, and Bob Bogle had switched to bass. Great memories that I will forever treasure.
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Jim Fogle


From:
North Carolina, Winston-Salem, USA
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2022 6:00 pm    
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Rich I'm so glad you mentioned "Play Guitar With The Ventures".

As I remember there were two Play With The Venture albums. All shared the same theme with one album side having complete songs and the opposite side having the same songs minus the featured instrument.

Lookee what I found! https://www.amazon.com/Play-Guitar-Ventures-Vol/dp/B0000011D9 https://www.amazon.com/Ventures-Guitar-Play-Along-116/dp/1423473760/ref=pd_sbs_1/135-6011658-8776228?pd_rd_w=VvrGf&pf_rd_p=23e9c531-a4f3-4198-b456-2bff73f4055a&pf_rd_r=3R68PXWFH75Z56TAKJSY&pd_rd_r=f7950876-94e3-48fc-8b31-25e3fcc922ec&pd_rd_wg=bgxOn&pd_rd_i=1423473760&psc=1

Here is a web site dedicated to the Play Along albums. In addition to the Ventures there were albums featuring songs by Chet Atkins and Jimmy Bryant: https://guitarphonics-playguitar.com/Home_Page.html
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Bill Hatcher

 

From:
Atlanta Ga. USA
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2022 8:23 pm    
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made a point to go see them years ago when they were in the atlanta area. mel taylor, wilson, bogle, nokie and jerry mcgee. they sounded great.

i looked at the gal on the walk dont run record cover many hours while listening to them.
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2022 8:51 pm    
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Yeah, a lot of Ventures albums had cheesecake covers. Don Wilson chuckles about that in one of those interview clips.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC
Post  Posted 26 Jan 2022 12:42 am    
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The greatest FENDER marketing promo ever created. Nothing , even today, comes close . Don, Nokie, Mel and Bob. I wonder how many kids were in their bedrooms till the wee hours of the morning learning Ventures songs on guitars ? I wonder how many of us kept this LP cover close by and spent hours looking at it ?

The Ventures were not just a band, they were a WAY OF LIFE for us budding guitar players . " We dreamed"

RIP Don, thx a million



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Don R Brown


From:
Rochester, New York, USA
Post  Posted 26 Jan 2022 12:24 pm    
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Tony Prior wrote:
I wonder how many of us kept this LP cover close by and spent hours looking at it ?


As Bill Hatcher says above, it wasn't THAT album I spent hours looking at! Mr. Green
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC
Post  Posted 27 Jan 2022 2:25 am    
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Don R Brown wrote:
Tony Prior wrote:
I wonder how many of us kept this LP cover close by and spent hours looking at it ?


As Bill Hatcher says above, it wasn't THAT album I spent hours looking at! Mr. Green



Don LOL... Laughing I spent my adolescent years looking at the Fender Guitars on the covers !

Truth is, at the time, there was no way in hell I was going to get a Fender Guitar OR the gal on the Walk Don't Run LP cover ! Laughing

Here is an interesting TRUE side story. In our town ,Westport Ct, there was a little Folk Music Shop that I used to visit, they had a couple of acoustic guitars that they let me play , they thought it was kool that I was 13 or so and could play a little bit. One time I went in and WOW !!!! There was a Fender Strat, NO TREMELO, they were asking $75. I was blown away, I had never seen a real Fender Guitar before this. I played it for about an hour and then begged my parents to buy it for me, the shop even offered a layaway. Of course my parents said no.

To this day I still remember seeing and playing that NON Tremolo Strat. According to some documents, there may have been only +/- 100 of those hardtail Strats made in 1954 as they were all special order. Supposed value today exceeds $30,000 !

That's my story and I'm sticking to it ! Laughing
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Don R Brown


From:
Rochester, New York, USA
Post  Posted 27 Jan 2022 10:42 am    
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Tony, the One That Got Away will always haunt you! Laughing

Great story, too bad it didn't work out.
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Mark Eaton


From:
Sonoma County in The Great State Of Northern California
Post  Posted 27 Jan 2022 11:06 am    
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Man, The Ventures really cranked ‘em out!

Between studio, live, compilation, instructional, etc. - there are over 250 albums!
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Bill Hatcher

 

From:
Atlanta Ga. USA
Post  Posted 27 Jan 2022 7:38 pm    
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Don R Brown wrote:
Tony Prior wrote:
I wonder how many of us kept this LP cover close by and spent hours looking at it ?


As Bill Hatcher says above, it wasn't THAT album I spent hours looking at! Mr. Green


FYI that is not the ventures in the pic with the gal. studio had that pic made for the cover. i always thought the gibson 355 was a nice touch....oh and the gal too. Winking RIP all ventures!


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Don R Brown


From:
Rochester, New York, USA
Post  Posted 28 Jan 2022 12:05 pm    
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Yup, that one and "The Ventures Knock Me Out". You're tempting me to start digging, a while back half my albums got water-soaked, half didn't. I have not hand anything to pay them on for 30 years. Sad
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Michael Johnstone


From:
Sylmar,Ca. USA
Post  Posted 28 Jan 2022 5:25 pm    
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The picture on the Walk Don't Run album cover isn't even them. I heard somewhere they weren't available for the photo shoot date so they just grabbed some random dudes who worked at the record company,handed them guitars and drums and told them to lay on the floor behind the chick in the pedal pushers.

In 1995 I was playing steel in the lounge at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas and Don was there with his family celebrating his birthday. Don came up and watched me play awhile and later introduced himself. I told him that the first band I was ever in was an instrumental band w/2 guitars, bass & drums and our whole show was all the songs off the first 4 Ventures albums. He said "what instrument did you play?" I told him I took the Don Wilson Stratocaster position and he said "I think you deserve a drink". Rest Easy DW
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Andy DePaule


From:
Saigon, Viet Nam & Springfield, Oregon
Post  Posted 30 Jan 2022 8:24 am    
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Bill Hatcher wrote:
Don R Brown wrote:
Tony Prior wrote:
I wonder how many of us kept this LP cover close by and spent hours looking at it ?


As Bill Hatcher says above, it wasn't THAT album I spent hours looking at! Mr. Green


FYI that is not the ventures in the pic with the gal. studio had that pic made for the cover. i always thought the gibson 355 was a nice touch....oh and the gal too. Winking RIP all ventures!




That a one by the Fleetwood's was my first two record albums. Got them for babysitting when I was 14. One of the Ventures guitar players lived near me in Eugene, Oregon some years back. He'd play around the area and was very good. Sorry I don't remember his name.
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Rich Peterson


From:
Moorhead, MN
Post  Posted 18 Feb 2022 6:19 pm    
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Tony Prior wrote:
The greatest FENDER marketing promo ever created. Nothing , even today, comes close . Don, Nokie, Mel and Bob. I wonder how many kids were in their bedrooms till the wee hours of the morning learning Ventures songs on guitars ? I wonder how many of us kept this LP cover close by and spent hours looking at it ?

The Ventures were not just a band, they were a WAY OF LIFE for us budding guitar players . " We dreamed"

RIP Don, thx a million




I learned to play guitar by learning every song on the first dozen albums. BTW perhaps the reason Nokie is kneeling in the picture is that he was nearly a head taller than anyone else in the group. I'm 6' 1" and he towered over me when I met them.

Also, "Ventures in Space" predated Jeff Beck's wild sound effects by several years. But Don Wilson's powerful rhythm propelled every arrangement. RIP. I feel like a musical father has passed.
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