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The Ventures are one of the great rock instrumental groups of all time.  Formed in the late 1950's by Bob Bogle and Don Wilson in Seattle, Washington, and later joined by Mel Taylor and Nokie Edwards, the group hit it big with the release of Walk-Don't Run.

To date, they have released more than 150 albums globally (85 in the U.S.), selling in excess of 85 million copies.

Other hits have included Pipeline, Wipeout, Perfidia, Hawaii Five-O, and Telstar

The group is a particular favorite in Japan, having toured there often over the years.

In 2007, Don Wilson, Nokie Edwards, Leon Taylor, Bob Spalding, and Gerry McGee continue to tour and delight audiences worldwide with their unique sound and class act.

There are a handful of web sites dedicated to the group, many with complicated discography's and band history.  In contrast, my site is  simply a few autographs and photos from late 90's tour stops, a fabulous Surfin' To Baja cruise, and 2006-2007 performances.

Folks, the Ventures represent many things to many people, be it the surf music of summer, or perhaps simply a fond memory of listening to their music in simpler times, but whatever they represent, they are an American icon so far as pioneering instrumental classic rock.  

Surfs up!

The Ventures Played A Blowout Show Before An Appreciative Audience At The Birchmere, Alexandria, Virginia April 05, 2012!
The Ventures lineup was:
Don Wilson--Rhythm Guitar
Nokie Edwards--Lead Guitar
Leon Taylor--Drums-Percussion
Bob Spalding--Bass & Lead Guitar
Tour Facilitator & Manager -- Fiona Taylor
Tour Facilitator & Stage Manager -- Jack DeFranco
(whom TuneFan thanks for letting him check out the Fender Jazzmaster guitar Don Wilson played)

Click images to enlarge or for full photoset
Performance Videos at http://www.youtube.com/tunefan

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Bonus Photoset(
click link to view): The Ventures at
The Birchmere, Alexandria, Virginia January 27, 2010!

                                                                                      Performance Videos
Surf Rider Caravan Pt. 1
(Note click here for Caravan Pt. 2)

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Check out this heavily viewed video of The Ventures performing Pipeline at The Birchmere, Alexandria Virginia April 27, 2007. 

The Ventures lineup was:
Don Wilson--Rhythm Guitar
Nokie Edwards--Lead Guitar
Leon Taylor--Drums-Percussion
Bob Spalding--Bass & Lead Guitar
Jeff 'Skunk' Baxter--Guitar

The guitar work by Don Wilson, Nokie Edwards, Bob Spalding and guest Jeff 'Skunk' Baxter, along with Leon Wilson on drums is stunning!

Tour manager Jack DeFranco went above and beyond the call of duty when it came to ensuring a great show--thanks Jack!

This photoset showing The Ventures performing, admiring fans, and after show mingling is not to be missed!


The Classic Ventures

The Ventures were a key part of the 1960's surf music explosion.  Shown is the "Surfing" CD which was a mid-1990's expanded follow-up to the group's  "Surfing" LP.  I often play both the CD and Mono vinyl LP release from the 1960's (Dolton BLP-2022 ).
Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame NEWS FLASH!
Legendary group The Ventures was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame March 10, 2008, at a ceremony in New York City.
For more information please visit:
---The Official Ventures website http://www.theventures.com/
---Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame  http://www.rockhall.com/inductee/the-ventures/

                     ---Induction ceremony video clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6Q50QzFVWU
                     ---Don Wilson talks at group press event http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0b7oqM-hVcg&feature=related    
                     ---Group beginnings, and influence video clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tTewiXoBZ4&feature=related 

The Ventures' WALK DON'T RUN, single, 1960, rock, Dolton Records, has entered The Grammy Hall of Fame as one of the world's most influential and enduring recordings.

Drumstick used by Venture drummer great, Leon Taylor, at their March 7, 1998 Alexandria, VA performance!  Bob Bogle, Don Wilson, Gerry McGee, and Leon autographed it.

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A near mint vinyl 45 of Perfidia and No Trespassing (Dolton No. 28). This is the awesome picture sleeve  that goes with the Perfidia 45.  I hope to have the group members sign it on my upcoming Surfin' To Baja cruise.

The Venture's Spring '99 Tour Set List.

Includes Nokie Edward's autograph!

CLICK HERE FOR MARCH 15, 2006 Birchmere show photos. 

A bunch of signed stuff here, including the "Surfing" CD cover; 1998 Ventures publicity shot; and signed photo collage from their greatest hits album (click for enlarged versions).

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Venture's D'Andrea guitar picks.  There is one Bob Bogle and three Don Wilson signature picks shown (both sides shown).  Bob and Don autographed them, and I think Gerry may have as well.

I had been a fan for some years, but never seen the group live until their 1998 east coast tour.

The first stop was DAR Constitution Hall where the group "jammed" with The United States Air Force Band, Singing Sergeants, and Air Force Reserve Pipe Band.  A big highlight was when the Ventures' first drummer, General George T. Babbitt, joined the group for their classic, Walk-Don't Run.  Check out photos for this once in a lifetime event.

Do not miss this rare March 1, 1998 performance video featuring The Ventures along with General George T. Babbitt
Walk, Don't Run! 
Next up was Alexandria, Virginia's Birchmere Music Hall, a venue that books top national acts.  Check out group pictures and memorabilia
Still wanting even more live Ventures, I headed to Annapolis, Maryland, a lovely city on the Chesapeake Bay, and caught the group one more time at The Rams Head.  Some guy brought in a surfboard for group signatures, to which band member Bob Bogle commented "we have signed everything" (with tongue-in-cheek emphasis on "everything").  Sure Bob, did this include body autographs on the lovely Wild Again poster model that first graced the cover of Walk Don't Run Vol2 (Dolton BLP-2031)?


The Venture's Webmaster (who operates the official Ventures website) did a 2000 mile road trip in March 2002 to catch the Venture's in action at the Midnight At The Oasis car show, Yuma, Arizona.

Click the picture or here to see some great photos, and his narrative.

Art Greenhaw &
Nokie Edwards





At left, is longtime Ventures fan, Art Greenhaw, a Grammy winning performer, producer, writer, and Nokie Edwards

Art and Nokie have collaborated on many releases.

Art Greenhaw Joins The Ventures On Stage In Anaheim - Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 8:25 PM

Grammy Award-Winner Art Greenhaw of The Light Crust Doughboys joined his biggest guitar and instrumental influences, 2006 Grammy Hall of Famers, The Ventures, for their super-charged concert before thousands of cheering fans at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Show, January 20, 2006 at the Anaheim, California Convention Center. Introduced to the cheering crowd which filled every inch of the convention center lobby and all the center`s balconies by Ventures` co-founder Don Wilson, Art played Ventures-style bass guitar on The Ventures` signature encore number, "Caravan", joining his long-time idols Nokie Edwards on lead guitar and Don on rhythm guitar. (source: Guitar Nine Records News, January 2006)

Art Greenhaw (3rd from left) and The Light Crust Doughboys, complete with their new
Light Crust Doughboys
Model ASC guitars.


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Your humble webmaster, and big-time Venture's fan, sporting a nice Venture's cap (click to enlarge)

For Ventures merchandise and more links and pictures visit the Ventures official web site.
Visit Nokie Edwards Website
I also recommend Sandcastle V.I. The Fabulous Ventures, a site
specializing in taking on the awesome task of cataloging The Venture's discography.

Questions or Comments? E-Mail Me

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