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The Ventures Biography

Home > Music > V > Ventures, The > Biography

Birth Place: Tacoma, Washington, U.S.
Years Active: 1958-present
Genres: Instrumental Rock, Surf Rock

The Ventures are an instrumental surf/rock band that hail from Tacoma, Washington and were founded by Don Wilson and Bob Bogle in 1958. Over the course of their career the band have been through a number of line-ups and sold over one hundred 100 million records sold. The band is known for their instrumental repertoire and their experimentation with various guitar sounds. In 2008, the Ventures were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

When Wilson and Bogle first met there was an instant musical connection that led to the duo casually jamming together. This led to gigs at local clubs throughout the Pacific Northwest in the early 1960's. George T. Babbitt joined the band as their drummer for a short while but had to drop out as he wasn't old enough to play at the clubs where the band was booked. Nokie Edwards signed on as bass player, with Bogle on lead vocals, Wilson on guitar and Skip Moore on drums. The band released their first single, “Walk, Don't Run,” which became a huge success and got the attention of a number of major record labels.

After the success of their single, Moore left and was replaced by Howie Johnson as the band embarked on a tour. The band's 1961 album “The Colorful Ventures” was a success with the fans and paved the way for a number of hit singles, and albums that followed. As the musical climate of the 1970s began to change the band's record sales began to decline.

The band experienced a resurgence in their music during the 1980s when the Go-Go's wrote “Surfin' And Spyin'“ and dedicated it to The Ventures. The 1990s saw another surge in The Ventures' music due to The Lively Ones' cover of “Surf Rider” on the soundtrack to the hit movie “Pulp Fiction.” In 2008, The Ventures were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Wilson and Edwards performing their biggest hits, “Walk, Don't Run” and “Hawaii Five-O.” Bob Bogle died in 2009, after a long battle with cancer at the age of 75.