The Ventures

Page by: The Sara Monster

The Ventures were formed by Bob Bogle and Don Wilson in 1959. They were working together doing construction when they decided to get together and form a band at the time they both had a little guitar playing expirence, eventually Bob moved to bass guitar. They're orginal name was The Versatones, the two of them and scattered other musicans would play club gigs at nite then go back to work in the morning. Bob saw Nokie Edwards playing guitar w/ Skip Moore and brought Don to Nokie's next show where they asked Nokie and Skip to join the band. With Don's mom, Josie's help, The Ventures released their first album, it was distributed on Blue Horizon a small Seattle/Tacoma label. After the songs were recorded Howie Johnson joined as a permant drummer. One song shot the band into superstardom, "Walk Dont Run" a Chat Atkins tune. The band put their own sort of spin on it.

In '62 the band was playing in Palomino but they didnt have a drummer. Mel Taylor a sought after drummer kindly voulenteered to fill in, and after the show the band asked Mel to stay w/ them for their upcoming tour, he said yes.

Nokie left in '68 and was replaced Gerry McGee joined the band on lead guitar. He had played w/ The Monkees, Elvis Presley (who has the same birthday as Andy Wood of Mother Love Bone) and many others. He toured the US and Japan w/ the band then in '72 left to persue other intrests, and was replaced by Nokie. When he left in '85 Gerry rejoined again.

In '96 Mel was diagnosed w/ phenomia and under futher examination he had lung cancer and passed away later that year. His son Leon filled in his spot.

The band has been together for 38 years without ever taking a break. I would mention more albums on this page but back in the 60's they would release 4-6 albums a year so it would be nearly impossible. The Ventures were hugely popular in Japan, selling 2:1 over the Beatles there.

Check out my collection of over 20 Ventures LINKS

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