June 17, 2009 in City

Ventures guitarist dead at 75

Bob Bogle co-founded legendary band in Tacoma
Associated Press
 

TACOMA – Bob Bogle, lead guitarist and co-founder of the rock band the Ventures, known for 1960s instrumental hits including “Walk, Don’t Run,” has died at age 75.

Don Wilson, the band’s other co-founder, told the News Tribune of Tacoma that Bogle became ill over the weekend and died Sunday.

The band sold millions of albums and heavily influenced other rock guitarists. It was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. The hall’s Web site hailed the Ventures as “the most successful instrumental combo in rock and roll history.”

“Walk, Don’t Run” reached No. 2 on the Billboard chart in 1960, and a revised version, “Walk, Don’t Run ’64,” reached No. 8 in 1964. Among the band’s other hits were “Perfidia” and the theme from “Hawaii Five-O.”

The band got its start in 1958 in Tacoma. Bogle initially played lead and bass and Wilson played rhythm guitar. They were soon joined by Nokie Edwards, another guitarist, and drummer Howie Johnson, later replaced by Mel Taylor.

“Our aspirations were to pick up nothing heavier than a guitar,” Wilson said last year. “But it just mushroomed into something where we became internationally known.”

The Ventures were particularly popular in Japan, where Wilson and Bogle played as a duo during their first tour in 1962 because the promoter couldn’t afford to pay the other two band members.

The two Americans made such an impression, Wilson recalled last year, that when the band came back in 1964, “there were 6,000 people at the airport.”

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