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The Ventures: big in Japan
September 19, 2007 6:27 AM   Subscribe

It's hard to think of any music that's any more fun than The Ventures, and here they are, live in Japan, 1965, at the top of their game. This footage is really good: Walk Don't Run. Wipe Out. Apache. House of the Rising Sun. Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. Flight of the Bumblebee. The Cruel Sea . . . But WAIT! Opening for the Ventures on that steamy summer night was homegrown Ventures cover band The M-Ventures! Straight outta Tokyo! Check out their versions of The Pink Panther Theme, Surf Rider and Yellowjacket. And in case you were wondering if the Ventures' influence is still being felt in Japan, well, check out 9-year-old guitarist Chicchi's versions of The Cruel Sea, Penetration, Walk Don't Run and Pipeline.
posted by flapjax at midnite (36 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
Now I have to wait all day to watch this.
posted by roll truck roll at 6:35 AM on September 19, 2007


Some of that footage isn't from the 'Live in Japan' film.
posted by item at 6:46 AM on September 19, 2007


I love surf music. But I actually love the idea of surf music more.
posted by R. Mutt at 6:47 AM on September 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Saw 'em at Coney Island High in the mid-'90s -- coolest middle-age guys ever...
posted by AJaffe at 6:48 AM on September 19, 2007


Oh they were on smapXsmap the other week!
posted by gomichild at 7:00 AM on September 19, 2007


Aw, hell. I wish I hadn't blown my Mefi Music quota for the day--I'd have given you more of my surf music.

Sweet Mosrites!
posted by sourwookie at 7:02 AM on September 19, 2007


They neglected to make silly guitar faces. Book 'em, Danno!
posted by pracowity at 7:21 AM on September 19, 2007


Nice. I like the up close shots of the drum kit. Austin City Limits is usually pretty good about getting up close and personal with each member of a band, but I often find myself wishing they'd hold on the drummer just a little bit longer so I can see a complete fill.
posted by itchylick at 7:29 AM on September 19, 2007


I love surf music. But I actually love the idea of surf music more.

I first read that as smurf music.

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.
posted by Poolio at 7:32 AM on September 19, 2007


<homer>mmmm.... The Ventures..... Garrrhhhllll.....</homer>

also, Man or Astro-man?
posted by ArgentCorvid at 7:33 AM on September 19, 2007


You know who else was big in Japan?
posted by psmealey at 7:36 AM on September 19, 2007


Dude, you so rock. Thanks.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:37 AM on September 19, 2007


How the hell does a Star Wars musical make it ten years without being mentioned on The Blue?
posted by sourwookie at 7:38 AM on September 19, 2007


Oops. wrong thread.
posted by sourwookie at 7:39 AM on September 19, 2007


How the hell does a Star Wars musical make it ten years without being mentioned on The Blue?

These are not the droids you are looking for.
posted by Poolio at 7:39 AM on September 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Wow. I've been enjoying the hell out of the Ventures' Live in Japan album. That M-Ventures stuff is certainly a nice bonus.
posted by marxchivist at 7:55 AM on September 19, 2007


I knew exactly what you meant R Mutt:)

Please do a Charley Pride or Merle Haggard post sometime flap. Cuz that would make me happy. And I know how you like to make me happy.
posted by vronsky at 7:59 AM on September 19, 2007


The live "Wipeout" is better than the recorded version. How many songs have drums as the lead instrument (that are not self-consciously drum solos).
posted by stbalbach at 8:01 AM on September 19, 2007


Wow, never heard any of these songs live before. The band is super tight, this is great.
posted by lubujackson at 8:04 AM on September 19, 2007


This is blowing my mind. Thanks so much.
posted by Quartermass at 8:06 AM on September 19, 2007


Well, yes, the Ventures are fun. But not as fun as the Chicken Dance!

Da da da da da da da
Da da da da da da da
Da da da da da da da
DAH DAH DAH DAH!
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:18 AM on September 19, 2007


True story: I once had a long term romantic involvement with a girl whose aunt was married to the drummer in the Ventures (who performed the famous drum solo).

That's the closest I'll ever come to musical immortality.

Unless you count my second cousin once removed who was married to Les Paul's son.
posted by psmealey at 8:25 AM on September 19, 2007


There was a whole twangy guitar craze in Japanese pop in the 60s, inspired by the Ventures, called the eleki craze ('eleki' = 'electric (guitar)'). The Surf Coasters are another Japanese surf revival band. They have a ton of live shows on archive.org. They do a mean Miserlou.

Aren't the M-Ventures a tribute band?
posted by carter at 8:46 AM on September 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I love the Ventures. And Dick Dale. They were really, really rocking out in a period when "rocking out" was just barely starting to gain mainstream acceptance.

Awesome stuff, thanks for the post!
posted by chimaera at 9:01 AM on September 19, 2007


This post makes me happy.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:09 AM on September 19, 2007


Ha ha hahahahaha...Wipe Out

Iconic. Way back when 'big boys' were 11, and I was smaller, they had to be able to beat Wipe Out on their desks, with fists. In this place, no trip to the roller rink was complete, if they didn't play Wipe Out. If they still have a rink, I bet they still play it.
posted by Goofyy at 9:22 AM on September 19, 2007


Ahh, I loves me some surf. Palm mutes and tube amps. Good stuff.
posted by quite unimportant at 9:36 AM on September 19, 2007


My dad has been trying to get me to listen to surf music since I was a kid. I am slowly starting to come around. He really loves these guys.
posted by crawfishpopsicle at 9:55 AM on September 19, 2007


There was a whole twangy guitar craze in Japanese pop in the 60s, inspired by the Ventures, called the eleki craze ('eleki' = 'electric (guitar)').

Yup, you should definitely check out Takeshi Terauchi, who a friend described pretty accurately as a "one-man Ventures." That dude is 31 flavors of awesome.
posted by jonp72 at 10:00 AM on September 19, 2007


Slaughter on Tenth Avenue is one of my favorite songs, period.
Thanks!
posted by black8 at 10:07 AM on September 19, 2007


I just *had* to trot on over to iTunes to buy the album. Fantastic post.
posted by ssmith at 10:47 AM on September 19, 2007


The original "Wipeout" was recorded by the Surfaris.
posted by wfc123 at 11:36 AM on September 19, 2007


And the original Apache by the Shadows
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:30 PM on September 19, 2007


And how could you forget this wonderful thing?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:32 PM on September 19, 2007


Mmmmm. Clean and crisp, love that sound. Nice post!
posted by RussHy at 2:33 PM on September 19, 2007


Wonderful post (as usual for you, mr. flapjax). On Stage has always been my favorite of the half-dozen or so Ventures albums I own. I've been listening to it since 1965, too, but as best as I can remember I've never seen them performing before. Very nice footage, too; it occurs to me that Mel Taylor probably was the first drummer I ever tried to imitate.

What a wonderful story, a bricklayer and a hod carrier meet up (in Tacoma!) and end up with the most successful instrument rock group of all time. According to the Wiki, too, they're still the most popular American rock band in Japan. Amazing.

Question: why does the tribute band — which according to this seems like a reconstruction, not from '65 — call themselves the M-Ventures? For Mosrite?
posted by LeLiLo at 10:55 PM on September 20, 2007


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