Surf's Up
June 17, 2009 8:50 PM   Subscribe

R.I.P. Bob Bogle.

Bogle, the lead guitarist for The Ventures (previously) died yesterday after a 12-year battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, though he lived to see the band inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March of last year. The Ventures surf-guitar sound influenced a wide variety of musicians, from Peter Frampton to Marc Knopfler.

Bogle co-founded the group with Don Wilson in 1958, and they made their big splash covering the Chet Atkins tune Walk Don't Run in 1960. While they faded from the American seen in the early 70's, there were occasional revivals of interest, as when the movie Pulp Fiction featured the classic surf sound, and the band remained intensely popular in Japan, outselling The Beatles 2:1.

The musical style they pioneered lives on in modern bands like The Aqua Velvets, and in new and unusual combinations, such as the klezmer sound of Meshugga Beach Party, or the Russian-influenced Igor & the Red Elvises.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll (16 comments total)
The Ventures surf-guitar sound influenced a wide variety of musicians, from Peter Frampton to Marc Knopfler me.

Rest in reverb drenched peace.
posted by item at 8:56 PM on June 17, 2009

posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 9:15 PM on June 17, 2009


I'm playing this E chord right near the bridge of a Stratocaster with big, thick strings through an amp with the reverb cranked way the fuck up for you, Bob.
posted by threetoed at 9:29 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Not to diminish his achievements, but Bob Bogle and original bassist Nokie Edwards permanently switched instruments in 1962. That's a long time ago. I believe that Walk Don't Run is the only notable recording by the Ventures on which Bogle played lead.

Not that he was a slouch on bass. Check out his 16th-note runs on Wipe-Out, live in Japan.

Also, although Bogle and Wilson were inspired by Chet Atkins' recording of Walk, Don't Run, it too was a cover. Here is Johnny Smith's 1955 original.

Besides Walk Don't Run, you might also recognize The Ventures' original recording of the Hawaii Five-0 theme (1969), augmented by organ and a then-obligatory horn section.

The Ventures Christmas Album (1965) contains some amusing musical mashups, notably the lead-off track, Sleigh Ride/Walk Don't Run.

Everyone should take a second (or first) listen at the links in Flapjax's "previously" post, linked in the FPP above. The Ventures are an incalculably influential part of your pop culture heritage.

And finally. . .

posted by Herodios at 9:47 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Ventures punk in the early 80s.
posted by tellurian at 10:22 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:41 PM on June 17, 2009

Man, I was just jamming on some surf & spy tunes. I didn't know it would become an elegy.

posted by lekvar at 11:06 PM on June 17, 2009

Oh the Ventures are awesome.

posted by gomichild at 11:25 PM on June 17, 2009

posted by doctor_negative at 12:23 AM on June 18, 2009

posted by Smart Dalek at 2:31 AM on June 18, 2009

May he rest in peace.
posted by LittleMissItneg at 4:07 AM on June 18, 2009


The Ventures are the only band that my dad and I both like.
posted by ignignokt at 5:19 AM on June 18, 2009

ignignokt: oddly, I was thinking the exact same thing. We disagree intensely on music - except for the Ventures and a general appreciation for "Margaritaville".

posted by mephron at 6:05 AM on June 18, 2009


As an aside, don't forget Sammy Davis Jr. did a swinging version of the Hawaii Five-O theme.
posted by chambers at 7:14 AM on June 18, 2009

The Ventures are the best. Long live the Ventures.

Even though Bob stepped aside for Nokie (which must be a rare move in rock and roll history) and moved on to bass, Bob really defined their sound and Nokie took off running with it.

I wonder how they arranged their songs. Especially their classic covers like Walk Don't Run and Slaughter on Tenth Ave. Holy moley. That Slaughter arrangement!

I'll give my fender reverb tank a kick for you.

posted by JBennett at 7:23 AM on June 18, 2009

♪ indeed. Sooner or later, we all get 'wiped out,' but Bob caught a nice wave — 50+ years on stage, playing great music, is a good ride.
posted by LeLiLo at 10:12 AM on June 18, 2009

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