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Thread: RIP Ventures guitarist Nokie Edwards

  1. #1
    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    RIP Ventures guitarist Nokie Edwards

    Nokie Edwards, guitarist of the Ventures, has died at age 82.

    Ventures Guitarist Nokie Edwards Dead at 82
    'Please don't tear this world asunder
    Please take back this fear we're under
    I demand a better future' - David Bowie

  2. #2
    To say I was familiar with any music Nokie played in the last 50 years would be a lie. But from about 1963 to 1966 The Ventures were huge in my young musical world. A couple of their albums were among the first records I bought and I listened to them a lot. Sad to hear that this very early influence has passed on. R.I.P.

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    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    The Ventures, along with The Shadows, created the sixties. The whole surf thing came out of what they pioneered.

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    i was watching Hawaii 5-0 (the original of course) when reading this.... how fitting. RIP

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    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    RIP. I was just watching the last 5 minutes of Five-O and heard the theme song.

  6. #6
    Since I play in a Surf band, this is especially sad. The guys and I will have to dedicate our next practice to N. E.

    RIP: Nokie...I'm sure you launched a 1000 wanna-be guitarists back in your day.
    G.A.S -aholic

  7. #7
    Agreed, I remember my brother had "Ventures in Space" in the mid-60's, and I may have gotten into weird musical sounds partly because of that record.

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    "The band that launched a thousand bands." They played music that every young early-sixties aspiring guitarist had to master, like a rite of passage.

    Just earlier this week my wife showed me a clip from "Pawn Stars" of somebody selling a Mosrite guitar. That led us into a brief but entertaining couple of hours of Youtube videos and Wikipedia research, reminiscing about the early 60s and learning more than I ever knew about the unusual history of Mosrite.

    Listening to tracks like "Telstar," "Apache," "Walk, Don't Run" and "Out of Limits" evoked the particular kind of nostalgia that can only be inspired by the music that filled your head when you were 12.

    So my hat's off to Nokie Edwards, even though I was never really aware of him as an individual. His band, and his sound, were formative in my young life. Thanks, man.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

    Listening to tracks like "Telstar," "Apache," "Walk, Don't Run" and "Out of Limits" evoked the particular kind of nostalgia that can only be inspired by the music that filled your head when you were 12.
    Absolutely

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    The Ventures, along with The Shadows, created the sixties. The whole surf thing came out of what they pioneered.
    Indeed. Throw in the likes of Dick Dale as well.

    In the US The Shadows made little impact, and it was the same with The Ventures in the UK, other than two hits with their interpretations of 'Walk Don't Run' and 'Perfidia'. I initially assumed these were The Shadows until eventually finding out who it was. (In fact The Shadows did record both tracks subsequently over the years!) 'Hawaii Five O' is the only other one I heard around.

    I later learned just how big The Ventures were in various parts of the world, with a vast discography. I will dig out the best of I do have, which has their 60s hits, with other classics like 'Slaughter On Tenth Avenue' and 'Blue Star' (yet again, The Shadows also did these!). RIP.

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    Member progholio's Avatar
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post

    In the US The Shadows made little impact, and it was the same with The Ventures in the UK, other than two hits with their interpretations of 'Walk Don't Run' and 'Perfidia'. I initially assumed these were The Shadows until eventually finding out who it was. (In fact The Shadows did record both tracks subsequently over the years!) 'Hawaii Five O' is the only other one I heard around
    .

    Likewise, I imagine The Ventures probably recorded versions of some of the numbers British listeners associate with The Shadows. I'm sure they did Apache, for instance.

    I remember reading about The Ventures in Guitar Player back around 1982 or 1983 (that would have made me about 10 years old). They were one of the many names I kept in mind, and then a couple years later, I found a double LP at a used record store called The Best Of The Ventures, with a cool front cover showing an array of sweet guitars arranged in a circle, and I ended up buying it. I also ended up with a copy of the Hawaii Five-0 album, which I think I bought at a library sale, that one had, among other things, their version of Age Of Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In.

    I also remember seeing a record that had their version of Whole Lotta Love. Yes, the Led Zeppelin song. For ages, I didn't go for it, because I figured it'd sound like all the other things I heard by them, ya know, a sort of quaint early 60's instrumental style rendition. Nothing wrong with that, but it seemed to me like that wouldn't work with a Zeppelin song. But I did eventually hear the recording, thanks to Youtube, and it was actually much more hip than I had anticipated.



    I later learned just how big The Ventures were in various parts of the world,
    I hear, to this day, they're HUGE in Japan!

    Their first drummer, Howie Johnson, passed away in 1988, and his replacement, Mel Taylor passed away in 1996. Bob Bogle passed away in 2009 (which I didn't know about it, until I just looked the band up on Wikipedia). So that leaves just Don Wilson (who probably single handedly made the Jazzmaster cool) and Gerry McGee (Nokie's two time replacement) as the only surviving members from the classic years, though both of them apparently retired fromm the band last year (apparently, the group now includes a lineup with no original members, though Mel Taylor's son Leon plays drums with them).
    Last edited by GuitarGeek; 03-14-2018 at 05:20 PM.

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    It's amazing to contemplate, in these days of instant access to complete information about everything, the dark vacuum in which most of us first discovered music, and the amount of effort it took to learn anything reliable.

    When I first discovered and enjoyed The Ventures, and for years afterwards, I had no real idea who they were, where these songs came from (or that most were't original to them), how they created their effects, or where they fit in relation other bands. I may have learned more reliable facts about them three days ago while researching Mosrite on the Internet than I knew in toto since 1963 when I bought my first Ventures album.

  14. #14
    Another icon now gone. Thanks so much, Nokie.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

    When I first discovered and enjoyed The Ventures, and for years afterwards, I had no real idea who they were, where these songs came from (or that most were't original to them), how they created their effects, or where they fit in relation other bands. I may have learned more reliable facts about them three days ago while researching Mosrite on the Internet than I knew in toto since 1963 when I bought my first Ventures album.
    You make an interesting point. Even with the benefit of 80's era music magazines, I still had trouble finding info about The Ventures (GP did a big cover story on them in the very early 80's, but, that was before I started reading the magazine). I was always confused about the chronology vis-a-viz Bob Bogle (who was the original lead guitarist, but switched to bass after their first sessions), Nokie (who was originally the bassist but swapped instruments with Bob because Nokie was apparently a better guitarist), and Gerry McGee (who replaced Nokie in the late 60's, then stepped aside when Nokie wanted to come back in the mid 70's, but in the mid 80's, Nokie again left the band, and Gerry once again took his place).

    I also never knew that Mel Taylor wasn't the original drummer (they actually had at least three drummers before him, one of whom eventually became a four star General in the Air Force!), nor that Mel had also took a sabbatical from the band in the 70's. Something else I learned from reading Wikipedia was that Skip Moore, who was the drummer on their first recording of Walk Don't Run, was offered either $25 bucks or 25% of the future royalties. Guess which one he took (hint: it wasn't the one he should have taken).

    Something I did read in Guitar Player, was in an article on Johnny Smith, the jazz guitarist who wrote Walk Don't Run, was that The Ventures learned the song off a Chet Atkins record. After their version was a hit, someone thought it would be great to do a photo op with the band and Johnny, and apparently, the band had no idea who he was!

  16. #16
    Member Mythos's Avatar
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    I saw the Ventures once, it was back around 1979/1980 at a Hollywood club and the band that opened for them were these dumb girls that sounded VERY MUCH like a lame garage band, that actually went on to have a nice long career (The Go Go's).

    Here is a great link detailing the history of the band and Nokies' involvement: https://acerecords.co.uk/the-ventures

    The other interesting thing is that I share the same last name as him and he was born in Oklahoma in 1935, in a city that was 100 or so miles from where my father was born in 1934, so I would if we could have somehow been related??

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