By Terence McArdle | Washington Post
Nokie Edwards, a founding member of the Ventures who helped create rollicking, infectious and influential hits in the 1960s for the guitar-driven band, including the surf-rock standard “Walk, Don’t Run,” died March 12 at a hospital in Yuma, Arizona. He was 82.
Guitarist Deke Dickerson confirmed the death and said that Edwards had recently been hospitalized for complications from hip surgery.
The Ventures’ first album, “Walk, Don’t Run” (1960), with Bob Bogle on lead guitar and Edwards on bass, sold more than 2 million copies, reached No. 2 on the pop charts and served as a touchstone for many aspiring guitarists. By 1962, Bogle and Edwards, the more skilled guitarist, had traded places. Edwards would remain the group’s lead guitarist until his departure in 1968.
Although arguably the most successful instrumental band in rock-and-roll history, the Ventures had a less-than-electrifying performing style. Their lone stage gimmick consisted of moving their guitars and basses in tandem, an action that seems quaint in retrospect. However, their influence on rock music — particularly Edwards’ nimble, melodic guitar work — was incalculable.
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The combo entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 and inspired guitarists Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits and John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, the second of whom gave the induction speech.
“I believe in simplicity,” Edwards once told the San Antonio Express-News. “If you have a melodic line, people will like it. If you can hum it, you can have a hit.”
That simplicity led to a remarkable run of charting singles that included a more aggressive 1964 surf remake of “Walk, Don’t Run.” While their twangy, reverb-drenched guitars and rumbling drums helped launch the surf-music craze, the Ventures did not consider themselves a surf band. They established their versatility on such concept albums as the eerie “The Ventures in Space” (1964), the mod-influenced “Wild Things!” (1966) and the psychedelic “Guitar Freakout” (1967).
They recorded movie and television themes — “The Fugitive,” “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue,” “Secret Agent Man” — and sustained their career with instrumental covers of contemporary hits. An original by Bogle and Edwards, “Surf Rider” (1961), was featured in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 film “Pulp Fiction.”
The Ventures also recorded several instruction albums for bass, guitar and drums, all with accompanying books. One …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment