January 30, 2011 – 3:40 am

DON WILSON R.I.P. 1933 - 2022

Don Wilson, co-founder and rhythm guitarist for the influential instrumental rock band the Ventures, died on January 22 at the age of 88. Wilson’s family first confirmed to Seattle journalist Saint Bryan that the guitarist “passed peacefully” of natural causes in Tacoma, Washington.

“Our dad was an amazing rhythm guitar player who touched people all over world with his band, The Ventures,” Don’s son Tim Wilson said in a statement. “He will have his place in history forever and was much loved and appreciated. He will be missed.”

Wilson and guitarist/bassist Bob Bogle formed the Ventures in 1958 when they were both Seattle-area construction workers moonlighting as musicians; just two years later, the Ventures’ electric guitar-led rendition of Johnny Smith’s “Walk, Don’t Run” rose to Number Two on the Hot 100; it was later included among Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time.

“[“Walk, Don’t Run”] started a whole new movement in rock & roll,” John Fogerty said when inducting the Ventures into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “The sound of it became ‘surf music’ and the audacity of it empowered guitarists everywhere.” In the first half of the Sixties, the band would go on to have hits with “Telstar,” “Perfidia” and a take on the theme from “Hawaii Five-O.”

Drummer Mel Taylor died in 1996, followed by Bogle in 2009, lead guitarist Nokie Edwards in 2018 and guitarist Gerry McGee in 2019. -

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NOKIE EDWARSDS R.I.P. 1935 - 2018

Nokie Edwards, whose guitar playing in the Ventures helped define surf rock and earned the group a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, died on March 12, 2018. He was 82 years old. “Nokie Edwards passed away today after several months battling an infection after hip surgery this past December,” says a statement on the band’s website. “The Ventures family feels this loss very deeply: Nokie has been part of the Ventures’ history for almost six decades and helped to shape the early Ventures’ sound and the success of their career.” The Ventures hit Number Two in 1960 with the propulsive classic, “Walk Don’t Run.” Even though the single was an instrumental, it was so successful that the band recorded a new version in 1964 that also became a top 10 hit. The band scored another major hit four years later when their brassy theme for the police procedural Hawaii Five-O reached Number Four. The Ventures released three gold-certified albums - The Ventures Play Telstar and the Lonely Bull, Golden Greats and Hawaii Five-O - and, at one point, they had five albums in the top 100 simultaneously. - Billboard

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Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Reseda 1981 [no label, 1CD]

Live at the Country Club, Reseda, CA; May 29, 1981. Very good mono soundboard.

For those who enjoy ’60s guitar pop, there could be no finer instrumental group than The Ventures though there seemed to be some friendly rivalry among fans, especially those who preferred The Shadows.

The Ventures may have got a head start with Walk Don’t Run in 1960 but it was probably the hits-filled The Ventures Play Telstar And The Lonely Bull (1963) that made them famous in Asia. And if no one had heard of The Ventures, their 1969 cover of the Hawaii 5-O theme song of the hit TV show would have changed all that. [If memory serves, the song was also used as the theme song for Coke’s Cool And Swinging Show on Malaysian radio in the ’60s.]

Good Ventures soundboards might be hard to come by and this mono soundboard, even if it was from the ’80s, is certainly a nice collection for any fan. A bonus is the group doing a vocal version of Runaway. Thanks to mvernon54 for taping and sharing the tracks on Dime.

mvernon54 noted: “My girlfriend Barbette worked at this club in the San Fernando valley for a while. If I remember right the master deck was a Nakamichi Dragon… This is a tape I have always been afraid would end up with the dreaded bootlegers. Kept it out of circulation (with a few exceptions) for all of these years. It is no good keeping it hidden forever so here you are.”

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Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (320 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later.

Kindly email us if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files. Also email us if you have any rarities you’d like to share with our readers.

Track 01. Introduction (278k)
Track 02. Runaway (4.0MB)
Track 03. Showdown At Newport (3.7MB)
Track 04. Walk Don’t Run (4.0MB)
Track 05. Goldfinger (4.0MB)
Track 06. Let’s Go (3.8MB)
Track 07. (Flight Of The) Bumblebee (4.4MB)
Track 08. Wipeout (7.5MB)
Track 09. Pipeline (5.1MB)
Track 10. Hawaii 5-O (4.1MB)
Track 11. Walk Don’t Run ‘64 (3.3MB)
Track 12. Bulldog (3.4MB)
Track 13. Secret Agent Man (3.5MB)
Track 14. Whittier Blvd. (5.5MB)
Track 15. Telstar (4.7MB)
Track 16. Surfin’ and Spyin’ (4.3MB)
Track 17. Perfidia (3.3MB)
Total time: 43 minutes 23 seconds

It’s probable that this show featured the classic ’60s lineup:
Don Wilson - rhythm
Bob Bogle - bass
Nokie Edwards - lead
Mel Taylor - drums

Click on the link to order Ventures releases.

  1. 33 Responses to “THE VENTURES - CALIFORNIA 1981 [DON WILSON R.I.P. 1933 - 2022]”

  2. Thank you Big O! More Ventures, please.

    By Tom on Jan 30, 2011

  3. This is fantastic. Any Uncle Tupelo in the vaults. Many, many thanks.

    By Rupert Pupkin on Jan 30, 2011

  4. hey bigo, will get. thanks!!! i used to have a best of years ago on cassette so this will be nice to walk around and play.


    By Ed Saad on Jan 30, 2011

  5. i think, country club is where dark angel-live scars was recorded, btw. :-) i would thrash to that on cassette then disc in high school.

    By Ed Saad on Jan 30, 2011

  6. I love that every once in a while you guys throw in some surf music! Thanks for this.

    By Just Bill on Jan 30, 2011

  7. bigo should get a like or thumbs up button when we like others comments like just bill.

    By Ed Saad on Jan 30, 2011

  8. Incredible upload. Thanks! And just plain thanks for the many dozens and dozens of great postings in the past.

    By Jim Shelley on Jan 30, 2011

  9. this is a real treat! these guys are real musicians, what a great live presentation of their songs. the ventures were the best….just ask anybody who plays guitar.
    thanks, great stuff here!

    By Joe on Jan 30, 2011

  10. Thanks, bigO! Keep them coming.

    By Namoosedog on Jan 31, 2011

  11. Not bad… Thanks!!

    By Ron M on Jan 31, 2011

  12. Looking forward to listening to this on the way to work tomorrow.

    By Tom on Jan 31, 2011

  13. Any radio jock will tell you that The Ventures were THE go to band when you needed a fill before Network News or some pre-recorded segment. Too bad too, radio rarely played the entire song.

    By Jim in White Plains on Aug 1, 2012

  14. Hello,

    How can i buy some The Ventures Badges/Tags in order to stick / put in my car, etc.

    tks in advance


    By Wilson R Rossini on Oct 28, 2013

  15. Great idea Ed. Thumbs up for Big Bill. And for you too Ed!

    By Johnny Kinkdom on Jun 13, 2014

  16. Great stuff. Give me this over any Clapton or Doors shit any day!

    By Jim McSwain on Jan 26, 2015

  17. clapton has been shitting the bed for decades,

    By gold medal on Jan 26, 2015

  18. Wonderful to hear. Makes me think of summertime at the beach.

    By California Jim on Jan 27, 2015

  19. The sound quality is great, and they sound like they’re having a ball.

    By Kurt on Jan 28, 2015

  20. Thanks for all the great music!

    Hoping you could fix the broken links
    to Tracks 6 and 13 please.

    A So Cal Ventures fan.

    By Rocksteady on Jul 12, 2016

  21. Great music. Hoping you can fix tracks 12 and 13. Rock on!

    By Doug R. on Jul 8, 2017

  22. Sorry, 3 is broken too…

    By Doug R. on Jul 8, 2017

  23. …and 6…

    By Doug R. on Jul 8, 2017

  24. RIP, Nokie Edwards, 82, Ventures lead guitarist.

    By ScarRad on Mar 14, 2018

  25. Thanks BigO for restoring the tracks. Ventures were the most enduring surf band. They started in 1959. According to liner notes from a 1995 CD, they had already released 200 albums! Nokie would take time off from the Ventures for his other career in country music.

    By ScarRad on Mar 14, 2018

  26. Obscure factoid: Before it was the Country Club, it was the J.C.Penney’s, where my mother worked for over 25 years.

    By ScarRad on Mar 14, 2018

  27. The Hawaii five O theme is a classic , most boomers remember that . As McGarrett used to say book em Dano

    By Bill on Mar 14, 2018

  28. Awesome Post by the Mighty BigO! Great to see Ed Saad making comments again…

    By TDC on Mar 14, 2018

  29. TDC, check date of post. Ed Saad was eccentric but cool and innocent in his postings.

    By ScarRad on Mar 15, 2018

  30. Miss Ed Saad / DARTH and all the great old gang . Sure was different back a few years ago .

    By Tweeter on Mar 15, 2018

  31. No one was called a moron and weren’t any balls on chins .

    By Tweeter on Mar 15, 2018

  32. Rumor has it Don had a Average Un

    By U L E on Jan 24, 2022

  33. Thank you so much for posting. This is very special to me as I saw them on this tour and am very glad to have a more tangible reminder of that experience from 40 years ago.

    By Jim Duckworth on Feb 1, 2022

  34. Video appears to show plow truck in New Jersey intentionally target Orthodox Jewish men with snow, ice. The whole world hates the JEW

    By Anonymous Nazi on Feb 2, 2022

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