Although they were formed in Tacoma in 1958, and scored their definitive hit, Walk Don't Run, in 1960, The Ventures' classic line-up of Wilson, Bogle, Edwards and Taylor didn't emerge until 1962, after a broken neck unfortunately removed Johnson from the band. Having reached number 2 in the USA and sold over 2 million copies, Walk Don't Run made them America's biggest instrumental rock combo of the 60s and they later returned to the Top 5 in 1969 with a rousing version of the TV hit series theme Hawaii Five-0. Unusually astute in choosing musical themes or concepts, including colours and space travel, to attract attention to their albums, they charted 38 LPs between 1960 and 1972. They remained hugely popular in Europe and Japan for many years, being among the top ten composers in Japanese history and releasing over 200 albums in that country. Guitar Player magazine has called them “the quintessential guitar combo of the pre-Beatles era". During the 90s the UK label, See For Miles produced a note-worthy reissue series and in 1996, following the death of Mel Taylor, his son Leon joined the new line-up, alongside Bogle, McGee and Wilson. They have since continued to maintain their reputation as one of the world's most respected instrumental outfits.
Followers: The Challengers, Dick Dale, The Kingsmen, George Harrison
Influenced By: Les Paul, Link Wray, Chuck Berry, Duane Eddy...