Bob Bogle of The Ventures Dies at 75

Bob Bogle

June 17, 2009

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Bob Bogle, the lead guitarist and co-founder of the rock band The Ventures, known for 1960s instrumental hits like “Walk, Don’t Run,” “Perfidia” and the theme from “Hawaii Five-O,” died Sunday. He was 75.

Don Wilson, the band’s other founder, told The News Tribune of Tacoma that Mr. Bogle had become ill over the weekend.

The Ventures sold millions of albums and heavily influenced other rock guitarists. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. The hall’s Web site hailed The Ventures as “the most successful instrumental combo in rock and roll history.”

“Walk, Don’t Run,” written and first performed by Johnny Smith in 1955, reached No. 2 on the Billboard chart for The Ventures in 1960; a revised version, “Walk, Don’t Run ’64,” reached No. 8 in 1964.

The band’s instrumental version of “Perfidia,” a much-covered song by the Mexican songwriter Alberto Domínguez, was also a hit in 1960. (Charlie Parker, Mel Tormé, Glenn Miller, Nat King Cole and Linda Ronstadt, among others, have also recorded versions of it.)

The Ventures scored yet another hit in 1969 with their cover of the theme from “Hawaii Five-O,” the long-running police detective show that had its premiere in 1968.

The band got its start in 1958 in Tacoma. Mr. Bogle initially played lead and bass and Mr. Wilson played rhythm guitar. They were soon joined by Nokie Edwards, another guitarist, and the drummer Howie Johnson, later replaced by Mel Taylor.

“Our aspirations were to pick up nothing heavier than a guitar,” Mr. Wilson said last year. “But it just mushroomed into something where we became internationally known.”

The Ventures were particularly popular in Japan, where Mr. Wilson and Mr. Bogle played as a duo during their first tour in 1962 because the promoter couldn’t afford to pay the other two band members.

The two Americans made such an impression, Mr. Wilson recalled last year, that when the band came back in 1964, “there were 6,000 people at the airport.” He said he didn’t realize at first that the Japanese fans were there to see The Ventures.

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company


“Hawaii Five-O”  As Performed By The Ventures.

Published in: on June 16, 2009 at 9:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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