Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Ventures hope to ride wave to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame...(link)

I saw the Ventures at Issaquah's Salmon Days last October and, let me tell you, for this fan, I felt like I'd died and gone to rock-and-roll heaven. As a kid one of the first rock songs I'd ever attempted was, "Walk Don't Run", by the Ventures. Every kid who wanted to play guitar in those days attempted that song. That song was and is to this day one that everyone recognizes on some level. People like to dance to it.

Don Wilson is the front man and personality of the group. His infectious enthusiasm and reverb-laden rhythm guitar are a trademark of the Ventures that is instantly recognizable. Nokie Edwards on lead guitar is as precise as the gears in a swiss watch. His rendition of "Apache" I would pay $100 just to watch him play it up close. The lead that he has created for "Apache" for some reason moves me a great deal. I am, for that moment when I'm listening, the nine year old boy that I was when I first heard it. The rhythm section of Leon Taylor on drums and Bob Bogle on bass keep time so seamlessly that you don't even know they're there.

There were also some heavy duty guest musicians at the concert. The first one was Roger Fisher, the original guitarist with, Heart. The guitar part that Mr. Fisher crafted for, "Barracuda" is so strong and influential that it alone, in my opinion, is grounds enough to put him in the Hall of Fame. No matter how good the Wilson sisters are, it was that opening guitar riff to , "Barracuda", that made them into international stars.

In addition to Roger Fisher on guitar, the Ventures were also joined by the drummer from, Yes. This was truly a supergroup and it was all for the enjoyment of the relatively small crowd at Salmon Days. Don't let me forget to mention that the crowd was WILDLY enthusiastic. I had a great time--and I'm not that easy to please. I am often critical of the performances of highly acclaimed artists. So I am not just waxing nostalgic. It was truly something to hear.

You can find out more about the Ventures by clicking on the link at the top of this article. They are having a concert this Saturday, March 12th. I guarantee that you will have one of the finest and funnest musical times of your life!

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