Bob Bogle passes away

The Ventures guitarist Bob Bogle, one of the most influential figures in the development of rock guitar, has passed away.

After the initial blast of rock 'n' roll energy pioneered by the likes of Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Eddie Cochran and countless others, rock music died down.

Often lambasted as a back water prepared for the tsunami of The Beatles, the early 60s are in fact a potent era for rock 'n' roll. The girl group experiments of Phil Spector broke new ground while the surf music explosion expanded on the template left by Chuck Berry.

One of the most fondly remembered groups from this period are The Ventures. A typical American rock story, the band formed while still in high school. Lacking a singer, they focussed instead on instrumentals with their crude yet energetic style winning fans in their Tacoma, Washington hometown.

Hitting the big time with their version of 'Walk, Don't Run' the band became a global success. Guitarist Bob Bogle was the star, driving the group onwards. Embracing new technology he became one of the first to use a fuzz pedal, while the band pioneered the move away from singles in rock music.

Surprisingly, the band's biggest success came in Japan where they remain household names. In 1965 The Ventures occupied five positions in the Japanese Top Ten singles chart, while the group are often said to have outsold The Beatles 2-1 in the Far Eastern market.

The psychobilly movement in the late 70s revived the band's fortunes, with groups such as The Cramps paying near religious homage to The Ventures. Director Quentin Tarentino is a fan, using surf music on the soundtracks to early films such as Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction.

The Ventures were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame last year by John Fogerty who said of their hit 'Walk Don't Run' that it "started a whole new movement in Rock and Roll. The sound of it became 'surf music' and the audacity of it empowered guitarists everywhere."

Bob Bogle died on Sunday (June 13th) following a short illness. Watch The Ventures in action below...


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