Petition to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Cover Letter to the Formal Petition
Submitted on March 15, 1998
The Ventures Hall of Fame Induction Committee
c/o P.O. Box 56
St. Thomas, VI 00804-0056
March 15, 1998
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation
c/o Ms. Susan Evans
1290 Avenue of the Americas, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10104
Dear Foundation Members:
On September 15, 1997, I submitted to you, on behalf of The Ventures' fans
around the world, a petition for their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame. Attached to my cover letter were (1) a copy of the formal petition,
including sheets containing the names of 586 individuals who supported the
induction of The Ventures; (2) a list of The Ventures'
international discography, which contained an amazing 699 entries; and (3) a list
of The Ventures' 14 Billboard Top Hit Singles and 37 Billboard Top
Hit Albums. Because I did not receive confirmation (via postal return receipt)
that you received that package, I have taken the liberty of enclosing a photocopy
of the original submission.
Further, it is my pleasure to submit a second petition package, this one containing
816 additional names of individuals who support the induction of The
Ventures (Attachment 1). In my cover letter of
September 15, 1997, I presented a rather detailed personal perspective of why I
believe that The Ventures deserve to be a part of the Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame. In that letter, I presented four main justifications for
the induction of The Ventures:
- Musical Versatility.
The musical history of The Ventures is a history of
rock n' roll music and of popular music in general. They were, and
continue to be, able to adapt their unique guitar sound to anything
from classic 50s and 60s rock to surf rock, to "British Invasion"
rock, to hard rock, to soul, to disco, to classical music, to the
'40s big band sound, to country and folk music, to latin and reggae
music, to Japanese pop. I sincerely doubt there is another musical
group of any time period or of any country that has demonstrated,
over and over again, this remarkable musical versatility. (Attachment
2 is a printout of a page from my personal Internet web site that
outlines The Ventures' history in music.)
Appeal. The Ventures have been, and continue to
be, ambassadors of American rock n' roll music throughout the world.
Their discography (which has grown to 731 entries since September
15, 1997) includes recordings issued on every continent except Antarctica,
covering no less than 24 countries. Additionally, the fans who have
submitted their names in support of the petition for The Ventures'
induction live in 49 of the 50 United States and 28 countries representing
every continent except Antarctica (Attachment
1). This demonstrates that The Ventures and their
music are still known and loved throughout the world. Again, I doubt
that another musical group of any time period or of any country can
make a similar claim.
- Artistic and
Commercial Success. During their 38 years of existence (1960 to
1998), The Ventures have never stopped recording or
playing concerts to appreciative audiences. (As I write this, The
Ventures are in the middle of a U.S. East Coast concert tour
that was scheduled in response to popular demand!) Joel Whitburn's
authoritative reference books "Billboard Top Pop Singles 1955-1993"
and "Billboard Top Pop Singles 1955-1996" rank The Ventures
4th among all-time instrumental artists on the Billboard Top Singles
charts, 6th among all 1960s recording artists and 26th among all-time
recording artists on the Billboard Top Singles charts. The Ventures'
record sales over the past 38 years tops 100 million units worldwide,
and still growing. Although they have not yet been honored with induction
into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Ventures
have been inducted into the Japanese Conservatory of Music, the Washington
State Music Hall of Fame, and the Hollywood Rock Walk. They were also
honored by the Smithsonian Institute and Fender Guitars for their
pioneering role in the development and popularization of the electric
guitar and, most recently, by an invitation from the United States
Air Force Band to participate in the Band's "Guest Artist Concert"
series in the Nation's capital on March 1, 1998.
- Musical Influence.
Many of the rock "super stars" who have followed them, including some
who are already in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, have publicly
cited The Ventures as having been influential in their
early musical careers (Attachment
3). Through their series of five "Play Guitar with The Ventures"
instructional records, The Ventures have also been the
catalyst that inspired many thousands of young men and women around
the world to pick up the electric guitar or drums, leading to the
formation of countless "garage bands," many of which continued on
to become professional musicians in local, national, and international
markets. To deny the influence of The Ventures is to
deny the existence of the electric guitar and the guitar-based rock
But, rather than continue to give my personal views, I would like to quote some of
the many hundreds of letters that fans of The Ventures' have
submitted in support of their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The first letter, from fellow Ventures Internet "web master" Paul
Moraga, sets the tone for the ones that follow.
Paul Moraga, California: I maintain a Ventures web site on the
Internet called Virtual Ventures. In the 8 months that my site has been in
existence, I have received hundreds of e-mail messages from all over the world and
from every continent from fans of this influential group. I receive e-mail from
places that I didn't even know were exposed to rock and roll. Even today I am
occasionally surprised when I receive an e-mail from some distant corner of the
globe - often I need to consult a map to find out where a person is writing from
(know off-hand where the Maldive Islands are?). Remarkably, the letters are
similar - people talk of their fond memories of first hearing The Ventures' rockin'
guitars. They talk of treasuring their worn-from-too-many-plays Ventures albums.
They talk of being influenced by The Ventures to pick up a guitar on their own.
This wide-spread appeal, across national, linguistic, ethnic and generational
boundaries is what makes me consider The Ventures to be a truly great group. They
have spread the American art of rock and roll in their unique way across the world
and they deserve to be recognized for their work.
Vanessa Aponte, Puerto Rico: My dad introduced me to The Ventures
when I was a little girl. I grew up with them! I can still remember how I used to
jump all over the house with Mariner No.4! I think they deserve credit for all the
magic and beautiful way they shaped their songs and inspired some of us who are way
far away from the Venture's homeland (Caribbean) and still managed to enjoy and
follow their footsteps.
Dennis L. Cody, Texas: I have been a steadfast Ventures fan since
their very first hit single,"Walk Don't Run". The Ventures' unique instrumental
style is performed by men who project genuine feeling into the music they play.
These guys believe in what they do and have been touching the lives of countless
fans for over 36 years.
Dr. John Paul Judson, Malaysia: The Ventures were the first (and
perhaps the only) group who have made an eternal impression on me. In fact, till
today, I have been interested primarily only in instrumental music and that is
largely due to the Ventures melodies I had listened to when I was a kid. In spite
of my mother being an LTCL pianist, I was urged into becoming a guitarist solely
by the inspiration of the Ventures. While many artists of yesteryears have been
long forgotten, the Ventures still live on in the hearts and minds of millions of
fans like me. The very fact that almost all their albums are being re-released by
CD companies stands testimony to the fact.
Doug W Smith, Canada: The Ventures music represents a history of rock
and roll. The Ventures recorded instrumental versions of rock songs. Songs from the
late 50's up to the mid 70's. Along with their own hits, listening to The Ventures
instrumental versions of classic rock tells the tale of rock's development.
Tommy Seesselberg, New Jersey: I made a good living playing drums in
rock and roll bands for over 25 year until a drunk driver took the power to play
from me because of an accident that crippled me in 1992. But I've got to say that
the Ventures were mine and many of my peers' inspiration to get in this line of
work . Through the years I've had the luck of meeting many famous drummers ,
Ringo, Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson, etc. BUT when I got the chance to meet MEL
TAYLOR ,I can't explain how I felt. It was like a baseball nut meeting BABE RUTH.
MEL was the warmest nicest person I ever met.
Rich Routt, Ohio: When I first put my hands on a Ventures record it
gave me chills! It's hard to imagine that a group has influenced me in such a way,
and after all only being 19 years old I can say that's how much they influenced me.
When I first heard "Walk Don't Run" I could not stop listening to it. It was the
first song I learned to play. So as you can see The Ventures deserve to be in the
Hall of Fame because this band has proven what hard work can do!
James Clifton Sparks, Texas: I am another longtime Ventures fan who
first heard Walk, Don't Run when it hit the charts. I was ten. It struck some
chord in my being that vibrates to this day. They turned me on to rock music. The
Ventures were the first group I sought out at record shops. When I got my first
guitar, I learned from Play Guitar with The Ventures. Over the years I collected
many of their works, which I play more often than any other artists.
One of the things they did to move rock & pop instrumental music was to take a
clean, uncluttered concept of essential musical structures, and weld their own
melodies and their interpretations of the hits of the times into it with a purity
of musicianship that has rarely been equaled. Just as "brevity is the soul of
wit", their particular music genre has been successful because of the singular
purity of style coupled with a brevity of tune length. This concept tells an aural
story with perfect simplicity and elegant grace in each of their works that "made
it" in the sense of punch and beauty, whether a particular melody caught fire on
the charts, or stayed a smoldering "sleeper" favorite.
Another thing that sets the Ventures apart is that they haven't just "covered" the
hits of others: they made them their own, so that many of their version have
outshone the originals because of the uniqueness of the presentation. Of course,
the commercially-oriented shrewdness and aggressiveness of their tunemanship has
made them a business success rivaled only by a few, mostly pop vocalists, because
they've never rested on their laurels, and also weren't afraid to venture out of
the United States at a time when other musicians were flocking to America.
I only saw them live in public once, during a Fourth of July concert in Austin,
Texas, in the late '80s. They got people out from under their shade trees and had
us dancing by the dozens in front of the stage. They played several of their most
famous songs, including Hawaii Five-O and Telstar, then asked the audience whether
they wanted to hear surf music or country music. Surfers ruled, and they played
a 2 hour set of incredible sounds without a missed note. The temperature was a
hundred degrees. They could have played another 2 hours of their classic
instrumentals without repeating a tune, and everybody knew it. They played a
couple of amazing encores, and left us all roaring with genuine delight.
The VENTURES deserve an honored place in the Hall of Fame. After all, they
inspired many who are already there. The VENTURES are All-American music pioneers,
who also had the foresight to act as music ambassadors to Japan, Australia, and
several other nations.
Norman Knowles, California: I have been the sax player for many
groups over the years. The groups all included many artists that were influenced
by the Ventures records. Some of the groups I worked with in the sixties and still
do are The Revels, The Centurians, The Impacts, The Tornadoes, The Sentinals. Some
members of these groups went on to record with The Turtles, Jefferson Starship,
Three Dog Night, and many others.
Mark Rahman, Texas: In 1965, I was a young teenager in a faraway
country named East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Those were the worst of times --
civil war, typhoons, political turmoil, war, those were every day things. Amongst
all of these, the electrifying sounds of a musical group from a country called
America -- a place I only dreamed of, brought happiness to me and all of my
friends. Ever since I came to this country in 1979, collecting the Ventures
records have been an obsession. I have gone to three of their concerts. I have an
album autographed by them which I cherish dearly. I know I am not the only one who
feels that way.
James M. Park, Minnesota: The Ventures totally captured my
imagination (as well as my ears) as a young teenager. That was 35 years ago. To
know that they are still playing, still recording, still motivating people to enjoy
their disciplined, yet joyous approach to music is something I find inspiring. I've
picked up my guitar again, and now my son wants to do the same. Soon I'll have a
new partner to help me through "Walk Don't Run" and "Pipeline".
John A. Thomas, Florida: As a teenager in the mid-to-late sixties,
I found the lyrics of many hits to be incomprehensible, or even worse,
reprehensible. And yet, I was able to fully participate in the music of my
generation through the recordings of The Ventures. Further, this was music I could
share with my parents who, freed from the misconceptions associated with popular
bands, were able to appreciate and understand our generation's music. Even more,
my father was somewhat of an audiophile, and passed that understanding and
appreciation on to me. We both enjoyed The Ventures very much on a technical level.
Their arrangements were unmatched for brightness, clarity, and sheer stereo
enjoyment. The inclusion of The Ventures in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is
merely an overt acknowledgment of an already established fact: The Ventures are
already Hall-of-Famers in every sense of the word.
Kevin Lee Roy Howard, California: The Ventures rock! The "Ventures
in Space" album was an early breakthrough in the creative use of multi-track
recording. I am both a musician and a sound engineer, and the Ventures have
continued to be a huge influence on me and my work over the years.
Danny Darling, address not given: Yes, The Ventures are the Original
American Band. They deserve a special place in the Rock Hall of Fame. I am a
professional drummer and if it hadn't been for the late Mel Taylor, I don't think
I would be playing today. Myself, I have toured with Leon Russell, Joe Ely, Jimmy
dale Gilmore, Buddy Knox, Jay Boy Adams, Lari White, Rick Vito, and others. To this
day I still play with the surf sound no matter what kind of music I play.
Wilson Pierre Lopes, Brasil: I was born in 1950 and knew the Ventures
in the early 60s. I formed an instrumental group with my friends because of the
Ventures and until now I'm still buying their CDs.
Bo Taavo, Sweden: Of course you got to join the Ventures in the Hall
of Fame. The influence of this group to young people all over the world to play
guitar music is enormous. My son (15 years old) has listened to my old Ventures
records and his band is now learning to play "Ventures" instead of punk-rock.
Carl Gregory, Texas: I was inspired to play both guitar and drums by
the Ventures. The guitar class I started in 1961 was built around playing Ventures
tunes. They were not alone, of course, but really, their induction is overdue.
Did they do covers? -- so what did Elvis write? Did they play "suburban surf
music"? -- two words "Beach Boys". There are lots of genres in Rock and Roll, and
in pop surf music, the Ventures are part of the foundation. And then they
transcended the genre and laid the foundations for much of the Japanese music of
the last twenty years, which along with Japanese animation is a cornerstone of the
electronic culture. Elvis is not Hendrix, and the Beatles are not James Brown, but
they are all part of the history of Rock and Roll. And none of them are the
Hideki Soeda, Japan: The Ventures are the number one of the Rock &
Roll Instrumental groups in the world. They have influenced many musicians not
only in Japan but in the world. Since their first Japan tour in 1962 (at that
time, Don Wilson and Bob Bogle only visited Japan, though), their popularity in
Japan has been growing and they are still influential to many young people who
start to listen to Rock & Roll music and musical instruments. To be frank, their
popularity in Japan is much bigger than The Beatles.
William F. Hudson, Ph.D., Indiana: At a very early age I was exposed
to all the greats - Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, The Ventures. Because of musicians
of this caliber, I had the drive to pursue the guitar as my main instrument. I am
49 years young and one of the former Pharoah's ("Sam The Sham" and the). I grew up
with the Ventures - one of my biggest thrills was meeting Nokie at a gig in
Greenville, Mississippi. The Ventures helped make GUITAR the premier rock
instrument - PERIOD.
Ruben T. Umali, Texas: I learned to play the guitar in 1962 following
Bob Bogle of the Ventures' classic playing of Walk Don't Run, Bulldog and Rawhide.
I have a 26-year old son who plays in a rock band. He likewise started basics of
guitar playing by learning Ventures' tunes.
Tatsuya Fukushima, Oklahoma: I am appalled to learn that the
Ventures, the greatest instrumental rock band of all times, have not been inducted
into the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame. They are truly the first Americans to
communicate fluently with Japanese people, so fluently that they needed no lyrics
to get their messages across. In Japan, the Ventures records sold twice as much in
1960s as the ones by the Beatles. Reason is simple: the Beatles needed English to
communicate, the Ventures needed only music. I have been a Ventures fan since my
birth. I don't remember the first time I listened to the Ventures, but I vividly
recall that the Ventures then communicated with me, a pre-language toddler. "THIS
IS GREAT!!" was exactly the feeling I got through the Ventures music. Native
speakers of English may consider lyrics to be important for induction, but music
communicates far more fluently than words. The Ventures, the greatest instrumental
rock band, certainly deserve recognition with distinct honor.
Neilor Fermino Camargo, Brasil: I've been listening to "The Ventures"
since 1963. In 1965 I was 15 years old, and with a group of friends used to play
"The Ventures" music in parties. My home town is Uniao da Vitoria state of
Parana-BRAZIL. We all love "The Ventures".
Yuki Takatori, Georgia: As a die-hard Ventures fan from Japan, I
have no reservation to say that the advent of the Ventures in Japan made such a
tremendous impact upon the teenagers of the '60s that it can be compared, in the
Japanese pop world, to the arrival of Commodore Perry's Black Ship. The music of
the Ventures became not only an object of admiration but a 'textbook' as well.
Electric guitar bands sprang up across the country for the first time and young
people looked with disdain upon the older generations who shied away from any
musical instruments at all. It is impossible to talk about Japanese pop music
without influence from the Ventures.
Von Ehman, West Virginia: In my mind, from a historical perspective:
"The Ventures" were the first band to bring the electric guitar to center stage in
popular music. Don Wilson, Bob Bogle and Nokie Edwards set the stage for what was
to come. The Ventures were the first band to popularize the electric guitar on a
mass level. This was before the Jimi Hendrix/English blues invasion. I don't know
of any guitar player in the 60's who wasn't in some way affected and/or inspired
by "The Ventures." Every semi-serious to serious guitar wanna be loved the
Ventures. We'd all go the local music store and check out the Mosrite and Fender
guitars, hoping some day we could get one and play like Nokie, Bob and Don. They
provided us with that dream. Nokie Edwards was a technical as well as a creative
genius. He was one of my very lead favorite players, if not one of the best
guitarist I've ever heard.
Admittedly the Beatles were my favorite song writing band and Jimi Hendrix was my
favorite guitarist, on a creative level. I admit, I prefer music with vocals,
harmonies and a message. But, the Ventures literally taught me how to play the
guitar. A lot of their earlier work was simple and the absence of vocals in their
work made it easy for a young person to concentrate on learning how to play the
guitar. I have several of their albums that I still listen to, to this day. One
being the live one they did in the USA, England and Japan. It's on my top 10, of
all time guitar masterpieces. A must listen for any serious player.
Unknown to many "The Ventures" were very accomplished musicians and could play
anything: from classical to country to rock to Glenn Miller. They could do more
than just play "Hawaii 5 0" and "Walk Don't Run," the songs that most of us are
most familiar with. To this day I still consider them the best 4-piece, guitar
based, instrumental band that I have ever heard. The kids playing today's "pop"
and "alternative" could learn a few things from the Ventures. One being, how to
play the guitar. The Ventures deserve being in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.
I am a 45 [year old] native of Charleston, WV and have been playing guitar since
I was 16 years old. I am and have been a professional musician and artist most of
my adult life. Though I've never been blessed (or maybe damned) with having a real
career I have written, arranged, produced and recorded five albums in the last
three years, on my own label, Ehman Records.
Charles E. Scheiderich, New York: The Ventures certainly have shown
that they are truly musicians of the times, having contributed to to all of the
various types of music. They have also demonstrated that music is the universal
language of the human race.
Richard Wilson, Canada: The Ventures have made a substantial
contribution to the development and enjoyment of rock and roll music in a number
of ways, as follows: (1) their continuity, which spans 4 decades, is a testament
to the universal popularity of their unique style and music; (2) they have been a
positive influence on guitarists and drummers, young and old, around the world; (3)
they have been exemplary ambassadors of American rock/pop instumental music, and
continue in this role today. Please recognize a legendary band that has made a
genuine contribution in making rock and roll music accessible to musicians and fans
around the world. They most certainly have earned it.
John W. Welsch, Arizona: In the 1960's, while still a teenager, I
acquired an electric guitar and began teaching myself to play it. Since none of
my friends, parents or siblings played guitar, it was a rough and rocky road to say
the least! Then I found my first "Play Guitar With The Ventures" album, and I was
off to the races. Walk, Don't Run, Pipeline, Surf Rider, Perfidia, Lullaby of the
Leaves and countless others became part of my repertoire, and I quickly became part
of a local "Garage Band" that lead me to countless hours of creative pleasure
playing everything from "Surf" tunes to The Beatles. Now, at the age of 45, I
continue to play rock guitar, and I'm proud to say, I have my three sons playing
guitar with me. All three (ages 9, 11, and 15) listen to, play and LOVE The
Ventures and their unique flavor of clean, pure instrumental rock and roll. In
closing, I would like to reiterate my request to please honor this fine group of
musicians that have continued to give not only our country, but the world, so much
pleasure. Walk, Don't Run, to the Hall of Fame and enshrine my family's favorite
band in remembrance of their huge contributions to the Rock and Roll community
Jim Meador, California: To leave the Ventures out of the music Hall
of Fame is like Baseball's Hall of Fame leaving out Mickey Mangle. The Ventures
influenced countless guitar players around the world as well as becoming a
commercial success. Where many Hall [of Fame] inductees have vanished, the
Ventures continue to perform, and "how they can perform!"
Samuel Lee Duck, New York: The Ventures are not only American Icons
of Rock and Roll, but have brought our music and culture to Europe and Asia. They
have promoted and spread not only their music but the music of many other artists
to millions that might not have listened because instrumental music does not
require that you understand English. This coupled with the fact of their talent and
legions of fans should assure them a honored place with their peers in the Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame.
Roberto Lagos Jr, Uruguay: I'm from Uruguay, Sud America. We love
the Ventures and they are the best band in the world, except for the Shadows. I'm
20 years old and I play in a rock band and we play like the greatest Ventures.
Christopher Wells Eaton Slitor, Maryland: The Ventures have a
remarkable legacy of achievement in their creation of the instrumental "surf sound"
in rock music. They were a major impetus for a revival of this sound in the 80's.
I have known various local musicians in the Washington, DC area who cited the
Ventures as a major creative influence. The Ventures are still active and still
creating good music.
Peter Leon Guerrero, Washington: The first time I heard the Ventures,
I was about 13yrs. old and it was such an inspiration for me and so many of my
friends as well. I have taken my kids to a Ventures Concert in Seattle several
yrs. ago and they loved it!!!! So for 2 generation The Ventures have been in my
family. And if I can till the day I die... My Grandchildren will have the pleasure
of listening to the Ventures.
Don Overton, California: As a personal note, I spent most of my teen
life in far away places since my father was in the military. It didn't matter where
I was (Phillippines, Okinawa, Japan, Guam, or Germany), I could always count on
their music to be a part of the teen scene, whether it be the American community
or the local. Many fond memories surface every time I listen to one of their
Kelly Sites. Washington: I'm only 17 but I love the Ventures!
Stephen William Gill, California: The Ventures got me interested in
music and off the streets. I learned to play guitar with their "Play Guitar with
the Ventures" series and am in the process of teaching my son to play using their
unique teaching method. I'm sure that if you conducted a survey, you would find
that a large number of the musicians already inducted were influenced to varying
degrees by The Ventures.
Buddy Taylor, Kansas: In my opinion The Ventures were and are the
greatest instrumental group to come on the music scene ever! I've grown up
listening to The Ventures and my children are now enjoying them. They come home
on college vacation and hunt either my LPs, tapes, or CDs of The Ventures and put
Abdullah Arshad, Malaysia: I have been listening to the Ventures
since the 60s. I formed a band during that period with school mates. Other bands
were playing the Shadows in their performances. We played the Ventures. I love
their style. I was on the lead guitar. I remember playing Pipeline, Walk Don't
Run, Lonely Bull and the rest. We did quite well. The Ventures are so different
and so down to earth and so raw, no gimmicks such as the echo chamber to help them.
Theirs is just plain guitar sound and they are so good. they should be in the Hall
Glen Nunes, Massachusetts: The importance of the Ventures in the
history of Rock and Roll is difficult to dismiss, not only in terms of number of
hits or chart performance, which are impressive, or longevity and sustained
creative output (again, impressive), but also in terms of their influence on
guitarists worldwide. If the guitar is the instrument most commonly associated
with Rock and Roll, then surely the Ventures are "the" guitar band.
Wes Cox, address not given: The Ventures made a profound impact on
Rock and Roll, and their influence is extremely strong on many of today's
musicians. Their success in the early 60's was phenomenal, and though sometimes
ignored, they put a ripple and left a mark, a deep one, on the music of the second
half of the 20th century.
Brett Richard Chloupek, Nebraska: I am only fourteen years old,
but I have loved the Ventures for a long time. Please induct them into the R&R
hall of fame, they deserve it. They are by far the best instrumental group of all
Loren Armstrong, Kentucky: I started my own Rock and Roll band while
in High School in 1964. We went on to play for Senior Balls, Junior Proms, School
and teen club functions, and even MAIN STREET dances under the stop light in
various parts of Alaska for the next few years. While in college I worked for
American Music Company of Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington. During and since
that time I have taught many hundreds of kids how to play guitar. Most of them
learned Rock and Roll by learning VENTURES SONGS. They WERE and STILL ARE the BEST
ROCK AND ROLL GROUP OF ALL TIME!
Thomas R. Nitzsche, Ohio: I am 33 years old and have been listening
to the Ventures for 33 years. My father was the one who introduced me to the
Ventures music and since that time The Ventures have played a very influential role
in my life. I have played drums since I was 4 years old and loved to play my drums
to Venture songs. As my drumming progressed through the years, I learned to have
a style all my own. I owe that to Mel Taylor. I love to listen to Mel Taylor play
the drums. He was probably the #1 Influence for me to continue playing the drums.
Even today I attribute a lot of my influence to the Ventures. When a group like the
Ventures can influence and inspire people, that is a band that others need to sit
up and take notice of. The Ventures still continue today to affect the lives of
people all over the globe.
Chris Witcher, United Kingdom: I have the original single of "Walk
Don't Run" given to me by a friend in 1960 after I had, with subsequent regret,
purchased the UK cover version by the John Barry Seven. After that, I was 'hooked'
and have since bought many of their records and CDs. There is no doubt that their
contribution to the music scene over the last 38 years is second to very few. Their
'sound' is quite unmistakable, as played by the Lively Ones during the credits of
"Pulp Fiction." Apart from perhaps The Beatles, Elvis and Frank Sinatra, I doubt
if anyone has created such a distinctive sound.
Robert Weiss, Iowa: After all these years of preforming, the Ventures
are still picking up more and more fans. I am 16 years old and have been listening
to the Ventures for over 2 years. Listening to their songs and learning how to play
them myself has increased my guitar playing ability greatly. The Ventures led the
way for what rock bands are today with their great lead and rhythm section.
Franklin E. Bautista, Virginia: I am originally from Bolivia, South
America. The first rock and roll band that I know was the Ventures. I enjoy so
much, that during all these years I enjoyed their music. When I moved to the USA,
I started collecting their records, after that the CDs. And finally after many
years I was in a live concert here in Washington DC. This is the only rock group
that still has same members and playing same music. Back in South America, we
never have the opportunity to be in a live rock concert with an American Rock
Group. After 15 years of becoming a fan of the Ventures, they came to play in
Washington DC. That was an experience that I dream for years. This group is the
best in the world, to make rock international. Any part of this world they know
about the Ventures, they don't need to speak the language, they enjoy the music!!
The Ventures still are my favorite rock group and the members still nice people
that after the concert come out and talk with the fans.
James E. Carroll, Minnesota: The Ventures are an integral part of the
soundtrack of the '60's in Southern California, which, in my considered opinion,
was the Nexus of the rock and roll movement. To exclude them from a listing of
historically and musicologically significant influences is to present an incomplete
history of this social and cultural phenomenon, and would sorely detract from the
credibility of the Hall [of Fame].
Larry Alan Hendrickson, Texas: I believe the Ventures should be in
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because their popularity and influence have
continued strong through four decades, far, far longer than many of the groups who
are in the Hall. The Ventures have inspired more than two generations of
guitarists. With the clear, clean sound they maintained through the sixties and
seventies, they exposed the limitations of less talented musicians who rely on
special effects to impress audiences.
Enrique A. Thiele Solivan, Puerto Rico: They have provided
inspiration to many rock groups in Puerto Rico and, at least in my family, fans
from two generations.
Hank Unck, Arizona: No other group has defined instrumental rock as
definitively as The Ventures. Their influence was so strong on budding guitar
players of the 60's that they almost singlehandedly blew the electric guitar
industry wide open. I remember the first time I heard The Ventures. It was as if
an electric shock went through my being. The electricity and excitement made me
beg my parents for my first electric guitar, a Sears Silvertone. Now 34 years
later (I'm 50) I'm still playing guitar, and although I'm heavily into Blues now,
whenever I return to the comfort of my roots it's by playing Walk Don't Run, or any
number of other Ventures covers and originals.
The Ventures may not always have been the most original group around, but they are
in that rarefied league of those very few groups that had an enormous impact on the
lives of people. Play a Ventures hit and you'll see smiles, toe tapping and head
bobbing, and a trip back to great fun and innocence. The Ventures helped shape a
whole generation of musicians and listeners.
Scott C. Tomlinson, Georgia: Without The Ventures' wonderful and
unique style of instrumental rock and roll, I would never have learned to play the
guitar (and electric bass) at all. I know that there were hundreds of thousands,
maybe millions of guys and gals like me who learned their first licks from
practicing to Ventures' records until we learned to get it right. The overwhelming
majority of us didn't go on to become John Fogerty (not even close!), but we
listened, we learned, and we enjoyed. For that reason alone, they belong in the
Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, but there's more. Take two minutes and listen - really
listen - to "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue". That Ventures' song is as much the very
essence of rock as the Stones' "Honky Tonk Women", or any other great and
influential tune you can name. Any group that can do a song like that BELONGS in
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, especially a group that's STILL DOING IT thirty
five years after "Slaughter"! 'Nuff said!
Clifford Gene Meloy, Wyoming: How can a R&R Hall of Fame have any
credibility if the Ventures are not in it? I am shocked to learn that they are
not. Their records were great. Their record sales were impressive. Their
influence on guitar players was staggering. You must realize that the Ventures
were primarily an album group. Don't just look at the singles chart record. Look
at the album sales record. Listen to The Ventures in Space album from '63 and see
why psychedelic groups credit them as an influence. The Ventures focused on album
projects more than singles long before the Beach Boys (Pet Sounds in '66) and the
Beatles (Sgt. Pepper in '67) made it fashionable. From almost any perspective the
Ventures are an early and important link in the development of r&r music.
Rich Goodwin, Arizona: The Ventures is the best guitar band of all
time. I grew up listening to the Ventures and learned how to play the guitar by
their albums. My son who is now 12 years old is also a big fan and is learning to
play the guitar because of the Ventures.
These letters, and many hundreds more, from fans of The Ventures have
several common threads:
- They show that
The Ventures brought, and continue to bring, sheer musical
enjoyment to those who have taken the time to listen to their music.
- They show that
The Ventures had, and continue to have, universal appeal
across geographic, ethnic, and generational boundaries.
- They show that
The Ventures were, and continue to be, an important
influence in the decision of fans to take up music (and specifically
the electric guitar and drums), either as a career or as a hobby.
- And they show
that The Ventures have a loyal fan base around the world
who believe that they are clearly deserving of the recognition that
induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would bring.
In closing, I would like to quote on last fan letter, which sums everything up
quite nicely, and in only 16 words:
Lasse Juhani Iinainen, Finland: If The Ventures aren't eligible for
the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, then who is?
Therefore, on behalf of The Ventures' fans from across the United
States, Canada, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Australia
and Guam, and even Africa, I respectfully urge you to do the right thing and induct
The Ventures into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame before the year
2000 -- their 40th Anniversary of making beautiful and timeless music!
Arnold E. van Beverhoudt, Jr.
P.O. Box 56
St. Thomas, VI 00804-0056
| To Cast Your Vote for The Ventures
| Attachment 1 > |
To See Petitions Already Submitted, Select From the Following Options:
| September 1997
| March 1998
| May 1998
| May 1999
| June 2000
| July 2001
| March 2004
| November 2006 |