Petition to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Cover Letter to the Formal Petition
Submitted on May 31, 1999
The Ventures Hall of Fame Induction Committee
c/o P.O. Box 56
St. Thomas, VI 00804-0056
May 31, 1999
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation
Attention: Ms. Susan Evans
1290 Avenue of the Americas, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10104
Dear Foundation Members:
The 1999 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are now history and
The Ventures, in the 40th anniversary year of their formation, have again
been ignored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It's amazing that the one
instrumental rock and roll band that has inspired more people to learn to
play the guitar, has achieved the greatest amount of sustained commercial
success, and has been more universally acclaimed than any other in the world
or in the history of rock and roll continues to be refused admission into
what is supposedly the hallmark institution to honor rock and roll's greats.
In fact, it's unbelievable the extent to which the entire genre of
instrumental rock and roll music (with the exceptions of Duane Eddy and
Booker T and the MGs) has been ignored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Foundation. However, there's still time to correct this important oversight.
With consideration of nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame in the year 2000 soon about to begin, on behalf of fans of The Ventures
around the world, I urge the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation to do the
right thing and Induct The Ventures in Y2K! The year 2000 will mark the 40th
anniversary of "Walk, Don't Run," which in 1960 was the first instrumental
single released by The Ventures and immediately became their first and most
enduring of many Billboard Top Hit Singles during the 1960s. Ironically,
while "Walk, Don't Run" has already been recognized by the curators of the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum as one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock
and Roll, the band that created that song still has not been given the
recognition it deserves. Please act now to change this state of affairs!
Before highlighting the reasons why The Ventures deserve to be inducted into
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I would like give you some background on the
petition campaign on whose behalf I write. This campaign is not my personal
brainchild or pet project. It was started by a small group of The Ventures'
fans who met each other almost by accident through the internet and have
since grown to become a close-knit group of friends. Our group is called
Underground Fire in honor of one of The Ventures' most popular albums. Our
membership stretches from Russia, Germany, Sweden and England to the
Caribbean, across the United States and Canada, and to Australia and Japan.
We are male and female. We range in age from teenage to the late 50s. Our
personal philosophies and beliefs range from devoutly religious to atheist.
We like a wide variety of music, ranging from classical to "big band" to
country to rock to new age to Latin and reggae. But we all have one thing in
common -- our love for the timeless and universal music of The Ventures.
Our campaign is not a well-organized and financed "machine" that cranks our
tens of thousands of signatures on petitions from people who may not even
know who The Ventures are. Instead, our campaign consists simply of a modest
internet web site (at www.sandcastlevi.com/hallfame.htm) where fans of The
Ventures can register their names to be added to the petition packages that
we have submitted to you once or twice each year (this is our fourth petition
package). Our web site is not heavily advertized and it receives no mass
market publicity. It is simply listed on a few of the popular internet
search engines. This means that fans of The Ventures have to consciously
search for web sites about The Ventures and then stumble across our
campaign's web site.
Even so, in the span of 24 months, we have managed to collect 2,833 petition
signatures (most in the form of email messages) from fans in all 50 United
States, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico,
Guam, and the Virgin Islands plus fans in 36 other countries on six of the
seven continents. We have even received petition signatures from fans in
such unlikely places as Russia, the Czech Republic, South Africa, India,
Indonesia, and Malaysia, to name just a few. I think you would have to agree
that, considering the grass-roots nature of our campaign, that's quite an
accomplishment. But that accomplishment isn't ours, it is a reflection of
the absolutely universal recognition and appeal that The Ventures enjoy
because of their music and because of the kind and gracious individuals that
Why Induct The Ventures?
Hundreds, if not thousands, of rock and roll musicians have come and gone
since the 1950s. Some have forever left their mark on this type of music,
others sparkled brightly and then disappeared only to be known as "one hit
wonders," and still others never made it to mass market popularity but
continued to play to appreciative audiences in their local communities. Only
a very small percentage of these musicians are deserving of recognition in
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, whose stated purpose is to:
the contributions of those who have had a significant impact over the
evolution, development and perpetuation of rock and roll, by inducting
them into the Hall of Fame.
Taking that statement of purpose into consideration, why should The Ventures
be among the honored artists in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Quite
simply, because The Ventures are the epitome of what the Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame is intended to represent:
- They have been
important musical influences to many "superstars" and not-so-super
- They have achieved
enormous commercial and critical success.
- They have achieved
a universal appeal that has brought American rock and roll music to
If that doesn't make The Ventures deserving of a place of honor within the
roles of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, then I would most sincerely
appreciate being informed as to what does.
In prior petition packages (copies of which are enclosed for reference), I
discussed at great length the commercial and critical success, the universal
appeal, and the musical versatility of The Ventures. In the remainder of
this letter, I will highlight the great influence that The Ventures and their
music have had over the past 40 years on the history of rock and roll,
especially guitar-based rock and roll, and on the lives of their fans.
What the Rock Superstars Say. Many well-known rock and roll musicians
(some already inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) have publicly
acknowledged that The Ventures were among their musical influences. In
interviews that were part of a videotaped concert to celebrate The Ventures'
30th anniversary, such rock greats as Peter Frampton, Al DiMiola, Elliot
Easton (The Cars), Max Weinberg (Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band), Jeff
"Skunk" Baxter (Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers), Rick Derringer (The
McCoys), and Robby Kreiger (The Doors), among others, commented on the
important influence that The Ventures' simple yet appealing guitar stylings
had on their decision to learn to play the guitar and their rise to rock star
status. (See Attachment 2 for a verbatim transcript of these interview
comments.) But the accolades for the musical influence of The Ventures don't
In a Billboard magazine article, guitar great Joe Walsh (The James Gang and
The Eagles) also acknowledged the influence of The Ventures. He was asked
what he considered to be the 12 best all-time guitar solos. Joe Walsh
really know if it's a solo or not, but I'd have to say that "Walk, Don't
Run" by the Ventures changed an awful lot of guitar players' lives.
It was one of the foundational instrumentals. It made instrumentals
okay to do, and it led the way for things like the Surfaris' "Wipe Out,"
the Tornadoes' "Telstar," and the Rockin' Teens' "Wild Weekend." It
had been done before with Duane Eddy, but with the Ventures, America
discovered the vibrato bar. I didn't even play guitar at the time, but
I loved "Walk, Don't Run." I was 13 when that came out in 60, and my
mom was making me practice a stupid metal clarinet for orchestra. I
borrowed a guitar just to learn how to play that lead part. A lot of
people ended up playing guitar because of that song. We used to look
at their second album cover, and nobody could believe that there was
a Fender Jazzmaster and a Fender Strat and a perfect precision. Later
on the Ventures went to Mosrites, but that band and that particular
song really paved the way for a whole new approach to instrumentals,
and "lead guitar" became so much more important in the song.
In addition, Keith Moon (The Who) has been quoted as saying that he
considered The Ventures' album In Space to be one of his personal favorites
and one the most important albums in rock and roll history. On pages 18-19
of his autobiography, Kink, Dave Davies (The Kinks) mentions that he and his
brother Ray regularly used to perform instrumental duets for family and
friends at their father's local pub, and that their main influences were Chet
Atkins and The Ventures. Even the likes of George Harrison (The Beatles)
cited The Ventures as an early influence. In a November 1987 interview for
Guitar Player magazine, he was asked whether he considered himself to have
been influenced by the English guitarist Hank Marvin (The Shadows). George
no. Although Hank [Marvin] is a good player -- I would not certainly
put him down -- and I did enjoy the little echo things they [The Shadows]
had and the sound of the Fenders, which they started out on, but to
me, "Walk, Don't Run," the Ventures -- I just always preferred the American
stuff to the English. So, I wasn't influenced by him [Hank Marvin] at
What the Music Authorities Say. Recognition of the important influence of
The Ventures also comes from various authorities on rock and roll music. For
example, the 1995 edition of The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll
Ventures are one of the first, best, most lasting and influential of
instrumental guitar-based rock combos (rivaled only by Britain's Shadows).
Their trademark sound -- driving mechanical drums, metallic guitars
twanging out simple, catchy pop tunes -- has filtered down through the
years to gain prominence in the sounds of bands like Blondie, the B-52's,
and the Go-Go's. Often classified as a surf-rock band, the Ventures
actually predated surf music and lasted well beyond its early-Sixties
boom. Some 35 years after their forming they still play to appreciative
In an entry on "surf rock," the Encyclopedia goes on to say that:
surf music featured throbbing tribal tom-tom tattoos and trebly, twanging
guitar riffs: the Ventures' "Walk, Don't Run," the Duals' "Stick Shift,"
Dick Dale and the Del-tones' "Miserlou." Thanks in large part to the
prolific Ventures, instrumental surf rock has proven one of rock's most
influential sub-genres. Surf rock's influence can be heard in the music
of Blondie, the Go-Go's, the Raybeats, Reverend Horton Heat, the Cramps,
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, and many other musicians, including
U2's the Edge. It made a splash again on the soundtrack of "Pulp Fiction"
(1994), which included a song by Dick Dale. [And which incidentally
also included the Lively Ones' version of "Surf Rider," which was composed
by Nokie Edwards -- The Ventures' legendary lead guitarist of the 60s.]
In the 65-page booklet included in Rhino Records' Cowabunga surf music CD
boxed set, John Blair, one of the foremost surf music experts, had the
following to say about The Ventures:
Ventures are the best-selling and most enduring rock instrumental band
in pop music history. "Walk, Don't Run," their biggest hit record to
date, reached #2 on the Billboard Top 100 chart in 1960. Formed in Tacoma,
Washington, in 1959, the band continues to perform and record today.
They have been hugely popular in Japan, where they have won numerous
music awards and gold records. By 1970 they had recorded 38 albums!
[That number is now over 100, excluding compilations and reissues.]
Of all the instrumental bands that preceded and influenced surf music,
The Ventures were arguably the most important and influential.
Don't Run" was written and recorded by jazz guitarist Johnny Smith.
Chet Atkins had adapted the tune to his country style in 1958. The Ventures
worked up their landmark rock n' roll arrangement of the piece by listening
to Atkins' version. One of the band's attempts to capitalize on surf
music was "Walk, Don't Run 64," a new version of the 1960 hit. In an
April 1990 interview for DISCoveries magazine, drummer Mel Taylor recalled
why they rerecorded their own major hit: "The main reason was we were
searching for a single release. We wanted something to reach the people
so we did a surf-sounding version of Walk, Don't Run'."
record featured a distinctive reverb effect on the lead guitar that
sounded cleaner and sharper, with more echo than other surf instrumentals.
In the same DISCoveries interview guitarist Don Wilson tried to explain
the unique reverb effect on his rhythm guitar part but admitted that
he didn't recall whether it was due to the guitar amp, the studio controls,
or his playing technique. Recorded with Leon Russell sitting in on organ,
"Walk, Don't Run 64" debuted on the national charts at #86 in July 1964
and climbed to #8. It was the band's third million-selling record.
With regard to The Ventures original composition "Surf Rider," which became
a hit for the surf band The Lively Ones, the same Cowabunga CD boxed set
booklet comments that:
Rider" was [The Lively Ones'] best-known recording and was used as the
closing theme of the 1994 film Pulp Fiction. The melody was from a 1962
song by The Ventures called "Spudnik," and the track was featured on
their [The Ventures'] album Mashed Potatoes and Gravy (referring to
the current dance craze). The Ventures were as influential to surf guitar
players as Dick Dale, and most surf bands had at least one Ventures
song and one Dick Dale song in their repertoire.
The 1999 edition of Music Hound Rock: The Essential Album Guide states, in
Ventures have released more than 250 albums during their undisputed,
three decades-plus reign as kings of instrumental rock, influencing
scores of musicians around the world to pick up electric guitars and
stum along to the nearest TV theme or dance craze. Without question,
the most popular and influential band of its kind in history, with over
90 million records sold (40 million in Japan alone), The Ventures are
nothing less than the inventors and chief practitioners of a styule
of rock 'n' roll that is almost too cool for words. . . . Throughout
the '60s, The Ventures's dance, surf, pops, stage, and TV theme albums
sold millions of copies worldwide: In London, for example, a young drummer
named Keith Moon learned to play along with an eerie pedal-steel-on-Mars
collection entitled "The Ventures in Space," while a trip by the band
to the Orient in 1965, coinciding with the first mass-marketing there
of electric guitars, propelled The Ventures to a near Beatle-like status
that remains intact to this day. But perhaps the most influential of
all was the group's "Play Guitar with the Ventures" series of instructional
LPs, upon which an entire generation of would-be exe-wielders cut its
teeth using, if they were luck, brand new Ventures-model Mosrite guitars.
When these musicians themselves began coming of age during the early
'80s, they provided The Ventures with an entirely fresh fan base of
new wavers and surf punks, and the band continues to inspire and entertain
legions of listeners of every age, race, creed, and musical stripe the
world over -- while continuing to outsell the Beatles two-to-one throughout
the Orient. But while their guitars may hang proudly in the Smithsonian
Institution, The Ventures have yet to be duly honored by the Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame.
Among musicians who The Ventures have influence, the Music Hound Rock cites
The Who, Jorma Kaukonen, Teisco Del Rey, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, the
Qua Velvets, and the Mermen.
What the Fans Say. But, perhaps even more important than the influence
The Ventures have had on some of rock and roll's "superstars," is the
influence they have had on the lives of countless thousands of people around
the world. A quick browse through the emailed petition endorsements
contained in Attachment 1 to this letter will reveal some of these incredible
personal stories. But let me highlight a few of them here:
John Welsh, California: The other day I sent an email get well wish to
[Ventures lead guitarists] Nokie Edwards and at the same time, told him
what his music has meant to me and my three sons aged 9, 11, and 16.
I also explained what his recordings have done in the way of bringing
a father closer together with his sons by bridging the generation gap
You see, I started playing guitar in 1964 and shortly afterward found
the Play Guitar with The Ventures series and learned ALL of the songs.
Well, when my son expressed an interest in lead guitar, I found the
Play Guitar with The Ventures CD set and hooked him immediately! My
other 2 sons followed suit right after (middle boy plays keyboards,
youngest on drums, me on bass) and we all listen to and jam with
Ventures music til the cows come home.
Anyway, back to the point of the story. You see, Nokie returned that
fan mail and mentioned each of my boys personally in his email. Well,
let me tell you, you couldn't find 3 (or should I say 4!!!) happier
little boys in the world when we opened that email together, and it
firmly cemented their appreciation for Ventures music forever.
So, as you can see, this is one grateful father singing the praises of
a real life American hero, Mr. Nokie Edwards!
Sergey Shulubin, Russia: There are not so many fans [of The Ventures
in Russia], at least among people that are connected to Internet. :-)
I have no exact information, of course, but Shadows are much more
famous here, in particular because some famous bands in former Soviet
Union played their stuff. Some interesting fact -- "Vibration" from
[The Ventures' album] Super Psychedelics was opening theme in every
week political review on Soviet TV in 70s-'80s, but there was no
copyright or something, so no one in our country knows who was playing
but EVERYBODY could recognize that tune. Also, I guess that almost no
one here knows that "Surf Rider" is Ventures original in spite of
everybody heard that tune.
Personally, I'm trying, and it goes successfully, to spread Ventures
music among my friends and relatives. Now you could hear some themes
on the live concerts in local rockabilly clubs. I personally came to
Ventures by the case -- it's funny, but I just was interested by name
of the band -- it seemed to me that I heard about them and it was time
I was involved in instrumental music and started to buy Shadows stuff.
And, of course, after listening to Go/Batman [CD reissue of two
Ventures albums] I became Ventures addict. I started to buy all their
music I could find. After getting my credit card I got possibility to
buy it directly from internet, so now I'm happy owner of 23 CDs
including Play Guitar with the Ventures.
I could say more -- I have some kind of group and we are playing a lot
of Ventures material. Hope to do this was the reason that instigated
me to buy guitar this year. Funny thing -- I, our bass player and
drummer work together in internet providing company here, so "Web
Surfing" from New Depths CD seems to be written exactly for us. :-)
Doug White, Texas: My name is Doug, and I was a member of the Columbia
Record Club in the early 60s and when I received this album (In Space)
I was a very, very happy 16 year old. You guys [The Ventures] really
do it right. And I am so pleased you are still doing albums. You guys
are super! Must tell you a little war story about a good friend of
mine that came over to my house one day and player your 1963 album The
Ventures Surfing. Wow, what an album. Anyhow, my pal, Edgar Paul
Heinen hooked up his Gibson guitar and Fender amp with echo effects.
Played along with your album by ear your "The Lonely Sea" piece. And
I wish you could have heard this guy play along with you. He was so
wonderful that I decided right then and there I wanted to play the
guitar. My favorite then and now is "Walk, Don't Run 64." Back to
Edgar, when he played with you it was like you were all right here in
my house, damn it was great. Anyhow, I lost my pal Edgar in 1966 to
that stupid conflict known as Vietnam. He was a great person!
I played your "Walk, Don't Run" in a talent show at Fairchild AFB,
Washington just prior to my retirement from the Service. It was a
tough job cause, I dedicated the music to Edgar and you could hear a
pin drop, it got so quiet after I stated he died in Vietnam in 1966.
I was not after a prize, I just wanted to play it in honor of my pal
and play if possible as well as he did. It was one of my best runs and
I did receive a 2nd place trophy in Instrumental Solo. Maybe I should
give back the trophy, cause I don't think I was a Solo that night!
Anyhow you guys have no idea how many young people you have inspired
through the years. Edgar and I were just a small piece of it. Thanks
for being a part of my life and your wonderful sounds will always live
here. You see, I retired and I am living in the same house I grew up
Darwin Rondon, Puerto Rico: The Ventures changed my life. They are
the first rock n roll band I ever heard. I was 5 years old living in
Puerto Rico. Twist Party, Vol. 2 was the only rock record in my house.
I never knew how it got there but I played it every day. Three years
later, the Beatles entered in my life and I was hooked with music from
then on. Now I'm a serious rock music collector, a true rock n roll
junkie. I love all kinds of rock music, from surf to heavy metal,
alternative, classical, everything from the 50s to the 90s and
beyond. Rock n roll saved my live, it's true, and I want to thank The
Ventures for being my first true love.
Chuck Robbins, Pennsylvania: I am a Guitar Instructor and have been
teaching for 38 years, I have used The Ventures music and to date am
still using it, I have students in all age groups that want to learn
how to play like The Ventures. They were and still are a great group
and I have been influenced by them a great part of my teaching career,
and will continue to be. I think they deserve the opportunity to be
among the best in the world, in my belief they are truly the best in
James Andrassy, Ohio: I have been playing guitar since 1960. When I
first heard "Walk Don't Run," I knew right then and there, the guitar
was my instrument. I may not be a superstar, but I have played in
countless bands over the years and our set always contained a mix of
Ventures instrumentals like "Caravan," "Driving Guitars," "Slaughter on
10th Avenue," and others. Without question, these men have influenced
an entire generation of rock 'n roll superstars who are now themselves
inducted in the Hall of Fame. It is only right that those stars (The
Ventures) who inspired the present inductees should themselves be
inducted into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame.
Daniel Dale Kayser, Kentucky: Even though I am not a guitarist, but a
piano and organ player, and was influenced by the style of Earl Grant,
The Ventures greatly influenced my music listening tastes. Their
ability to adapt the popular hits of the sixties, which for the most
part were vocals, to an instrumental style helped me in doing the same
on the piano and organ (a Hammond B-3). To this day I still regularly
listen to my Ventures albums I purchased when I was only eleven or
twelve years old (I'm forty-four now) gaining inspiration from them.
I still remember holding a Ventures model Mosrite guitar at a music
store in Cincinnati at the tender age of twelve willing to give my eye
teeth to own one.
Jesse Micheal Tomlinson, South Dakota: I am only 18 years old and I
listen to Punk Rock-n-Roll. I don't care what kind of crap anybody
gives me for listening to The Ventures, I will always love them. They
are one of the reasons why I started playing the guitar, bass, and the
drums. So please let these Sultans of Surf into the Hall of Fame.
Peter Byrom, Canada: As a former bass player in two groups in
Liverpool, England -- "Jenny and the Tall Boys" and "The Karacters" --
playing the Liverpool scene from 60 to 63, and having performed on
the same shows with every Liverpool group, except Gerry and The
Pacemakers, I can't tell you enough how much instrumental tunes and
performers influenced the Mersey Beat. I truly believe that The
Ventures should be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Brandy Tucker, California: I am writing to cast a vote to induct the
Ventures into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I may not be a
"professional" or "famous" person, but I do play several musical
instruments, and enjoy many different styles of music. I know that
this acceptance of different styles, formats, and musicians was
strongly influenced by The Ventures. I recall as a very young girl, my
mother would play the albums we had, and my family's favorites were The
Ventures' albums (at least until Queen came along!). This band's
ability to play everything from TV theme songs to classical music
highlights their diversity, and it is obvious that many developmental
music styles have their roots in The Ventures classic surf sound.
Hard driving rock, the "surf sound", even punk and rockabilly styles
and musicians, pay homage to The Ventures in their music. It is time
that we pay homage to this "American Band" by inducting them into the
Hall of Fame.
Denny Allen, Kentucky: As a teenage musician growing up in the late
50's and early 60's in Louisville, Kentucky, I bought several of The
Ventures early albums and believe it or not, their arrangements of
songs like "Caravan," "The 2000 Pound Bee" and countless others
actually helped me to learn the Saxophone. I would play along with the
melodies and imitate the guitar-licks - converting them to the
Saxophone. Learning from their music allowed me to become a much in
demand Saxophonist and I ended up doing shows with Bo Diddley, Chris
Jensen, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Andy Kim, and I was part of the horn
section for "The Spiral Staircase" - plus numerous local bands in the
Louisville area. Somehow though, I never thought of The Ventures as a
Surf Music Band. Their stuff to me was just good old instrumental Rock
'n Roll that made you want to dance. That quiver-stick guitar sound
along with the strong crisp and clear back beat of the drums you just
knew it was The Ventures.
Randall Graham, Colorado: The Ventures were a very early and positive
influence in my life and in my appreciation of music in general. I
clearly remember swimming in the public pool in Twin Falls, Idaho when
I first heard "Walk Don't Run" play over the loudspeaker. The Ventures
were instantly inducted into my personal hall of fame and have been
there ever since. Another "Ventures milestone" for me was the trade I
made with my best friend when I gave up my "Visible V-8" model for a 45
RPM copy of "Walk Don't Run". The Ventures music helped me grow up
through the 60's without getting caught up in the drug craziness by
helping me keep my feet on the ground and remembering where I came
from. I think their music is timeless and will go on forever. Now, 38
years since I first heard that song I'm finally getting around to
taking bass guitar lessons and you can bet I'm going to be learning to
play my favorite Ventures music!
Jay Currier, North Carolina: At a music festival I heard a local surf
band that played that Venture music stuff. I was blown away. I soon
took an interest in 50's-60's non-vocal surf music. My dad told me
about The Ventures and Dick Dale. I also bought a surf CD - "Jenny
McCarthy's Surfing Safari" and I made sure it had a few Ventures songs
on it. Of course, I love the Beach Boys and I always thought they were
the only surf band. No way. The Ventures music had an important role
in rock n roll music. I kind of play the guitar and I can never play
like them they're so good. I wanted to find more info on them so I made
a trip to the library to find a web site. I was shocked to find out
they had some 200 albums and like 1000 songs. I visited the hall of
fame and I saw that many great artist were not in it and that they had
many worthless 70s-'80s, punk rock people that couldn't write a song
or play instruments. The Ventures symbolize a good image of classic
rock with the California surfing atmosphere. Any band I like are
definitely legends and The Ventures are at the top of the list. Jay
Currier, 13 years old.
Paul Kirby, Nevada: The Ventures [are] simply the very best
instrumental group in the world. I met them under extraordinary
circumstances. I was dying of a neurological disease in 1964 in a
hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. All I asked was that The Ventures visit
me before I had my brain operation. Well, they personally came up to
my hospital room at St. Joseph's Hospital and saw me the night before
I was to have brain surgery. I was quite surprised to see The Ventures
walk into my room with their manager, Stan Wagner, at that time. I
shall never forget how kind and thoughtful these legendary
instrumentalists were to me at such a critical time. It shows that
they cared about their fans, since I was one of the biggest Ventures
fans that I know of. I tried to play every song that they recorded
note for note. I still have all of their albums and every other day
put them on the turntable and practice with them. I only wish that
they would be inducted in to the Rock and Roll of Fame because I can
think of no better place for their legacy to live on. I can only tell
you that these gentlemen were, in my opinion, and still are the best
instrumental group in the world. Please don't ignore this fact. They
[are] wonderful to all Ventures fans and they were great guys to me.
THEY DESERVE THE BEST!
Hector Rincon, Mexico: I'm very surprised, it's a terrible mistake to
have The Ventures out of the Hall of Fame. I'm from Mexico, here the
band's music is very well accepted, and particularly for musicians and
guitar players, their influence is out of discussion. I think I'm
talking in my name and many others. In my free time, I play with an
amateur rock band. When I begin playing the electric guitar, my first
influence was The Ventures. I have a very big debt with them. I'm 25
years old, this is not a problem to enjoy their music, which is
universal. Many people of my generation know songs as "Walk Don't
Run," "Hawaii 5-0," "Wipe Out," "Caravan," "Telstar." The best
musicians must have a place in our memory. Justice for The Ventures!
Bill Palin, Massachusetts: This band should definitely be inducted in
the HoF! I'm only 19 and a fan, not because my dad likes them. In
fact, I was upset when he dragged me to see them at the Middle East in
Cambridge, MA. At this small club they rocked! I mean, I knew the
songs, but hearing them live changed all lukewarm feelings towards
them. I only wish I brought my tape recorder with me.
Reggie Springer, Michigan: I have been listening to you [The Ventures]
from the day your first record came out. I am 60 now, and I still find
myself looking for your tapes in stores, flea markets, or any place I
can find them. I love your music very much, and will till the day I
die. I have a daughter 15, and she loves you as well, she has listened
to you from the day she was born, she has her own tapes of you, and
I've got to tell you, that makes me fell good inside to know that she
loves the music you play, there is not too many instrumentals out these
days. As a matter of fact, her school band played some of your songs
at half time on the football field. That gave me goose bumps. Thanks
for all the wonderful music over the years, you deserve to be in the
Hall of Fame, my vote is for you 100%.
Jeremy Irons, Florida: I am 10 and I think The Ventures are the best
instrumental group there is. Every single song that I heard was
great!!! I learned how to skateboard with their music.
Michael Aaron Buyukoz, Australia: The Ventures is probably the best
thing I have ever known in this life of mortals. I have been listening
to them for 38 years, since the age of 9 years. Whenever and wherever
I hear a Ventures tune, my heart jumps up immediately. I get filled up
with life and optimism. With their music all the cruelties and miseries
of this world fade away. Twanging, sparkling, mellowing, crunching,
foot-tapping, smiling sharp sounds of Bob Bogle, Don Wilson, Nokie
Edwards, and Mel Taylor fill the air. I have lived, studied, and
worked in 6 countries, including U.S.A. In all those countries I have
played electric guitar for 26 years. All these years I have been
playing The All Mighty Ventures instrumentals: Walk Don't Run,
Pipeline, The House of the Rising Sun, Apache, Ghost Riders in the Sky,
Diamond Head, Rap City, Driving Guitars (Ventures Twist), Bulldog,
Yellow Jacket, and many more.
Richard Wright, Canada: Personally, I am astounded that The Ventures
are not honoured members of the Hall of Fame. They have virtually
penetrated the world with their music and almost single-handedly
brought Rock & Roll instrumentals to International prominence. As a
boy, in 1960, I first heard "Walk, Don't Run" in The Eskimo Caf‚ in a
small Northern Canadian mining town. As the jukebox played almost
everyone in the restaurant stopped talking, eating and laughing. They
stared at the Wurlitzer (?) and began tapping toes, drumming on tables
and even playing "spoons." It was a magical moment. As the last
strains of the song died out, there was an awkward pause and then a
spontaneous burst of applause...to a jukebox yet! I had never seen
that type of public spontaneous reaction to a jukebox song before or
since...particularly among restrained Canadians.
I began saving for my first guitar and for the next fifteen years
played in various R&R bands. Today, my 18 year-old son, who has
studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music and appreciates and plays a
wide variety of music, said he'd give anything to hear The Ventures
live. Please correct this grave oversight and induct The Ventures into
the Hall Of Fame! After all, they are a group about to celebrate 40
years of continuous popularity and have made an enormous contribution
to instrumental rock & roll. They blazed a trail for guitar
instrumentals and paved the way for the others.
Frank Canino, Illinois: The Ventures in my opinion, are the most talented
group of people to ever pick up the guitar. They handle a breathtaking
amount of musical styles with masterful skill. They are not just a surf
band as often labeled. Their styles range from rock, country, and blues to
classical, jazz, and hard rock. They are the DEFINITIVE band, mastering
every style and fad of the last 40 YEARS with ease while adding there own
unique twist on it. As a guitarist of 19, having been influenced by this
band since 8, I'm a young fan. I know of about 20 people in my school who
are fans -- just my school! They are still tremendously popular. I know
I'll probably never get to thank them personally, so getting them inducted
would be my satifaction. Thank you Bob, Don, Nokie, Howie, Mel, Johnny
(Durill), and especially Gerry, who inspires me to push the limits of my
Strat every day.
Michael Murphy, Oklahoma: Hearing "Walk, Don't Run" was a turning point in
my life. The result of this chance hearing was my buddy and I going home
and begging our parents for instruments -- drums in his case, guitar in
mine. I haven ow been playing for 37 years, and have passed my passion
for playing on to my three children. The Ventures more than deserve to be
in the Hall of Fame.
David Sibley, Indiana: How many bands can say so much without saying
Notice that these "letters from the heart" come from fans around the world
and that they're not all from people who grew up with The Ventures during the
1960s and are now in their late-40s or early-50s. Today, at the dawn of a
new millennium, The Ventures are still inspiring new generations of
youngsters to learn to play the guitar or drums and to become lovers of
guitar-based rock and roll. Who is to say that some of these youngsters
won't be among the rock and roll superstars and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
inductees of the future? I would venture to say that not even The Beatles,
The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Aerosmith, and other "mega-superstar" rock
bands could claim to be as important influences on the history of rock and
roll as The Ventures continue to be after 40 continuous years of making
beautiful instrumental rock music!
What the Music-Buying Public Says. A good measure of the popularity and
influence that The Ventures continue to have today is the fact that, since
1994, every one of their original U.S. LP albums from the 1960s and 1970s has
been reissued on CD by two companies: One Way Records of the United States
and See for Miles Records of the United Kingdom. In 1998, See for Miles
Records also began to reissue many of The Ventures' original Japanese albums,
which are now available worldwide for the very first time. These two record
companies would not have embarked on and then continued their reissue
programs if they were not commercially successful. Obviously, therefore, The
Ventures' music of four decades ago is still popular and still sought after
by music lovers around the world. Many past inductees into the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame wouldn't be able to make that claim!
But on top of that, The Ventures have continued over those four decades to produce
new and exciting rock and roll music as well. Many of their 1990s Japanese CDs are available
and selling in the United States as imports, and California-based GNP Crescendo
Records has, in the past couple of years, obtained the rights to reissue The Ventures' most recent
Japanese CDs -- Wild Again and Wild Again 2 -- in the United States.
And similar United States reissues of their contemporary Japanese albums are expected in the future.
In fact, as this is written, The Ventures' latest CDs -- V-Gold and Walk Don't Run 2000
-- are becoming available in the United States.
The year 2000 marks the 40th anniversary of the release of "Walk, Don't Run,"
the first instrumental single by The Ventures. "Walk, Don't Run" went on to
reach the No. 2 spot in the Billboard Top Hit Single Charts in 1960 and has
since been designated by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum as one of the
500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll. Over the past 40 years, The Ventures
have recorded well over 100 original albums worldwide (excluding hundreds of
reissues and compilations). They rank on the Billboard Top Hit Albums Charts
as No. 6 among 1960s recording artists and No. 26 among all-time recording
artists. They also rank on the Billboard Top Hit Singles Charts as No. 4
among all-time instrumental recording artists. They have been honored by
induction into the Hollywood Rock Walk and the Japanese Conservatory of
Music. They have been cited by many rock "superstars," including some who
are already in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as important early influences.
They are known and loved by fans around the world and have been credited with
inspiring more young people to learn to play guitar and form their own
"garage bands" than any other recording artists in history (rock and roll or
otherwise). What more do they have to do to deserve a place of honor in the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Please do the right thing:
Induct The Ventures in Y2K!
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 |