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!

Petition Campaign

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 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 they are.

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:

Recognize 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 "stars."

  • They have achieved enormous commercial and critical success.

  • They have achieved a universal appeal that has brought American rock and roll music to the world.

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 end there.

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 responded that:

I don't 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 Harrison responded:

Naw, 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 all.

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 states that:

The 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 audiences.

In an entry on "surf rock," the Encyclopedia goes on to say that:

Instrumental 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:

The 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.

"Walk, 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'."

The 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:

"Surf 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 part that:

The 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 with music.

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 in.

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 the world.

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 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 a word?

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.
Committee Co-Chairman

P.O. Box 56
St. Thomas, VI 00804-0056



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Last Updated: January 1, 2003