Petition to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Cover Letter to the Formal Petition
Submitted on June 15, 2000

The Ventures Hall of Fame Induction Committee
c/o P.O. Box 56
St. Thomas, VI 00804-0056

June 15, 2000

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation
Attention: Ms. Susan Evans
1290 Avenue of the Americas, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10104

Dear Ms. Evans and Foundation Members:

Unfortunately, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for the year 2000 are now also history and in the 40th anniversary year of their first Billboard hit -- "Walk Don't Run" -- The Ventures have once again been ignored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This is the fifth time that I am submitting a petition package on behalf of fans of The Ventures from around the world and, quite frankly, I'm at a lost for words regarding what else can be said about this band. They have met every conceivable criteria for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and still they continue to be overlooked by the Foundation.

The year 2000 marks the beginning of the fifth decade in which they have continued, without interruption, to record new albums, to perform live concert tours, and to inspire new generations of rock guitarists and drummers. They were, during the 1960s, and continue to be, the single most influential instrumental band in the history of rock and roll music, and that achievement has never been equaled or surpassed. Joel Whitburn's "Billboard Top Hit Albums" lists The Ventures as ranking No. 6 among all 1960s album recording artists -- after the likes of The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Ray Coniff, and Ray Charles. Mr. Whitburn also ranks The Ventures as No. 26 among all-time album recording artists. Further, Mr. Whitburn ranks The Ventures as No. 4 among all-time instrumental singles recording artists, after Duane Eddy, Bill Black's Combo, and Booker T & the MGs. Many top-name recording artists (as listed in our official petition) have cited The Ventures as important influences when they were starting out their musical careers, and The Ventures' "Walk Don't Run" is considered by many in the music industry to have been perhaps the first true example of "Surf Rock" -- at a time when that genre of rock and roll music hadn't even been formally established and recognized. The Ventures are also acknowledged by countless musical authorities and members of the 1960s generation as "the band that launched a thousand bands" in recognition of the fact that many thousands, if not tens or hundreds of thousands, of youngsters who first heard "Walk Don't Run" were inspired to learn to play the electric guitar and to start their own "garage bands." Why then, does the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame continue to ignore The Ventures year after year?

I have no more arguments, no more words, no more facts and figures to present for consideration. Therefore, I'm just going to let a small number of the fans who have written in as part of this petition campaign tell you, in their own words, why The Ventures have been so important in their lives and why they believe that The Ventures should be inducted.

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Victor O. Roduta, Canada: Together with their millions of fans in the Philippines, I grew up with their music and still love to listen to. Now a resident of Canada, I'm glad to have this opportunity to endorse the Ventures into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame (likewise on behalf of my fellow band members in the 60's and the many instrumental groups back then, notably RJ and the Riots, who happen to be the known as The Ventures of the Philippines.

John Daughtry, Arizona: My interest and subsequent learning to play the guitar was the result of buying and listening to every album I could afford to buy each time The Ventures released a new album. My love of all guitar and instrumental music was the result of listening to the ubiquitous, beautiful sounds of The Ventures. I still own a Fender Stratocaster because of The Ventures. My grandchildren are learning to play the guitar because of their love of The Ventures' music.

Ben Leitch, Illinois: I am a 23 year old musician and a big fan of the Ventures. For about ten years they have been a source of guitar inspiration for me and many others. Even though the Ventures gained fame through covering other artists, I believe that their renditions of many great songs are in a class of their own.

Philip Payne, Oklahoma: I've been a rock guitarist for 27 years, and the Ventures had more to do with getting me interested than anyone else. I've not played a gig yet that did not include Ventures tunes, and those tunes were recognized and loved by a vast audience.

Stan Icenogle, Wyoming: I am a drummer and the late Mel Taylor was a big influence on my style. Whenever anybody I run into says how much they like "Wipe Out" by "The Surfaris", all I have to is play "The Ventures" version, particularly on the 'live' album and all of the sudden, "The Surfaris" recording isn't so hot. What a loss upon Mel's passing.

Peter l. Nicotera, Pennsylvania: I have been a full time professional guitarist for 30 years. I can vividly recall the evening in 1962 when I first heard THE VENTURES. Playing guitar became my life's work.

Clyde Stanley Smith, Louisiana: The Ventures are LONG OVERDUE their rightful place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I learned the guitar by listening to these guys back in the 60's. LONG LIVE THE VENTURES!!

Jeremy Winters, Georgia: I was introduced to their music about a year ago and I Love listening to them play their guitars. Because of their playing, it has made me strive to be better at my guitar playing. I have learned to play "Walk Don't Run", "Walk Don't Run '64", and I am personally working on learning "Underground Fire". Their music, will live forever.

Jerry Dziowgo, Nebraska: I began playing guitar in 1967 in the 7th grade. My guitar teacher would teach me Ventures music to keep my interest in playing. I had every Venture album that was available. They inspired my style of playing and their arrangements were played in the band that I played in High school. I don't know, but if The Ventures never were, I don't know if I would be the guitar player I am today.

Von Albert Ehman, West Virginia: At the youthfull age of 16 during the 60's "The Ventures" were my first "Love and Inspiration" on the electric guitar. Their first hit record "Walk Don't Run 64", was the first song and also the first guitar solo that I learned. Because of "The Ventures" I learned to play organized music, that is music with a group of individuals in a band format. I still listen to "The Ventures" to this day and I am still inspired by their work. As a professional musician and artist I consider the Ventures 1965 "On Stage" live album to be one of the "Top 10" great "Live" guitar performances of all time. I personally know of no one, young or old, that hasn't in some way been touched by their music. They are appropriately "the band who launched a thousand bands.

Dan Stuart, Minnesota: It is my personal opinion, as a musician, that the Ventures created a wholly unique approach to insturmental rock and roll, much in the same way the Beatles changed vocally-based rock music.

Keith Hannaleck, Massachusetts: They have influenced a wide range of musicians worlwide and deserve every consideration to be included in the legacy of music at the Hall. Without The Ventures music would not be what it is today. They changed history and inspired many talented groups to make wonderful music as well.

Lore W. Wiseman, California: I was in Jr High School in 1960. Top songs were Handy Man (Jimmy Jones), Runaway (Del Shannon), AND Walk Don't Run (Ventures). I learned guitar playing to their records. I don't know of any other instrumental songs other than Honky Tonk (Bill Doggett) and Green Onions (Booker T. & The MGs) that not only got millions of kids playing guitar, but through their recordings, of original and cover tunes, helped teach us all the basics about guitar, rock and roll, and the plain fun of listening.

Craig Wiper, California: When I was 10 years old in Seattle in 1963, I fell in love with the guitar I was hearing on the radio, specifically The Venture's music. My parents bought a guitar for me and gave me lessons. After a few lessons, I realized that I wanted to play differently than what I was being taught. I started buying Venture's records (which I still have to this day) and learned to play the guitar by emulating them. As an early teen, I had a reputation in my small town for being a pretty good guitar player. I learned all of my basic skills through The Ventures. And many of my early band mates also had Venture's influenced styles. I still am a very active guitarist today. I'm working on my 2nd CD with my original band, and attribute the impetous and energy I have with the guitar to the creative genious of The Ventures. If it weren't for them, I may not have ever picked up the instrument. For me, they are the ultimate 'roots' guitar band. Without them, I might not have had a 'rock and roll' life experience (for which I am very, very grateful)!!

Jeremy D. Wielopolski, Michigan: I am but a mere 21 year old from Michigan who plays guitar, trying to create a band. I was raised by my Mother on "Oldies," and my Father on "Classic Rock." One of the greatest influences and "pulls," if you will, to playing the guitar was The Ventures. "Walk, Don't Run" has deeply rooted itself into my guitar mind, always popping up in some form while I'm playing around with my axe. While at work or walking around my hometown, I find myself humming songs by The Ventures more than any other group. I dress like Kurt Cobain, talk like Limp Bizkit, but think & live like The Ventures songs feel, and "feeling" is the biggest part of music.

Suzanne R. Bierly, Pennsylvania: Their ever and ongoing contribution to the entire rock and roll movement in style and technique alone should be more than enough reason to be there. Older musicians like myself cherish the Ventures gifts to the music world, and I represent that large group of baby-boomers that make or break the trends in the industry.

Kenneth Paul Cubala, Illinois: I am a college-educated aspiring musician/ composer/songwriter. I did not have the fortune of being around when "The Ventures" first began their vast influential contribution to Rock and Roll music. However, when I was younger, my father, in his great interest and taste in music, introduced me to the beauty and timeless sound of The Ventures. I distinctly remember him putting on songs from his collection of "Venture" albums one evening and saying "This is Rock and Roll. If you can learn how to play like this then, you'll be great." Through listening to his albums, he also pointed out to me the sounds of the instruments in there various parts(Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Bass Guitar, and Drums). That evening meant a lot to me, first, in that it was quality father/son time and second, it fueled my already existing drive and childhood dream to be a great musician. To this day, "The Ventures" are still one of the most influential bands for me in my songwriting, sound, and presentation. Their songs, to me, represent fun, heartfelt, and enduring musicianship.

Tony Marrello, New York: I grew up with the Ventures, learned how to play music because of them. When I see a Fender, the VENTURES come to my mind, body and soul.

Michael L. Waters, North Carolina: In addition to the well-known entertainers who trace musical influence back to The Ventures, I think nearly every guy trying to learn lead guitar riffs in the mid-60's probably wore out some Ventures albums in the process. I was one of those guys, starting at the age of ten in 1963, and playing in a few "garage bands" until graduating high school and heading for an engineering degree. Today, I play just for my personal pleasure, but The Ventures instrumental work remains a major influence on my playing style.

James Hackett, California: As a guitarist who played professionally primarily during my college years (1961-1966), I can say, without equivocation, that the Ventures were the biggest influence on the guitar skills I developed during that period. As someone who had just started to learn to play the guitar in high school, my real "education" came about through hours and hours of listening to Venture records, playing along on my guitar until I could come close to duplicating the various lead, rhythm, and even bass, note and chord patterns. I would never have learned to play the guitar so well, so quickly, without studying at the "Ventures University". And I'm certain that thousands of other guitarists around the country, and probably the world, have similar stories to tell.

Mark Rothman, Florida: I started playing in 3rd grade and still work through their stuff today. For longevity and volume of work, (and it isn't just "more") they deserve this. Maybe people don't take them seriously, because they see them in a Muzak kind of vein and want to ignore this like Disco. But, they are a distint icon of their time.

Robert F. Marnell, North Carolina: The Ventures heavily influenced my interest and abilities, and I can honestly say that their music helped me learn how to play the guitar. I have played much of their music in many of the bands that I've been in over the years, and I have truly seen the results of appreciation for that music on the faces of those who listen. I think most everyone will admit that they have heard and liked Ventures' music at some point since there has been so much of it that has been successfully propagated over the timeline of rock and roll musical history.

Lorne Willard, Canada: I learned to play guitar from their records and went on to play their material in various rock bands. Their talents go beyond performing and technical expertise. They have written many fine tunes as well.

Von C. Pfeiffer, Maryland: The Ventures defined a major change in the direction of rock music by creating a new and exciting style for guitar and percussion. Not since Chuck Berry had anyone implemented a greater influence on guitar based music. The years pass and rock & roll has seen many changes and refinements, but I still hear solos being played which are based on patterns the Ventures made popular over 30 years ago.

Paul Eitelbach, Washington: Myself and many people I know have respected the band for there many years of great music. Their "Play Guitar with the Ventures" series was a unique way of helping teach students the art of rock and roll guitar playing. The Ventures are American rock!

Michael Kitchen, Michigan: I have been quite strongly influenced personally toward a deeper appreciation of music because of the Ventures. From an early age I have learned to appreciate instrumental music and the wide musical horizons it has shown me. The Ventures' effect on the lives of many has been most positive, and, outside of Christian music, has been one of the most beneficial of music forms to grace young people's lives.

Thomas J. Rowlands, Washington: I was a member of several rock bands in the 60s in the state of Wisconsin and the Ventures had a big influence on our groups. I played drums, guitar, and bass and acquired many of my skills from listening and copying the Ventures' style.

Donald MacMurray, New York: I am 53 years old and started playing guitar back in the early 1960's because of The Ventures. The fact that they are not in the Hall of Fame is a travesty. So their not mainstream anymore. Neither are the Eagles or Santana (although he is making a comeback as I write this), but they are both in the HoF. The Ventures' body of work is enormous compared to most of the inductees. Just because a band is instrumental doesn't mean they weren't instrumental. (Pardon the pun.)

Sheila Rawlins, Georgia: I was not in my teens when their songs were so popular, but my older brother, Samuel, played in a local band called the "Mal-T's". My brother played bass and his favorite song was "Walk, Don't Run". My favorites were "Pipeline" and "Telstar". In the song, "Telstar", I wish you could have seen the 4'10" girl that played the drums for my brother's band. She could "tear" those drums "up"!

Michael Boulden, New Jersey: The Ventures were the one of the reasons that I have been playing the electric guitar since 1964. When I saw the Mosrite guitars and the sounds of their albums I was hooked. Many years of playing music and enjoying myself (I don't have any other hobbies) is completely and directly related to the Ventures.

Douglas G. Martin, New York: Through their "Play Guitar with the Ventures" series of albums in the 1960's I learned to play the guitar and learned to love rnr - also, as the owner of a large nightclub in the Syracuse, NY area I brought the band in twice and they wowed the crowds both times - they introduced rnr to more people than you could imagine - they have to be one of the most influential bands of all times.

Brian Olson, Wisconsin: I am a musician in Milwaukee. I have had my own bands and now I perform solo. The Ventures were a major influence when I started and still are today. I play many of their instrumentals and always get many requests to play their songs.

Bill Mosler, New York: This group gave me my first introduction into rock & role guitar. I still play today at a semi-professional level, and owe much to this group for this wonderful lifelong gift.

Ronnie D. Rowe, Texas: I have been in the music business for most of my 49 year life and have played guitar in countless bands. The influence that The Ventures had on my musical career, as well as thousands of others, is something that so many of us "old timers" can attest to. It was a very common occurrence that, when several guitar players from different disciplines got together, many of us did not know the other guys music or songs but virtually all of us could "jam" to The Venture tunes. My point: The Ventures and their music was truly the "glue" and common "language" that tied so many guitarist, both past and present, together. Few bands can lay claim to this level of influence to such a large and diverse field of musicians.

Oscar G. Boni, New York: They single handedly brought the electric guitar and bass to the forefront of music thus influencing directly and indirectly the sound of rock since the 60's. Also the album "In Space" released in 1964 was years ahead of the Beatles, Who, Stones, Yardbirds etc. It was the precursor to psychedelic music.

William Veniero, New Jersey: I first heard of the Ventures in 1964 when I was in my own band "Joe and Hurricanes" I bought my first Venture album, "Telstar". It blew us away and that's all we did was TRY to copy the Ventures {that's a laugh} I'm 50 years old now and I still play Walk Don't Run, Pipeline, etc.

Tim Gilbert, New York: The Ventures were the reason I picked up a guitar for the first time. They inspired and challenged me and I will be forever grateful and forever a fan.

John Calder, Minnesota: My first band played The Ventures tunes - I wouldn't be in the music business today if not for them. I'm a recording engineer (clients include Neil Diamond, The Band, Joe Cocker, and many others) and I co-own a new record label (Loud Neighbors Records). The Ventures heavily influenced music history - isn't that what the Hall of Fame celebrates?

Daryl G. Bandeka, Utah: I am one among thousands who learned to play the guitar listening and listening to The Ventures. The Ventures are an essential part of Rock and Roll history and need to be recognized for the great contribution to musical history!

Larry Wayne Consley, Kentucky: As a young teenager learning to play the guitar, I was influenced more by the Ventures than any other group. I remember spending hours at a time listening and learning from their many records.

Udai Saklani, India: Their influence even in Asian countries has been amazing. I remeber them since I was 4 or 5.

Donald MacMurray, New York: This is a no-brainer. The Ventures were my first "favorite band". I played in a group called The Tremolos out of Bossier City, La., in the mid 1960's. We played a lot of their songs in every set because we loved their music. No one could play guitar as well as Nokie and no one could pound those skins like Mel. We used to do Caravan note for note the way they did. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

Walter Anthony Swierczynski, Pennsylvania: Elvis got me interested in guitar. The Ventures taught me guitar.

Joe Solomon, Minnesota: The Ventures are why I began learning guitar all those years ago.

Steven McRae, South Carolina: I learned to play drums listening to Mel Taylor. I spent 1000's of hours with a headset on listening to the Ventures! Hard to believe, but I'm still playing and using "Venture's Licks". What a shame they weren't among the first to be inducted!

Tom Baker, Arizona: I would have never have picked up a guitar if it had not been for the Ventures and Nokie Edwards.

Penny Henriksen, Michigan: I was raised on the Ventures- my dad listened to them since before I was born. They are the best, most all American instrumental band we have here in the states and they have endured and contributed to at least 3 generations (which I have been in) of musicians in rock and roll. They not only document the history of the 60's, but they have also strongly contributed to TV history, and Rock n Roll History.

Vincent M. Smith, New York: Having had my first band at 14 years old, playing at resorts in the Catskill Mountains of New York State in the early 60s, "Rock & Roll" was an instrumental thing. Singing was restricted to Pop artists like Sinatra. The typical rock & roll band worshiped THE VENTURES, since The Ventures' instrumental interpretation of the current hits provided guidance and insight. Rock and Roll was never, nor is it now limited to lyrics. ROCK & ROLL is a feeling that can only be culminated by the thunderous coming together of guitars, bass and drums. Just listen to their instrumental "lyrics".

Dave Hickman, Canada: As the frontman in a 50's-70's classic rock band, Chevy and the Hubcaps, I am encouraged by this movement to have The Ventures inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They have been pioneers in rock music in their own right and Walk Don't Run is an anthem.

Sonny Worzalla, Wisconsin: Without the VENTURES alot of guitar players and drummers would never have picked up an instrument and never know what music does for the soul. If the newer generation had these guys for roll models they would learn to get high on music not drugs. I belive that the USA should give a medal to them for keeping us off the streets by making music when we were young instead of causing the problems that you see on the 6 o'clock news!

James Wagner, Arizona: I started playing guitar shortly after hearing their first tune Walk Don't Run and have been playing ever since. My son plays guitar and he likes the Ventures as well.

Ron Werkheiser, Pennsylvania: I have been playing since 1957 and when hearing Walk,Don't Run for the first time, I said "That's It!!" So like all the rest, I bought every album and played them over and over, lick for lick, chord for chord. Man it was great!

Hal Kalin, Pennsylvania: Rock & Roll is many different things to many people. It seems to me however that the Ventures embraced or exemplified Rock & Roll in it's purest form when it was only in it's infancy and continue to do so yet today. They were a big influence on my decision to play drums in the early sixties since they were consistently playing what I consider "Rock & Roll" drums at a time when most recordings thought drums were a snare drum and a high hat cymbal! What is more Rock & Roll than electric guiltars and a full drum set played loud?

Charles B. Van Hook, Idaho: As a long time guitar player (1961) to present, I am proud to say that the Ventures taught me how to play. Sitting in front of my "record player", I played their records over and over trying to get the "Ventures sound". I could only dream of someday playing like they did.

Nicholas C Arme, Texas: The Ventures are probably the most significant bank in history for future bands who, in the 60s and 70s learned to play their music and later became better musicians became of their music. I know that our group did, and we became pretty good at playing music because of The Ventures.

Steven J. Griebel, California: My personal inspiration to play the guitar was a direct result of the Ventures' "Walk Don't Run" from 1960. After getting my first guitar for Christmas I soon learned to play and eventually formed a band in the early 1960's. Much of the material that we played was music made popular or taken from Venture albums. To say that they were an important contributor to the roots of rock and roll is an understatement!

Mike Lambrecht, California: Having grown up in the 50's and 60's in Southern California I had many musical groups presented me in the local media (mainly AM radio stations). The VENTURES were and still are one of my favorite Bands. One of the first songs I learned to play on Guitar was WALK DON'T RUN. I still listen to and play to the VENTURES CD's and Tapes.

Rick Prouse, Kansas: My argument for including the Ventures in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is the number of musicians famous and unknown that took up the guitar as a result of their music. For all the instrumental bands that were recording in the sixties, they epitomize that genre of music more than any other. Their music endures as a staple of Kansas City's oldies station and most every oldies station I have ever been exposed to as I travel. Lastly, their use of the guitar tailpiece as a signature to their playing was revolutionary.

John Holifield, state not given: I play guitar. A couple of years ago, I was hoping there was a band out there that played mostly instrumentals. You know - let the instruments do the talking. When I found out about the Ventures, it changed me forever. I can't get enough of them. I think they are probaly one of the most underrated bands ever. If you ask anyone who plays guitar, one of their biggest influences will surely be the Ventures.

Barbara L. Haught, state not given: I think that the Ventures was one of the best bands that I ever heard play. The first time that I ever heard of this group was back in the 60's when my brother had gotton songs that they had recorded while he was in the Navy. I played their songs for hours on end. Today I still love to lisen to their songs, it makes me feel young, and takes me back in time when I was at the age of 18 years.

Joseph Brunelle, New York: Through my collegiate years in the 1960's, the Ventures were a tremendous source of relaxation while earning my degrees, as well as a personal link between myself and my roommates and friends. It is a link that still exists today. When we meet we always will mention the Ventures in our discussion of our college years. I believe it is a rare gift that has been bestowed upon us by the Ventures. The gift is that a small link between people still exists after 40 years, and the link is through the music of the Ventures. I know that in my life the Ventures were more than just a band, they still contribute enjoyment to me today.

Allen Gibson, South Carolina: Like many who were teens in the early sixties, in a pre-Beatle musical world, I heard my first Venture's album. The sound was fresh and clean. For anyone who has a passion for guitar, the Venture's music was inspirational. I learned to play guitar while listening to their music.

Peter Banach, state not given: I'm a guitar player for over 37 years. The Ventures music is a natural feeling for any aspiring guitar player. Music is a gift from god. The ability to learn is enhanced by good music to copy. I feel that I jammed with the Ventures many times in my life in my living room. The good feeling is enjoyed within, each and every time. Time goes on and my life has changed. All my band friends have married and most don't play. My Mosrite is 30 years old and nearly worn out. But I enjoy playing great music, with the Ventures, and I think they would enjoy playing with me. Without them, I would have quit long ago.

Erik N Thorsen, Washington: The Ventures introduced me to the guitar when I was a kid. The first time I heard them (Walk, Don't Run) I was hooked.

C. Ricardo Linares, California: I am a local full time musician here in Orange County (California) but I am originally from Peru. I grew up listening to Venture's records, which inspired me to learn the guitar. Even now I collect their albums, and play some of their hits. They are and always will be a meaningful and beautiful part of my life.

Edward Allen Ore, California: I was introduced to the music of The Ventures when I was 9 years old. They were and still are an inspiration. Thier music inspired me along with probably every other guitar player in the world to play.

James E. Haskell, Maine: 40 years ago I heard the Ventures play, which led me to start playing the guitar - still playing after all these years and enjoying it more and more

Fred Sawyer, Washington: The Ventures' music rings of sun, sand and surf - the promise of summer fun. I've listened to them since "Walk - Don't Run" hit the airwaves the summer of 1960 - almost 40 years - and I still get a thrill everytime I play it. The talent of the current group carries forward the artistry of the original - the new music is as great as ever.

Carlos Andre Laner, Brazil: The Ventures are very loved here in Brazil. My father introduced me to this incredible sound.

Allen Thacker, West Virginia: The Ventures have always been a major musical force in my life. I actually learned to play the guitar with the Ventures albums. I have also played their first four albums until they will not play anymore.

Gordon Mack Ray, Tennessee: I grew up with the Ventures. From the beginning I envied those guys and dreamed of being able to play a guitar like that. They are a part of rock and roll history and deserve to be in the hall of fame. When I think of great players and their music, I always remember The Ventures. I have learned to play some of their tunes.

Vachik Yeganian, California: In late 60's I started getting drums lessons and the next year I took the second position in drumer contest in Tehran, Iran. I was inspired with Ventures music and in 1969, while in high school, I formed an instrumental band called 'The King Bees'. We started playing all Ventures music, and became the first ever instrumental band in a high school in Iran. During those years, we played 'The House of Rising Sun, 'Night Stick, Walk Don't Run, etc. We never got the opportunity to see and meet the legendary 'Ventures', but were inspired with their power. They provided strong influence every where in the world.

Jan Haire, South Carolina: I have been a life long fan of the Ventures (I was born in '67 and my Dad was the one that turned me on to them). To this day, my dad and I still collect the original releases on phonograph. I am a graphic artist and a small time film maker, and the Ventures have been a BIG inspiration to me, as well as a lot of other artists and musicians. When I made my cartoons, "Elsie Mae" and "Space Fairies," I used the Ventures' music exclusively in the films. (Of course, these film were not released, as I was only sixteen when I made these cartoons at the art school I was going to in Greenville, SC). Their music is great for setting whatever mood you want get across in a film I'm surprised you don't hear a lot more of them in movies! My dad was in a rock band in Knoxville,TN, back in the '60's and he said their main influence was the Ventures. In the eighties, I was in a band who was also greatly influenced by the Ventures.

Greg Nancarrow, Texas: The Ventures are the most inspirational group for rock guitar players of the early rock'n'roll era of all time. Between what I saw in Elvis and what I heard of the Ventures - I knew I was going to be a rock'n'roller or die trying.

Alan R. Lunt, Hawaii: The Ventures were responsible for thousands of youngsters taking up the guitar, and they contributed to the formation and sound of many budding garage bands of the sixties. Many guitar artists of the 60's, 70's and 80's were inspired to learn guitar as a result of hearing the Ventures on the radio and records. Accompanied by the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean, they were leaders of the evolution of "Surf Music" into the American music vocabulary. Finally, they were consumate musicians, mastering their instruments as well as Segovia, Montoya, and Chet Atkins!

Leonard Heil, Pennsylvania: In the early 1960's I was a lead guitar player in a band called "The Shadows" we were from Allentown, PA. We were the hottest local band of that time and "The Ventures" were an inspiration to "The Shadows" and many other local bands.

Timothy G. Casey, Texas: I began playing the guitar in 1969, inspired by The Ventures, and have been playing ever since. I am sure there are thousands of other guitarists who were greatly influenced by this group.

Dennis Archer, Washington: I began playing guitar in 1960 and played profesionally on the road from 1969 to 1977, and know for a fact that not only myself but a lot of other guitar players and bands learned their basic rythyms etc. by learning to play VENTURES songs.

Janet, Oregon: I was a bass player here in portland for years and remember all the hard work to learn to play Walk Don't Run and other of their great instrumentals.

James A. Millard Jr., Oregon: I am a drummer and the Ventures were a great influence for me to learn to play Wipe Out, Walk Don't Run, Pipeline etc. I am a perfectionist and I had to have it sound just like the Ventures recordings. We were always getting requests to play their music.

Thomas J Robson, Texas: When I first heard Duane Eddy, I had to play guitar. My parents bought me my first one. After a couple of months I could play everything he and Link Wray played. Then I heard The Ventures! That's when I was TAUGHT how to play. They've made so many people happy over the years with their dance music, theme tunes, and great originals. I even took their music to Viet Nam with me when I went.

Steven John Riihikoski, Oregon: When one thinks of the unique sound of the Beatles or Roy Orbison, James Brown or the Beach Boys, there is no mistaking their identities instantly. This distinction is shared by the Ventures, who from "note one" established themselves as a classic "voice" in pop/rock music. And they did it without the "voice"! Their vital guitar-driven arrangements and versatility have never faltered, from their earliest interminglings of country and jazz to their later renditions of classical and cool latin tunes and through it all, never did they lose touch with their sound. They have toured tirelessly and recorded prolifically for FORTY years, with some personnel changes, and yet kept the heart of their identity intact. Last year in concert, I heard the same four Ventures perform that I had originally heard in 1965, and their vitality of sound still moved the audience the way it always has. The longevity of the Rolling Stones has long been recognized....and yet the Ventures fashioned their musical persona several years earlier and are still going strong. The time has come for the proper acknowledgment of the Ventures in the Hall of Fame.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This gets to be a bit repetitive after a while doesn't it? Well, that was only a very, very small sampling of the thousands of letters I've received from fans of The Ventures who have wanted to add their names to this campaign to have this landmark rock and roll band inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I've quoted many others fan letters in prior petition packages and I've also quoted many big-name rock superstars -- like George Harrison and Joe Walsh, among others -- who have cited The Ventures as major musical influences. What other criteria is needed for their induction? Even if the members of the Hall of Fame Foundation don't think highly of instrumental music in general and The Ventures in particular, the tremendous influence that The Ventures have had on the history of rock and roll music can not and should not be ignored.

Please vote "YES" for induction of The Ventures. Why? Because it's the right thing to do and now is the right time to do it!


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