BOB BOGLE & DON WILSON
EARLY GUITAR TEACHERS

Howie Johnson, Don Wilson, Nokie Edwards, Bob Bogle

Although the reunion on Long Island of my first band The Islanders, who were together from 1961 - 1962, is still almost 5 months away, I woke up on Tuesday morning June 16, 2009 with the song Walk Don't Run playing in my head. It was one of the staples of The Islanders repertoire and we will certainly be playing it again next October. I didn't think too much more about it as the day wore on until about mid afternoon, when I had this overwhelming urge to pick up my newest-oldest guitar and play that song. So I stopped what I was doing ( I was buried in pre colonial days research of The Mastics & Richard Floyd ) got out my guitar, pulled up Walk Don't Run on my I Tunes and proceeded to play along with the Ventures three times .... Then stopped and went back to what I was doing thinking, no more about it....until about two hours later when mid way through Brian Williams' NBC Newscast, I saw Bob Bogle's photo with the tell all two dates 1934- 2009 suddenly appear behind Brian's shoulder. Mr. Williams didn't have to say a word. Bob who was the Ventures co founder and original lead guitarist had passed away from non -Hodgkin's lymphoma, the same disease that took my friend and music teacher John Hartford in 2001

Although I am no stranger to this kind of para normal stuff (call it what you will) I am still amazed at when it happens to me as it has repeatedly over the last 15 - 20 years. Much of it seems to be related to my lifelong association with music .

It gives me pause to think about songwriter Jimmy Webb's theory that everything ever broadcast is still floating around out there some place and some of us will pick up on it ??? I dunno what the mechanics or physics behind it are, but only know way too much of it has happened to me over the past decades to ignore.

Bob Bogle and Don Wilson, were certainly some of my earliest guitar teachers. I would eagerly anticipate their latest albums while playing along with the others in my collection working on the mysteries of the fretboard and how to coax cool sounds out of the guitar. Along with my friend, bandmate and next door neighbor, guitarist Doug Percoco, we would eagrly work on getting their arrangements down as close as we could, at first entertaining the neighborhood when we threw open the roll up doors of our respective garages before moving onto the world of playing music for $$$.

I probably had the first half dozen Venture albums or so, "Walk Don't Run", "The Ventures", "The Colorful Ventures", "Another Smash Hit " with the last one I recall buying at Patchogue Music Center being "The Ventures In Space" around 1963-64, in which I was more interested in the car on the cover than the music they played on it. An occassional Ventures album at $3.98 though was certainly more affordable than a weekly guitar lesson at $3.00 was for me in the early 60's and I am still very greatful for them.

GIVE A LISTEN TO THEM PLAYING "UPS & DOWNS"

AN EARLY MUSIC LESSON IN MODULATION & A LATER LESSON IN LIFE

VENTURES HISTORY

 

Update 2010 : I got to meet Nokie Edwards recently at the Chet Atkins yearly gathering here and

I was as excited about it as I used to be when I unwrapped the latest Ventures LP. Nokie is a Living Legend

YOU CAN LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERDAY JUNE 15 2015

According to The Ventures bio, Bob Bogle & Nokie Edwards, switched places on Lead Guitar & Bass as early as 1961. I thought it was much later ( like mid 60's) Which means Nokie is only holding the bass for the second album pic. I don't know if it was a label decision or that of Don & Bob's who were the founders and I believe owners of the name, to continue to show Bob with the guitar. This info is substantiated by guitarist Thom Bresh, a very close friend of Nokie's , The Colorful Ventures album (their 4th ) came out in 1962 and Bob still has a grip on the Jazzmaster. I guess they did not want to rock the boat too much for us guitar kids that were wearing out their LPs learning those tunes ? Another interesting tid bit is Howie Johnson was not their original drummer! Skip Moore was and he is the drummer you hear on Walk Don't Run. Skip quit to go to work in a gas station. When Walk Don't Run became a huge hit Skip tried to get some more dough than the 25.00 bucks he earned for his recording efforts. He went to court to try and get some royalties and was met with the old saying Morris Levy used to use at Roulette Records ... "ROYALTIES ! YOU WANT ROYALTIES, GO TO ENGLAND.

 

HERE THEY ARE IN NY CITY AUGUST OF 1960 ON DICK CLARK'S SAT NIGHT SHOW

 

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