Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

May 11, 2011 at 3:41pm

Road Trip: The Ventures in Portland next two days

The Ventures

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Though born and raised in Tacoma, Don Wilson was living in Seattle when The Ventures were formed in the late '50s.  He had just returned form an Army stint in Germany, where he played the trombone in the regimental band. Once in Seattle, Wilson landed a job as a used car salesman, but he was highly unsuited to the task and kept his eye out for an escape. One day Bob Bogle, a Portland native who was working on a construction site, happened by looking for a car.

The rest is history.

In 1958, Bogle and Wilson worked as a guitar duo.  Eventually they moved back to Tacoma and added another lead guitarist, Puyallup-native Nokie Edwards (who was later replaced by Gerry McGee) and began rehearsing at Wilson's sister's house. They didn't have a drummer or a bass player. So, the guitarists swapped bass duties and a 16-year-old neighbor, George Babbitt, sat in on drums. What emerged was one of the better-known and more enduring bands from the early '60s surf music trend - The Ventures. Although the lineup has changed over the years, The Ventures went on to become one of the best-selling instrumental bands ever, today frequently cited as a major influence on many rock bands that followed.

With more 100 million records sold, a God-like status in Japan, and an induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 under their belt, The Ventures are still going strong.

The Ventures will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 12 at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland. Tickets are $25 advance and $30 at the door. Tickets are still available.

The band will drop by Portland's Millennium Records tonight at 7:30 p.m. for a meet and greet, which will be covered by Portland NBC KGW.

LINK: Take the train to Portland

Filed under: Concert Alert, Music, Tacoma,
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