Wednesday, February 27, 2008

John Fogerty to induct Ventures into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Grammy winning rocker, John Fogerty, will induct the legendary Ventures into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 10th.

“He came to our dressing room and told us how inspired he was by us,” says Ventures co-founder Don Wilson of his first meeting with Fogerty a few years back. “I’ve always liked Creedence Clearwater Revival and liked what he did in his solo career, as well.”

The Ventures formed in the Seattle-Tacoma area of Washington 49 years ago, which first hit big with the release of the single, “Walk Don’t Run,” will enter those hallowed halls on March 10 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, where they will be joined by Leonard Cohen, The Dave Clark Five, Madonna and John Mellencamp at the 23rd Annual Induction Dinner.

Joining fellow Seattle native Jimi Hendrix as the Pacific Northwest’s only Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, The Ventures’ honor may be long overdue, but it comes just in time for the band to mark its 50th anniversary next year.

After releasing the single, “Walk Don’t Run,” on their own label, Blue Horizon, started by Don’s own mother, Wilson, along with co-founding bassist Bob Bogle, guitarist Nokie Edwards and drummer Howie Johnson (and very soon after, Mel Taylor), saw the song hit #2 on the pop chart in the summer of 1960, prevented from going #1 by a combination of Chubby Checker’s “The Twist,” Elvis Presley’s “Now or Never,” Brian Hyland’s “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” and Roy Orbison’s “Only the Lonely.”

That was just the beginning of a run that would land the band a string of Gold albums and singles, 200 plus albums released in over 100 countries and almost 100 million albums sold, including a mind-boggling 50 million in Japan alone, where they remain superstars to this day.

Credited with creating the foundation for the surf-rock genre, the group’s string of hit singles included “Perfidia,” “Walk Don’t Run 64” and “Hawaii 5-0,” as well as the only instructional album, Play Guitar with the Ventures, to ever hit the Billboard chart. Along with the hit singles, The Ventures had monster LP-hits with “Pipeline,” “Wipeout” and the “Lonely Bull.”

The group, which now includes Don Wilson, lead guitarists Nokie Edwards, Gerry McGee Bob Spaulding and drummer Leon Taylor, son of the original Venture Mel Taylor, who died in 1996, continues to tour, having just returned from a trip to Japan.

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