The Ventures are an American instrumental rock band formed in 1958 in Tacoma, Washington. Founded by Don Wilson and Bob Bogle, the group in its various incarnations has had an enduring impact on the development of music worldwide. With over 100 million records sold, the group is the best-selling instrumental band of all time. In 2008, the Ventures were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Their instrumental virtuosity, experimentation with guitar effects, and unique sound laid the groundwork for innumerable groups, earning them the moniker “The Band that Launched a Thousand Bands”. While their popularity in the United States waned in the 1970s, the group remains revered in Japan, where they still tour regularly to this day.
The Ventures have had an incredible influence on a large number of musicians, both professionals and amateurs. Their instructional album, Play Guitar with the Ventures, was the first such record to chart on the Billboard Top LPs list, peaking at No. 96, and taught thousands of budding guitarists how to play the guitar. George Harrison stated in a Guitar Player interview that he preferred the American guitar sound of the Ventures to British contemporaries. When asked to name the most influential rock guitar solos, Joe Walsh said he would have to include the entire song “Walk, Don’t Run” because it changed so many guitar players’ lives. John Fogerty, during his introduction of The Ventures at their Hall of Fame induction, said, “[Walk, Don't Run] kicked open a whole movement in Rock and Roll… The sound of it became ‘surf music’ and the audacity of it empowered guitarists everywhere.” Stephen Stills told Ventures guitarist Don Wilson that he learned to play on Ventures records. Jeff Baxter and Gene Simmons were early members of the Ventures Fan Club.
They covered the “Hawaii Five 0″ theme song, as well as “Telstar”, “Tequila”, “Wipe Out”, and “Green Onions”.