Archive for January, 2016


“Pipeline” was a 1963 surf-rock hit for The Chantays. It reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is one of the most popular surf tunes ever…maybe the most. There are numerous covers, including the Ventures.

My arrangement, while recognizable and traditional, strays pretty far from the original. My goal was to avoid covering any existing versions.


January 30, 2016 at 7:30 pm Leave a comment


Is there an instrumental better known or more recognizable than “Tequila”?

It was a 1957 #1 hit for “The Champs”, a group that at various times included Glen Campbell and James Seals (later of Seals and Crofts).

The Ventures included it on their  1962 album “The Ventures Play Telstar, The Lonely Bull’. My arrangement does not stray far from these.


January 30, 2016 at 6:48 pm Leave a comment

Venturing #6: Penetration

This is “Penetration”, which was a hit in 1964 for the Pyramids. It reached #20 on the Hot 100. The Pyramids other claim to fame was performing with shaved heads!

This arrangement is based on previous versions I have done, but it is quite a bit more elaborate and fuller, using three guitars, bass and drums.

January 28, 2016 at 3:57 pm Leave a comment

Venturing #5: Surfin’ USA

Installment #5 of my “Venturing” project is “Surfin’ USA”, originally a 1963 hit for the Beach Boys. The song was itself based on Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen”. I have given it a very traditional surf-rock instrumental setting.

January 26, 2016 at 9:04 am Leave a comment


“Atlantis” was a 1963 hit for the British instrumental group “The Shadows” which featured Hank Marvin as the lead guitarist and Bruce Welch on rhythm guitar. Besides their considerable popularity on their own, they were Cliff Richard’s backing band.

The Shadows were not nearly as well known in the USA as in the UK.

“Atlantis” was composed by Jerry Lordan, who also wrote the instrumental hit “Apache”.

January 24, 2016 at 6:58 pm Leave a comment

Walk Don’t Run

“Walk Don’t Run” was the Venture’s first big hit, making it to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. They re-released a different arrangement in 1964. The first video incorporates aspects of both versions, as well as some other period-characteristic things like heavily-echoed muted strings and half-step-up key changes.

The second video is a straight cover of the original version: “The song that started it all”.

January 24, 2016 at 6:53 am Leave a comment


The instrumental “Apache” was first released in 1960. It was written by Jerry Lordan — who was British. The first group to release a recording of it was The Shadows. In the UK, this is the best known version.

In the USA, the version we know the best is the one by Danish guitarist Jørgen Ingmann. Like many other guitar instrumentals of the time, many people in the USA incorrectly assume it was The Ventures. They did record it, but their version did not chart.

My version is not a literal cover of any of the originals, but certainly owes a great deal to them all.

January 22, 2016 at 4:50 pm Leave a comment

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