Archive for October, 2018

He Never Came Back

“He Never Came Back” was originally a track from the 1964 album “Ventures in Space” and was written by members Don Wilson, Bob Bogle, Mel Taylor and Nokie Edwards.

October 31, 2018 at 6:00 pm 1 comment

Razz Bari

“Razz Bari” is an original, early 1960’s-style, riff-driven instrumental rock track. It features a baritone guitar handling the lead part.

Duane Eddy frequently used baritone and 6-string bass guitars in his recordings. The Shadows also utilized a 6-string bass occasionally, typically in a very noticeable manner.

However, I have found no Ventures tracks that use baritone or 6-string bass as the lead instrument. Likely there are some out there that I just haven’t run across yet.

October 25, 2018 at 7:08 pm Leave a comment

El Cumbanchero

“El Cumbanchero” was composed by Puerto Rican  songwriter Rafael Hernandez (October 24, 1892 – December 11, 1965)  in the mid 1940s.

In 1963, the Ventures released an instrumental version as a single. It was never included on a regular album, nor did it crack the hot 100.

While inspired by the Ventures, my version is not a cover, but an original arrangement.

October 22, 2018 at 7:20 pm Leave a comment

Venturing Out

“Venturing Out” is another original instrumental composition in which I try to combine the feel of 60’s instrumental guitar rock with a somewhat more complex musical and harmonic language than was typical for that genre. With this one I tried to get a feel similar to the early 60’s style of surf rock and the Ventures.

October 19, 2018 at 4:54 pm Leave a comment

Bluer than Blue

“Bluer than Blue” was a track on the 1961 album “The Colorful Ventures”.  On the LP, each song had a color in the title. The album included standards like “Blue Moon” as well as contemporary hits like “Greenfields”.

It also included a number of tracks written to fill out the album.  “Bluer than Blue” is one of these. It was written by Tommy Alsup and Dick Glasser who wrote “Guitar Twist” for the Ventures “Twist with the Ventures” album.

At this point in the Ventures’ career, the group was only Bob Bogle and Don Wilson. they did not have either a regular drummer or bass player. Only Bogle and Wilson are pictured on the “Colorful Ventures” cover. Bogle and Wilson were almost constantly on the road as well.

Given these factors — and that Alsup was a skilled guitarist — it is likely that neither Bogle nor Wilson were actually involved in this track. In the book “Walk Don’t Run, The Story of the Ventures”, the record producer makes no apologies for including tracks recorded exclusively by studio players.

I can also find no evidence that the Ventures ever performed this song live.

October 17, 2018 at 4:42 pm Leave a comment

The Intruder

“The Intruder” was a track on the Ventures 1962 album, Going to the Ventures Dance Party! It was written by guitarist Billy Strange, who is considered to be one the elite studio musicians known as the Wrecking Crew. He also wrote “Limbo Rock”.

The Ventures version uses at least three guitars (plus bass and drums), with at least two sharing lead parts. I have pared it down to use only two, combining the lead parts into one — as the Ventures might have done it live.

October 14, 2018 at 2:58 pm Leave a comment


“Wildcat” was a “filler” track on the Ventures 1966 album “Wild Things!”, which mainly featured covers of then currently popular songs like “Wild Thing”,
“Sweet Pea”, “Summer in the City” and “Hanky Panky”.

As is usually the case for me, I prefer the ‘filler tracks” — and this one is no exception.

My arrangement omits the keyboards of the original, but is otherwise a cover.

October 12, 2018 at 6:58 pm Leave a comment


“Bulldog” was a track on the Ventures’ 1961 album, “Another Smash”. The song was composed by George Tomsco, the original lead guitarist for the Fireballs – who also recorded the tune. My approach is based on the Ventures’ version.


October 11, 2018 at 7:47 am Leave a comment

Nokie Shuffle

“Nokie Shuffle” is an original composition.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending and performing at the 10th annual Ventures Fan Fest. The theme this year was “A Tribute to Nokie Edwards”.

Nokie was an incredible guitarist whose skills took the Ventures to  another level in the early 60s. At the fan fest many played his numerous “signature” tunes. I resolved to develop a better understanding of his style, which has never come easily to me.

I usually do better going for the “spirit” of a style than trying to directly imitate things note for note. “Nokie Shuffle” is an attempt to do that.

October 9, 2018 at 11:35 am Leave a comment

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October 2018