RIP Nokie Edwards (The Ventures)

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by chillybilly, Mar 12, 2018.


  1. chillybilly

    chillybilly Member

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    Ventures' guitarist (and their original bassist) Nokie Edwards has passed away according to his friend (screenshot posted here rather than link to Facebook which some can't or choose not to use).

    To say that the Ventures influenced countless players is to state the obvious but they seemed to go beyond mere influence and into the realm of inspiration as countless players picked up a guitar for the first time thanks to their enthusiasm for the Ventures. Their material consisted exclusively of instrumentals (and many, even most, of those were covers) but their tracks were almost always compelling on their on merit. Their arrangements were clever but usually not too complex (songs and albums where they had 'help' notwithstanding) and many a novice guitarist wore out his fingers and his record needle playing Ventures songs repeatedly to figure out the licks.

    'Walk Don't Run' will forever be their signature tune but Bob Bogle, the guitarist on WDR and the Ventures' early albums, soon swapped placed with bassist Nokie Edwards, who felt (not without some justification) that his talents were being underutilized. Edwards was the lead player during the band's prime years when 'The World's #1 Instrumental Combo' had a series of hit albums, a Mosrite guitar endorsement and signature model and enjoyed worldwide fame, especially in Japan, thanks to the lack of a language barrier in their music.

    Nokie Edwards developed and deployed a distinctive array of licks that went far beyond the surf idiom even as lazy critics then and now attempted to lump the Ventures in with Dick Dale et al. As time progressed Edwards incorporated more Nashville-style fingerpicking and corresponding country-ish leads. He left the Ventures in the late 60s (replaced by Gerry McGee) to pursue an interest in racehorses but still did sideman/solo gigs, particularly in Japan where his popularity endured. Many post-punk acts (B52s, Go-Go's, et al) cited the Ventures' influence and the band enjoyed a second, if lesser, peak of popularity around 1980 as Edwards rejoined the band and they re-recorded their greatest hits. Along with classic lineup drummer Mel Taylor (and later his son Leon after Mel's death), the Ventures toured for many years after with a somewhat flexible frontline of Bogle & rhythm guitarist (and co-founder) Don Wilson with either Edwards or McGee in the lead slot. For part of each gig McGee or Edwards would handle bass duties while Bogle played lead on 'Walk Don't Run,' 'Perfidia' and other early material.

    He was a singular talent and an important figure in the history of the electric guitar.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  2. sanrico

    sanrico Member

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    Loss of an innovator... RIP
     
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  3. A-Bone

    A-Bone Montonero, MOY, Multitudes Gold Supporting Member

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    Damn. A legend there.
     
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  4. Drew816

    Drew816 Supporting Member

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    Bummer, R.I.P. Nokie!
     
  5. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    Has this been confirmed? I'm seeing nothing verified.
     
  6. Elantric

    Elantric Silver Supporting Member

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    He was my 1st guitar god
    I met Nokie several times

    [​IMG]
    i took his picture for the RMC pickup home page
    http://www.rmcpickup.com/

     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
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  7. Atmospheric

    Atmospheric Supporting Member

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    50 years later, I still remember hearing The Ventures' "Walk Don't Run" blasting through the boardwalk speakers on Balboa Island. I *had* to learn that song. I think Nokie played bass on that one. A true great has left the building. RIP.
     
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  8. Bob Maximus

    Bob Maximus Silver Supporting Member

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    RIP...post Ventures he put out some recordings that high-lite his fingerstyle skills. For those recordings, I would put him into a class above. He was a true fingerpicking genius.
     
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  9. aiq

    aiq Supporting Member

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    Like a good bit of music I learned to appreciate it at a later date.

    RIP, Nokie.
     
  10. bullet6759

    bullet6759 Silver Supporting Member

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    Nice avatar. Love my GALAXIE.
     
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  11. Bob Maximus

    Bob Maximus Silver Supporting Member

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  12. cadduc

    cadduc Member

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    Thank you for all you gave us Mr. Edwards, thank you and rest in peace.
     
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  13. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    Nokie and The Ventures' music was probably my biggest influence as far as learning how to get around the guitar and learning the entire neck.

    I've stood on a "learn melodies" soapbox here at TGP for a long time and I still believe that learning melodies is something that's missing in today's younger crowd. They spend their time learning solos, lick and riffs.

    But the Venures' albums were full of pop songs, many considered "lame" by many here, but by learning those melodies, especially when The Ventures modulated to different keys was a key to my seeing the neck as one thing.

    "Venturized" versions of these songs were fabulous learning tools in those days. Octaves, key changes, whammy dives and the occasional harmonic minor scale.





    With a young Tommy Emmanuel

     
  14. Tahitijack

    Tahitijack Member

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    He will be missed by all those that play and enjoy instrumental surf music. Maybe appropriate for today, his "Blue Dawn".
     
  15. aliensporebomb

    aliensporebomb Member

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    A sad day for those who play instrumental guitar. A pioneer who won't be forgotten.
     
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  16. DustyRhodesJr

    DustyRhodesJr Supporting Member

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    Loved Nokies playing, it just flowed.


    RIP
     
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  17. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Gold Supporting Member

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  18. Bluedano1

    Bluedano1 Member

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    Thanks for posting!

    Got to see Nokie and The Ventures twice; the second time at The Birchmere ( Alexandria, VA) about 10 years ago, nice and close (about 15 feet from the stage) and they were so professional and they rocked the place.
    RIP Nokie- thanks for a lifetime of great guitar!

    Edit- Nokie's playing on the House of The Rising Sun clip, sounds a little Danny Gatton/Jerry Reed like- a little hot-rodded but tasty
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
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  19. stevemc

    stevemc Member

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    WDR was in heavy rotation on the old am radio when i first began listening.RIP sir.
     
  20. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Man, I cut my teeth on Ventures music way back when droppin' the needle...and, "Hawaii 5-0" still occasionally kicks my butt when I don't play it for a while! Nokie was right up there as one of my favorite players & teachers ;).
     
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