Don Wilson, last surviving founder of surf-rock pioneers The Ventures, dies at 88

MSN: Don Wilson, the last surviving founder and guitarist of pioneering surf-rock group The Ventures, has died at 88, his representative confirmed to USA TODAY. 

“Don was an inspiration and mentor. He was a unique talent that inspired countless musicians like us,” read a statement posted to the band’s social media pages and confirmed by representative Sandra Abrahamian Spalding. “We lost a good friend, fellow musician, world class performer, and beloved bandmate. Don Wilson has left the stage. We will miss him always.”

The artist’s son, Tim Wilson, told People magazine and Washington station KING-TV that his father died early Saturday of natural causes, in Tacoma, Washington, surrounded by his family.  more here
h/t Doc.

18 Comments on Don Wilson, last surviving founder of surf-rock pioneers The Ventures, dies at 88

  1. I was a dyed in the wool fan when the “Ventures In Space” album came out. “Love Goddess of Venus” is still one of my all-time favorites.

    I’ve always been a huge fan of instrumentals, including the likes of Hank Marvin, Jorgen Ingman, Astronauts, Spotniks, etc. But the Ventures started it all for me in the early 60’s.

  2. I saw them in 2002 at the Experience Music Project in Seattle in 2002. It was all the original members except for the drummer.

    I was standing right in front of the stage, in front of the bass cabinet. My ears did not hurt but the next day my chest felt like I had been mugged.

    Later that year I was there and a more modern band was playing. I couldn’t even be in the same room and my ears still hurt.

  3. @ObamaPlease: I think I have all of their LPs that I inherited recently. I know they’re in my 2500 LP collection.

  4. Id am opening myself uo for atack; go aghead.

    66 years ago I surfed “Tin Can Beach”. Surfers WERE MEN. Boards 7′ long, about 125#. Not only required skill but STRENGTH. My all time fav is/was Dick Dale “..Tripin!” – So Cal.
    I Liked all the big Surf bands from early 60’s. Ventures make a fortune on their cover of Sufari’s “Wipe Out”! Elvis sold 5 times the copies of Hound Dog as did Bill Hailey; Ventures same with Wipe Out!

    Non surfers think their big hit was “Ha 50”; but we know ’em for Wipe

    out, and Walk Dont Run

  5. They were big in Japan, too. You can find “Stranger in Midosuji” on you tube. I’ve still got the 45 I bought in Japan in the 70s.

  6. Dang! Just today I cleaned up and listened to The Ventures “Knock Me Out!” album.
    It’s in perfect shape too!
    We’re losing the greats too fast.

  7. Little before my time but I vaguely remember them playing at the Folly beach pier when my oldest beach bum brother was babysitting me. But to me all that 60s beach music sounded the same to a 7yr old, I was paying attention to the girls.

  8. I got a call from my sister and she asked if I had time to talk. I told her I was just reading the obits, so yeah I got time. She asked if I was looking for anyone in particular in the obits. I told her I check every week just to make sure I’m not in there!

  9. @Doc: A couple of weeks ago, a realtor friend called DH and said “I’m reading the obits and I see your wife’s name, is this true?” “No, she’s alive and breathing.” Jeesh, I’d never have the nerve! Furthermore, the deceased woman was 20 years older!🤐


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