This article contains all the information related to the death of guitarist Don Wilson, who was the co-founder of the famous band, The Ventures. It also has details about his career and highlights in the band, hit songs, and about the other band members.
About His Death
Don Wilson, co-founder and rhythm guitarist for the famous instrumental rock band The Ventures, passed away Saturday at the age of 88. His family first confirmed to Seattle journalist Saint Bryan that the musician “passed peacefully” of natural causes in Tacoma Washington.
Don’s son Tim Wilson said in a statement that their father was an amazing rhythm guitar player who touched people throughout the world with his band, The Ventures and he would have his place in history forever and was much loved and lauded. He was the last surviving member of the core of the Ventures members.
The Ventures and His Career
The chugging electric guitar of Wilson was the solid basis of the Ventures’ highly eminent instrumental music. He along with guitarist/bassist Bob Bogle formed the Ventures in 1958 when they both were working as construction workers in Seattle.
Wilson and Bogle wrote lyrics on instruments they had bought from a nearby pawnshop and gradually added drummer Howie Johnson and Nokie Edwards, who played lead guitar on the band’s signature electric guitar-led performance of Johnny Smith’s “Walk, Don’t Run”.
Johnson was afterward substituted by Mel Taylor; in spite of crew change over the years, Wilson, Bogle, Edwards are known to be the chief members of the band’s influential period in the 1960s. “Walk, Don’t Run” was an enormous hit for the Ventures, in 1960 as well as in 1964 when the band re-recorded it.
The later version, with its rolling drums and bright guitar, rode the surging rock wave of the time. The song shot to Number Two on the Hot 100 and was subsequently included among Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time.
John Fogerty, while inducting the Ventures into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, said that their song initiated an entirely new movement in rock & roll. The Ventures were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. The music became very popular and the sound of it emancipated guitarists everywhere.
A highly creative group, the Ventures made multiple albums and sold approximately 100 million. Most of their music were covers, but Wilson and Bogle also wrote some originals like “No Trespassing”, “The McCoy”, “Love Goddess of Venus”, “Stop Action” and some more.
The Ventures are awarded credit for helping to publicize the electric guitar in the USA and across the world and are the best-selling instrumental band of all time.
Other Members and Tribute
Bogle died in 2009 of non-Hodgkin lymphoma at age 75 but Wilson continued to be an agile member of the Ventures till he retired in 2015. But he continued to record with the present members of the group and produced the 2020 documentary The Ventures: Stars On Guitars with his family.
His band members paid him a tribute on Instagram stating that he passed away on Saturday morning. And that Don was an inspiration and mentor. He was a unique talent and inspired many musicians and would be missed. A number of tributes have continued to shower for Wilson on social media.