The Ventures guitarist Bob Bogle dies at 75

Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:08pm EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pioneering guitarist Bob Bogle, whose rock-instrumental band the Ventures scored a pair of hits in the 1960s with "Walk, Don't Run" and "Hawaii Five-O," has died, the group said on Tuesday. He was 75.

Bogle died on Sunday of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at a hospital after falling ill at his home in Vancouver, Washington, according to bandmate Don Wilson.

The Ventures were "the most popular instrumental rock 'n' roll band of all time" and are worshiped as "gods" in Japan, rocker John Fogerty said at the band's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction last year.

Influenced by the likes of Les Paul and Chet Atkins, the Ventures helped pave the way for surf music, and sent 38 albums into the pop charts between 1960 and 1972. They continue to perform to this day with a slightly different lineup.

The Ventures' origins date back to 1958, when Bogle and Wilson started performing as a guitar duo around Tacoma, Washington.

After the lineup crystallized, the Ventures hit No. 2 in 1960 with "Walk, Don't Run," a tune previously popularized by Atkins. The song showcased lead Bogle's innovative use of the tremolo arm on his guitar, although he eventually handed over lead duties to bandmate Nokie Edwards.

The Ventures toured and recorded prolifically, and were especially revered in Japan, where they reportedly outsold the Beatles.

They enjoyed a new wave of popularity in 1969 when their version of composer Mort Stevens' theme for the cop series "Hawaii Five-O" went to No. 4 on the Billboard charts.

Bogle stopped playing with the band four years ago, and was unable to attend the Hall of Fame ceremony in New York. A private funeral is set for Friday. Bogle is survived by his wife, Yumi, and six children.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Eric Beech)