I adore certain types of pop music (my iTumes is full of secret little gems), but the 1960s pop music genre really holds a special place in my heart. I still to this day have a healthy 45 RPM collection of little sparkling nuggets that I’ve carried through all my moves from home to school and then eventually, to California.
We have a decent amount of Venture’s vinyl in the house, including their Christmas album. A cassette tape of the Christmas album became an family in joke one summer when my then 3 year old daughter insisted on hearing it every time we drove anywhere. (It did beat listening to the Barney cassette that had been on heavy rotation up that point).
The Ventures were the band that strongly influenced many a guitar (and in the case of John Entwhiste, bass) player after them. Their sound pioneered the use of guitar effects and every musician who has a pedalboard owes a great debt to Don Wilson and Bob Bogle. They were one of the first to introduce flangers, distortion and the fuzzbox to the guitar sound vocabulary.
I inherited a 45 from my sister that had the Hawaii Five-O theme on one side with the flip side being a remake of the classic “Walk Don’t Run”. The 45 came to graduate school with me and was a particular favorite of my roommate, Gerri. When we were bogged down cramming for whatever hell class we had that week, Gerri would spontaneously leap up in the middle of a study session, grab the 45 and put it on the turntable, declaring “IT’S VENTURES TIME”. This would result in a room full of stressed out grad students throwing down books and furiously twisting and frugging to the sounds of Hawaii Five – O for the length of the song. I wish someone had taken a video of the; it would have been amazing to watch now.
I credit the Ventures for keeping us sane those two years in school and always think of Gerri when I hear this song.