Morning Music: The Ventures

Hawaii Five-OI think The Ventures are one of the weirdest rock bands ever. I mean that in a good way. They are an instrumental band, yet their music is so simple. It’s just an energetic rhythm section and a single melody lead guitar (most of the time). But somehow, it works. Their biggest hit is “Walk, Don’t Run,” off their first album of the same name. It’s the perfect example of this formula. It’s what The Ventures always do. And they have done it a lot. They have released in excess of 60 studio albums, which is not surprising when you consider just how much work it must take to produce a Ventures album. See, for example, The Jim Croce Songbook, which they put out just six months after Croce died. I’m not saying it’s bad. I’m just saying that they are opportunistic hacks.

Today, they are best remembered for “Hawaii Five-O” off their album Hawaii Five-O. The following performance is most likely from the late 1970s or early 1980s. It includes the main people we think of as The Ventures: Don Wilson, Nokie Edwards, Bob Bogle, and Mel Taylor. Also sitting in on drums is Max Weinberg. Anyway, they all look like they are having a good time and it is almost impossible not to follow along.

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