Ventures Guitarist Don Wilson Passed Away at 88
via DIGITAL MEDIA / Youtube
Don Wilson, the co-founder and rhythm guitarist of the pioneering instrumental rock quartet The Ventures, died on January 22 at the age of 88.
Wilson died of natural causes at his home in Tacoma, Washington. He was the last surviving member of the core Ventures lineup.
Wilson’s son Tim confirmed his death to local outlet King 5 News and Tacoma paper The News Tribune:
“Our dad was an amazing rhythm guitar player who touched people all over world with his band, The Ventures. He will have his place in history forever and was much loved and appreciated. He will be missed.”
The Ventures formed in 1958. In the 1960s and early 1970s, 38 of the band’s albums charted in the United States. Their hits included “Walk, Don’t Run,” which scored the No. 2 hit in the country, and the theme song for “Hawaii Five-O.”
The band had 14 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. They went on to sell over 100 million records and inspired the likes of The Beatles, Beach Boys and KISS, with Gene Simmons reportedly an early member of their fan club.
The Ventures are credited with helping to popularize the electric guitar in the USA and across the world, and are the best-selling instrumental band of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.