Don Wilson, 88-year-old guitarist, known for co-founding the instrumental rock band ‘The Ventures!’ passed away yesterday. He formed the band with his friend and guitarist Bob Bogle in 1958. Guitarist Nokie Edwards also joined the band later on, after their first hit “Walk Don’t Run” came out.
Saint Bryan, who is a Seattle-based journalist and reporter, shared the news of Don Wilson‘s demise on Twitter after the family shared the news with him. “His family says Don Wilson, a founding member of The Ventures, passed away this morning in his sleep. With over 100 million records sold, The Ventures are the bestselling and arguably the most influential instrumental rock band of all time. Wilson, the rhythm guitarist, was 88,” wrote Bryan with pictures of Don Wilson.
The family of Don Wilson released their own statement regarding the passing as well. His son Tim reportedly told People Magazine, “Our dad was an amazing rhythm guitar player who touched people all over the 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’, the band that Don Wilson performed with and co-founded, is one of the pioneers in popularizing the electric guitar in not just the U.S. but around the world. They are one of the best-selling instrumental bands in history. In 2008, the band was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s performer category.
John Fogerty popularly said at the ceremony, “‘Walk, Don’t Run’ started a whole new movement in rock and roll. The sound of it became ‘surf music’ and the audacity of it empowered guitarists everywhere.” The band’s Instagram account also shared a post in honor of the legend writing, “Don Wilson, guitarist for Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame group, The Ventures, passed away this morning. Don was an inspiration and mentor. He was a unique talent that inspired countless musicians like us. We lost a good friend, fellow musician, world class performer, and beloved bandmate. Don Wilson has left the stage. We will miss him always,” the post was signed by the collective group as “The Ventures.”