Nokie Edwards, the Ventures’ Lead Guitarist, Dead at 82

Nokie Edwards, the Ventures' Lead Guitarist, Dead at 82

Nokie Edwards, whose guitar playing in the Ventures helped define surf rock and earned the group a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, died on Monday. He was 82 years old. 

“Nokie Edwards passed away today after several months battling an infection after hip surgery this past December,” says a statement on the band’s website. “The Ventures family feels this loss very deeply: Nokie has been part of the Ventures’ history for almost six decades and helped to shape the early Ventures’ sound and the success of their career.”

The Ventures hit Number Two in 1960 with the propulsive classic, “Walk Don’t Run.” Even though the single was an instrumental, it was so successful that the band recorded a new version in 1964 that also became a top 10 hit. The band scored another major hit four years later when their brassy theme for the police procedural Hawaii Five-Oreached Number Four. The Ventures released three gold-certified albums – The Ventures Play Telstar and the Lonely Bull, Golden Greats and Hawaii Five-O  and at one point they had five albums in the top 100 simultaneously.

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