This is a topic we had some fun with on the other Ventures forum- UNDERGROUND FIRE 2. And to shed a little more light on the subject, at this year's
FAN JAM in October, during the hour long Q&A with Bob Spalding & Leon Taylor, yours truly brought up the topic from a different perspective. Devout
fans know the particulars date-wise in the history of THE VENTURES. "Leon, your Dad played with the band thru 1972, then took a seven year hiatus
to form his own band The Dynamics, & also work behind the scenes doing promoting, session work, etc. The fellow that replaced Dad for six of those
years- Joe Barile in my opinion infused the band with some rather innovative playing, breathing new life into alot of the old standards. We know you
came aboard in '98 with your own special brand of energy. My question- do you know Joe & did you go back & listen to his playing during those years
when Dad was away from the group? There's no denying his importance to the band at such a critical time."
Also later I pointed out to Leon that his Dad had been interviewed in Modern Drummer & was asked- "With your background skills, high school marching
band, big band influenced by Gene Krupa, when you're playing with The Ventures do you find yourself holding back since you're obviously more suited for jazz." Mel's quote was priceless- "Well The Ventures are a guitar band- not a drum band."
It's my feeling & I made it clear to Leon that at times Joe Barile overplayed within the song so there were too many fills & he agreed. There was also a
slight mention about timing regarding Joe & Bob Spalding added that he had played on several side sessions with Joe & felt his strengths were that his
percussion skills made him the perfect choice to back up The Ventures as he did countless times when Mel returned to the group on timbales, ****os,
kettle drums, etc. For instance, he was prominently used on the New Testament LP. Presently I've been playing the LIVE LPS from Joe's years in the
car & despite the obvious overplaying in spots- it's a joy harkening back to his time spent with the band. In a sense, we can compare his entrance into
the scheme of things with Gerry McGee's in '68 when he took over for that 'somewhat famous' lead guitarist Nokie Edwards. At that time, I think The
Ventures made a great career decision 'cause it came at the psychedelic-underground music phase. To hear the standards given the Joe Barile treat-
ment provided me anyway with a newfound enthusiasm for my favorite band of all time.
I'd love to get some feedback here at FANS OF THE VENTURES on this 'never gets old' topic. And thanks from your co-moderator THOMAS!