Poll

Justly Deserved Status OR Tainted Career?

The Ventures' status is Justly Deserved.  It's common to use substitute musicians in the studio.
7 (63.6%)
Tainted Career.  Fans were duped into buying records that did not contain 100% Ventures members.
0 (0%)
It doesn't matter.  We know that the Ventures can play anything they've recorded in the studio live.
4 (36.4%)

Total Members Voted: 10

Voting closed: April 04, 2012, 08:03:03 am

Author Topic: JUSTLY DESERVED STATUS...  (Read 1263 times)

Offline tabalt11

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JUSTLY DESERVED STATUS...
« on: March 21, 2012, 12:39:23 am »
Or TAINTED career.   You decide but either way, you have to back up your choice.  OK call me a thief 'cause I STOLE THIS TOPIC off the Underground Fire 2 site.   Actually it's been up on there alot over the years but reared it's ugly head again there the last few days.

It revolves 'round THE FACT that our heroes, THE VENTURES did not- I repeat DID NOT play on every track on every album they ever released.  Hardly news to most of us.  But some fans feel cheated or deceaved & question the musical abilities of 'the guys.'   Others like myself seem to accept the often stated 'can't be in two places at once' theory or the fact that the record company had something else up their sleeve at album time.   The group has displayed their prowess many times over in their live performances but we still read here & there that session musicians were used on parts or all of some of their 60's albums.   For instance, IN SPACE often the choice for most fans' favorite album of all time is only HALF VENTURES.   Then we come to their '69 smash hit- HAWAII 5-0.   Nokie claims he was on lead.   Lately it's been indicated that Bob Bogle was not playing bass.   Alot of this credit boasting by other musicians pops up from time to time in Del Halterman's fine effort- THE STORY OF THE VENTURES.   Most of us can point to other rumors we've heard.   So now the question is:

Does any of it matter to you?   THE VENTURES reached the Rock Hall Of Fame.   They've worked over 50 years in the music business.   They've sold over 100 million records.   And in closing as suggested on UF2 today- I just returned from BUSCH GARDENS in Tampa where for the second year in a row I watched 12 large throngs of fans (usually 750-1000) simply go nuts for this legendary rock band.   Of course, no one clued them in 'bout any of the above.   They grew up listening to & collecting Ventures albums- maybe not all of them like us fanatics but trust me when the shows started & the giant monitor produced Jack DeFranco's (stage manager) wonderfully edited 50TH ANN. VIDEO MONTAGE before they graced the stage, the ovation that rang out as they exited from behind the curtain signified 'THESE GUYS' are TRULY SPECIAL!

Add to this equation that as musicians they're revered by other guitarists as documented throughout the years in all the various guitar magazines & not just 'cause they inspired them at an early age to pick up a guitar.   

I think back to November 15th '09 when after their long-overdue HALL INDUCTION, the group was asked to participate in a WEEKEND TRIBUTE to the great Les Paul out in Cleveland sponsored in part by the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.   There's lots to tell about that special evening but few know The Ventures did a Sat. afternoon guitar clinic at Western Case University with Les Paul, before rockin' the stage hours later with WDR, SURF RIDER & CARAVAN.   Some of the other stellar performers on tap that night escape me at the moment but Duane Eddy, Lonnie Mack, James Burton, Jeff Baxter & Slash come to mind.   Bob Spalding said it was one of the biggest highlights in his career-   "Everyone stood 'round in the dressing rooms asking for each others autograph."   There are pics of the guys posing with Les Paul & Don recalls one of the remarks from Les directed to him.   "You know Les said, Johnny Smith offered me WDR in '58 & I turned him down.   What you guys did with it was remarkable."   I saw a blog posted from Don's daughter Staci Layne right after the show that read:   "Not only were The Ventures asked to do three songs (all other artists 'cept Les Paul's trio were limited to one or two) they were the only performers that received a standing ovation."   That speaks volumes.   

As Walt & I eagerly await our 100th member to the forum- we'd love your input on this topic!
« Last Edit: March 23, 2012, 11:06:15 am by tabalt11 »

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Offline abstamaria

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Re: JUSTLY DESERVED STATUS...
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2012, 09:51:33 am »
Yes, this is an interesting point.  But, Tabalt, let me just address some of your points-

You wrote “But some fans feel cheated or deseaved & question the guys' musical abilities.”

I don’t think anyone is questioning our guys’ musical abilities.  It is just that, if the lead guitarists weren’t Bogle, Edwards, or McGee, are we listening to the Ventures?  Were those pieces by the Ventures?  If Duane Eddie or Hank Marvin played lead on a piece in a Ventures album, is that piece by the Ventures?  What if all the musicians were session players, or if the Shadows actually played the piece, is the piece still by the Ventures, just because it was branded as such?  And if the piece becomes a hit, is it truly a hit by the Ventures?  It doesn’t seem so to me.  Slapping on the name “Ventures” doesn’t make a piece “Ventures.”  My opinion only.

“The group has displayed their prowess many times over in their live performances.” 

Of course, but that’s not the point.  The point is that they didn’t play in recordings attributed to them.  If that recording became a hit, that’s a credit to the session or other musicians that played on them. If Nokie didn't play on Hawaii Five-O, the hit wasn't his.  He of course plays it very well on stage, but is he then just covering a hit played by someone else originally?

“Others like myself seem to accept the often stated 'can't be in two places at once' theory.” 

What if the Ventures had two concerts on the same day, one in Japan and the other in California.  When you show up at your concert in California, you find that the drum kit does say “The Ventures,” but only session musicians are there.  The organizer says the Ventures 'can't be in two places at once.'  I don’t think you will be happy.

What if the session musicians played behind the curtain or on a dim stage; they play really well, and the audience goes wild.  The curtains open or the lights go on, and … they’re session players.  Should that matter?  Would you then go home, saying, “boy, the Ventures played really well tonight.”  That’s exactly the situation with recordings done by session musicians.  Should we care?  I think so. 

“They grew up listening to & collecting Ventures albums …” 

True, but some of the guys playing in those albums, who contributed to the popularity of the Ventures, really weren’t the Ventures.  The fans were listening and collecting recordings by musicians other than the Ventures.  "In Space" is one of my favorites; it is recorded really well.  And, if as you say, half of the pieces weren't by the Ventures, then I am a fan of the guys who actually played, and they aren't the Ventures.  If they were identified as a separate band, I would look for their records.

Don’t get me wrong here.  I really like a great number of pieces attributed to the Ventures; that is why I am here on this forum.  The “Ventures,” I sometimes feel, is actually several bands, each with a different sound and style.  They could have been called “Bogle’s Ventures,” “Nokie’s Ventures,” etc.

In UF2, I mentioned Abe Lincoln’s statement that “calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one.”  Calling a band wholly made up of session musicians, using their own instruments, playing their own songs, “The Ventures” doesn’t make them The Ventures.  I’m not from the US, but they have this rhetorical question about the authenticity of one George Washington’s axe, whose head and handle have been replaced a number of times …
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 09:56:34 am by abstamaria »

Veenture

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Re: JUSTLY DESERVED STATUS...
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2012, 11:31:25 am »
(I voted "Status Justly Deserved").
In the day it was indeed common to use guest/studio musicians to 'augment' recordings (whether our heroes liked it or not). I have no problem with that because I enjoy listening to practically all of the Ventures' releases. However, there are exceptions, like the crappy "Wipe Out" (non-Ventures) on their album "Let's Go" (1963) and 'disco' albums from 1976 "TV Themes" and "Rocky Road".
Also some of the illegal releases from the "Red Dog" sessions (Black Tulip label) I find simply horrid, especially the non-Ventures rendition of "Slaughter On Tenth Avenue" parading under The Ventures' flag.

Record companies did (and do?) cheat. I once bought a Ventures album blindly, thinking that ALL 12 TRACKS were new...NOT SO!
The "Sunset" label simply changed the names of previously released tracks on their album called "Running Strong" (nice cover too!). Needless to say, I felt cheated in a BIG way having parted with my hard earned cash for nothing. No fault of The Ventures but actions like that did hurt their name.

---> http://static.rateyourmusic.com/album_images/2037698e244c70168446d4a1d9cc38db/3253460.jpg
 
-Paul

Offline arnoldvb

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Re: JUSTLY DESERVED STATUS...
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 11:32:16 am »
Having read Del Halterman's authoritative biography of The Ventures, "Walk Don't Run," I'd like to clarify one issue in this discussion:

- The use of studio players to replace members of The Ventures was not something that happened widespread.  Yes, The Ventures didn't play on the Let's Go version of "Wipe Out" and on the "Only Hits" album.  But they did play on just about everything else, sometimes with additional musicians to fill in the sound.  That was the case with the In Space and Play Telstar albums.  The Ventures were there in the studio PLUS additional musicians who contributed to the final sound.

I think this is also supported by Malcolm Campbell's "Driving Guitars," which is the definitive rundown of the 1960s output of The Ventures.  By and large, The Ventures were the main performers in the recording studio, sometimes with additional musicians adding to the overall sound.  But very few tracks were put out without involvement of any Venture members.

As I commented over on the Underground Fire 2 discussion group, of all of the Ventures' output, the only song I truly do not like is the Let's Go version of "Wipe Out," and The Ventures vindicated themselves on the later On Stage album by producing the definitive Ventures version of that song.

Arnold

Offline arnoldvb

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Re: JUSTLY DESERVED STATUS...
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 11:39:12 am »
Paul posted while I was writing mine.  I also voted "Justly Deserved Status."

I hate the Red Dog/Black Tulip albums because almost none of the tracks are by The Ventures, yet they're being sold under the Ventures' name.  But that's the fault of the unscrupulous record companies, not the band.  For those who don't know, all of the James Bond tracks on those albums are actually by Mel Taylor's solo band from the 1970s.  Most of the others are by unknown musicians.  I think the only one that's really by The Ventures is "Hawaii Five-0" which, at least to my ears, sounds like the version from the 1980 Tridex Greatest Hits collection.

Arnold 

Offline Noel

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Re: JUSTLY DESERVED STATUS...
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2012, 01:09:06 pm »
Use of session musicians then was a well-guarded standard practice. For example, it is just now becoming better known that, while the other Beach Boys were out on tour, Brian Wilson was in the studio with members of The Wrecking Crew recording future Beach Boys albums. So, among others, Glen Campbell was a studio Beach Boys guitarist. See "The Wrecking Crew" on faceBook  for more information. Among many others, Herb Alpert's TJ Brass were actually members of The Wrecking Crew, but they didn't tour with him either. More than a few bands back then had touring members and studio recording members. As I understand it, both Gerry McGee and Nokie Edwards were both studio musicians. I'm sure others also were. Since Bob, Nokie, Gerry and Mel could keep up with the best studio artists of the day, I have no problem with it.

As I began, it was standard practice back then, and so this practice either taints every record by every artist from those times or is just part of the fascinating history of the recording industry at that time. I would however like all the actual recording artists to get credit for their performances, but that may never happen. Too much of what was remembered is being lost with the passing of so many of the musicians who participated.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 11:35:21 am by Noel »

Offline tabalt11

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Re: JUSTLY DESERVED STATUS...
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2012, 03:21:33 pm »
Well the topic is progressing nicely but for clarification purposes, when stating "can't be in two places at once," I'm referring only to BEING NEEDED in the studio to lay down tracks for an upcoming album.   Also I tend to disagree that there isn't at least A HINT in some of the posts attributed to UF2 that question ability.   I read more than once- "maybe that explains why they always pretty much do the same material live."   The insinuation here being if they never played the original studio cut, that's why they'd never attempt it on stage.   We can also point to another fine example of fellow musicians honoring our heroes if we replay THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY SUPER SESSION whether it be on VHS or DVD.   

Nokie recently told me: "all those guys had a blast playin' alongside us & vice versa."   Gerry McGee's studio work is testament enough for me that he can handle pretty much anything thrown his way.   That's one thing that annoyed me in regards to other drummers not giving Mel his due.   He handled so many styles of music.   In closing, how can an instrumental cover band from the 60's contain musicians with limited abilities?   The answer- it can't & didn't!
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 05:42:55 pm by wstagner »

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Re: JUSTLY DESERVED STATUS...
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2012, 07:16:20 pm »
I'm glad Tom (tabalt11) mentioned:  "the insinuation here being if they never played the original studio cut, that's why they'd never attempt it on stage."
Do these critics realize that audiences never cease in demanding to hear the Ventures play their big hits from the past? The band is simply obliged to play these nostalgic tunes, even to the next generation of fans.

Venue management: "You're not gonna leave this place until you've played [this or that] tune"
Mel, to audience: "We wanna leave, so we’re gonna play it!"

It is a fact that our boys always perform a few tracks from their latest album(s) when touring.
There are a number of studio song titles played live over the years but have (sadly) never been published by the record companies. There are also many studio titles played even better when performed live! Of course, a huge benefit is to be gained from playing the same tunes over and over again on stage and that is that they get better and better all the time to the point of perfection to the last note and drumbeat!

Nokie is a strong consistent player and I love his signature Country-R & R picking and Gerry is a such a pleasant adventurous player, he never tires me, because he almost always plays the same titles a little (or a lot!) different from the last time. You'll never catch me taking part in a discussion about who is the better player of the two. They are both unique, and have both contributed in no small way to the longevity of The Ventures on stage and off-. I say to the critics: The Ventures have proved their worth a long time ago, leave them alone.
-Paul

Offline wstagner

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Re: JUSTLY DESERVED STATUS...
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2012, 09:53:33 pm »
Well-stated, Paul. ;D

Offline chuckm

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Re: JUSTLY DESERVED STATUS...
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2012, 10:47:42 am »
Just to further the discussion....

When we say "The Ventures" who do we mean?   Is it just Bob and Don  (as originally just they two were known as  The Ventures) or is it Don, Bob and anyone who toured with them? ....granted some toured with them for a looooong timne :-)

I think the original post may be referring to the early years when a few tunes that Don and Bob did not play on were released on record.    Probably common practice in the record industry at that time.   George Martin wanted to (and did)  replace Pete Best and Ringo for the Beatles initial recordings. ...but they were still Beatles recordings.   The Beatles had other recordings that they all 4 did not play on....but still Beatles recordings.  But, if none of the Beatles played or sang on a "Beatles" record...would we consider it a Beatles song just because it was on the record?

Anyway...it is what it is..... I love all of the Ventures tunes regardless of the exact line up.
chuck

Offline zzero

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Re: JUSTLY DESERVED STATUS...
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2012, 04:47:01 pm »
new here, and not real bright.  so, if it walks like a duck, flys like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck--it may be a duck.  could be a goose or swan or a grebe but they are in the same general family. 
the ventures have certainly earned their place in the music business and justly deserved status.  isn't that why we are here today!!

Offline tabalt11

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Re: JUSTLY DESERVED STATUS...
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2012, 05:27:40 pm »
Exactly.   But Walt & I had hoped to get more votes than just 10 with
ONLY four days to go.   The topic did start out like gangbusters
tho.   Let's try to keep it going a while longer!   More posts
just might extend the voting deadline. 
« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 05:31:45 pm by tabalt11 »

Offline Noel

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Re: JUSTLY DESERVED STATUS...
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2012, 09:03:08 am »
The credits for The Wrecking Crew (film) list their (the session musicians) participation in recording Hawaii Five-0 by The Ventures. It's also played in the soundtrack during the film, but there's no explaination of who played what part.

Offline cockroach

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Re: JUSTLY DESERVED STATUS...
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2012, 10:08:24 am »
I think it may have been Tommy Tedesco who played lead on Hawaii-50

Offline abstamaria

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Re: JUSTLY DESERVED STATUS...
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2012, 10:49:18 am »
Yes, my reading of Del Halterman's book says that too.  There is a current discussion on UF that seems to confirm that.  Sad if indeed no Ventures were there on that recording attributed to them.