Author Topic: Gear for "Walk Don't Run."  (Read 912 times)

Offline abstamaria

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Gear for "Walk Don't Run."
« on: February 02, 2012, 03:35:56 am »
Here, I am approaching playing the Ventures in the same way most Shadows enthusiasts play Shadows covers.  That means playing a piece in the same style and with the same sound as the original recorded version.  I realize Ventures fans (and the Ventures themselves) don’t subscribe to this approach, so I am setting this out for those who enjoy this sort of endeavor.
 
As the “sound “ of the Ventures varies tremendously from piece to piece and it is difficult to categorize Ventures styles and sounds even by era (as it is with the Shadows), I will focus here on the original 1960 version of “Walk Don’t Run,” which set off the Ventures on their path to stardom (and immortality!).  Here are my guesses, probably wrong, on what gear to use, so please correct me as necessary.
 
Lead Guitar:  Bob Bogle used a 1959 or early 1960 Jazzmaster, so that would be ideal.  For us, a Jazzmaster made to pre-1963 specification would be best.  In 1963, the rosewood fingerboard became much thinner.  Prior to this Fender used a big slab of rosewood for the fingerboard, referred to as a “slab board.”  The Ventures Jazzmaster had this slab board.”  Fit with thick (13-56?) gauge flat-wound strings.  Three-color sunburst ideal (the equivalent of Hank Marvin’s trademark “Fiesta Red”).

Rhythm Guitar:  I am assuming Don Wilson used his first Stratocaster, probably a 1959 model with a maple neck.  See the cover of the Walk Don’t Run album.  This was most likely fitted also with thick (13-56?) gauge flat-wound strings.
I would assume that a 1956-onward Strat would be correct, as the pre-1956 Stratocasters had ash rather than alder bodies.  Fender changed over to a rosewood fretboard in 1960, so those models would not be spot on.  All-maple-necked guitars are supposed to have a brighter tone.  I note that Don changed to a rosewood-fretboad Strat by the time of the Colorful Ventures album, which shows him with such a guitar. 

Bass Guitar.  I assume a Precision bass, also fitted with flat wounds, but I am guessing here.

Amplifiers:  According to the book “Walk Don’t Run,” for the March 22, 1960 recording, the “amps consisted of two Fenders, (Vibrolux and Bassman), and a Gibson model GA-40.”  I assume Bob used the Vibrolux and Don the Gibson amp.  I know too little about the Vibrolux and GA-40 amps to recommend current equivalents. 

For my own purposes, I use either a Fender Twin Amp or a ’65 Twin Reverb, both tube (valve) reissues by Fender.  Would those have the same valves and circuitry as a Vibrolux?  To my ears, the sound is very close.

The current Bassman amp is a guitar, not a bass, amp and different in both design and sound from the original. The new Fender TV Bassman bass amp might be close, but this is a hybrid amp, so an all-tube bass amp might be a better alternative.  Perhaps those more knowledgeable than me can set me up straight on this.

So there.  Comments and corrections will be appreciated.

Best,

Andy

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Offline wstagner

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Re: Gear for "Walk Don't Run."
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2012, 08:27:30 am »
I'd be willing to bet that in the studio and even live (you can see old pix) Bob/Don played Jazzmasters.

That sound is unmistakeable. 

Offline abstamaria

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Stratocaster
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2012, 08:31:54 pm »
Most accounts, including from Don himself, has him using a Stratocaster from 1959 to 1962, when he shifted to a Jazzmaster.  From that point on until the Mosrite years, both he and Bob Bogle began to use Jazzmasters.  Accordingly, Don would have used a Stratocaster for the priginal "Walk Don't Run."  That was probably the '59 model with the all-maple neck, shown in photographs of the era.

I wonder which pick-up Don used?

There is good discussion on Don's Stratocaster in Undergroundfire2, which has been a very useful resource to me.  I wish data there were easier to access.

Offline wstagner

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Re: Gear for "Walk Don't Run."
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2012, 08:59:24 pm »
I agree about the access, Andy.
That's why Tom & I started this 4 um....help keep things organized/accessible.

Do you have a copy of Del's Ventures book?  It contains a treasure trove of info like this.

http://www.amazon.com/Walk-Dont-Run-Ventures-Del-Halterman/dp/0557040515

Offline tabalt11

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Re: Gear for "Walk Don't Run."
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2012, 02:37:54 pm »
Fellas- Not that I can find it to post it but when I visited the rock hall in Cleveland in '08 the year The Ventures were inducted, their TRIBUTE DISPLAY
not only included both those guitars but the colored jackets they wore at the time promoting the single.   Countless times before that when they
played just as a duo, you'd catch those same jackets.   We're now up to 80 members so I'll assume someone has a photo of the ROCK HALL
items being displayed back then.  In the meantime, I'll check around here on the homefront!

Offline wstagner

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Re: Gear for "Walk Don't Run."
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2012, 03:10:51 pm »
If we're talkin' Cleveland, maybe JG has a pic or can TAKE 1?

Offline tabalt11

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Re: Gear for "Walk Don't Run."
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2012, 03:43:42 pm »
I'll start workin' on it Walt.  Jeff may have already left work for the weekend!

Offline tabalt11

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Re: Gear for "Walk Don't Run."
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2012, 04:39:10 pm »
Walt & Andy-
Good friend & member Jeff Green just acknowledged while on his way out the door for the weekend that the guitars loaned to the ROCK
HALL were not the ones used on the original WDR.  He verified Bob used a jazzmaster which he unfortunately had given to a friend. 

Don did in fact use a stratocaster on WDR but donated a beat up jazzmaster for the exhibit.  Maybe Jeff can clarify a bit more down the road.  Del's book does cover alot of the other details. 
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 04:54:11 pm by wstagner »

Offline tabalt11

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Re: Gear for "Walk Don't Run."
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2012, 10:56:17 am »
Jeff weighed back in again today with further info found in Del's book.  The jazzmaster Bob used in WDR he
traded to Fender for a new jazzmaster at the time & it was that Jazzmaster that indeed ended up with his
friend.

Offline wstagner

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Re: Gear for "Walk Don't Run."
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2012, 11:36:16 am »
Del's book is a wealth of info. ;D