Among artists listing The Ventures as a favorite or an influence are George Harrison (Beatles), Joe Walsh (James Gang, Eagles), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Stephen Stills, Peter Frampton, Roger Fisher (Heart), Stanley Clarke, Stevie Ray Vaughn, John Fogerty (CCR), Jeff Cook (Alabama), and Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits). Blondie, the Go-Gos, and the B52s are groups that list The Ventures in their roots.
More recently, Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith) have added their names to the list. Keith Moon (the Who), Max Weinberg, and Alan White (Yes) have identified the Ventures as a percussion influence. Even Elton John, in his Starbucks Christmas Collection, pays homage to The Ventures.
Among their chart albums was 1965’s Play Guitar with The Ventures, the first musical instrument instruction album ever to hit the Billboard chart. That’s influence.
Many publications have cited The Ventures for a variety of innovations. Here are a few examples:
Guitar Player (Jan ’87) – 20 Who Mattered
“The Ventures – the quintessential guitar combo of the pre-Beatles era influenced not only styles, but also a generation’s choice of instruments.”
That same article, in a discussion about the Walk Don’t Run album, said it had content that “presaged the surf phenomenon, which was still a couple of years away”.
Encyclopedia Britannica On-Line
“The Ventures served as a prototype for guitar-based rock groups”.
All Music Guide to Rock
In its section on instrumental rock, states –
“The Ventures were especially influential on the development of surf music”.
Encyclopedia of 60’s Music
“The Ventures constructed a powerful, compulsive sound that not only became their trademark, but was echoed in the concurrent surfing style”.
Goldmine (July 99)
In an article titled Rock and Roll’s Greatest Instrumental Group, the magazine called the Ventures “Surfing 101”, indicating that they could teach or instruct in that sub-genre.
The following list of quotes has been compiled from various media sources. Some were received by The Ventures directly from the artist.