Back in the early 70s, after I had just moved to Los Angeles, I received a call to record with The Ventures. Who, as a guitar player, hadn’t learned “Walk Don’t Run” and wouldn’t be flattered for that opportunity, I certainly was!
I had completely forgotten about these recording sessions until I saw that Bob Bogle had recently passed away. My brain must really be getting old as I don’t remember much about those sessions. I do remember that Larry Taylor was playing bass, Mel Taylor was on drums and Nokie Edwards on guitar. So, time to fire up “The Google” and see what I could find out.
In my searching I ran across a book titled “Walk-Don’t Run – The Story of the Ventures” at www.books.google.com. In that book (page 195) they have me playing lead guitar, which is not correct. On page 197 I found the true story. The albums I played on turned out to be solo albums of Mel Taylor’s that were later released under the titles “Sun, Sea And Love” and “Mel Taylor in Japan”. The other players on those albums were John Mayall and Harvey Mandel (BTW Larry Taylor and Harvey Mandell were former members of Canned Heat and John Mayall was famous in his own right). On further reading I found that David Carr was playing keyboard and doing orchestral arrangements for them and was also on those sessions. This really surprised me as I had met David later in the 80s when he came into my studio to work with one of my clients and I never made the connection. We did quite a bit of work together at that time. Small world and you learn something new every day!
Reading on I found even more interesting information on page 201 of that book. Evidently there was a lot of intrigue going on with The Ventures at that time as Bob Bogle and Don Wilson were producing these albums and it wasn’t clear if this was Mel’s album or a Ventures album. I do remember that Nokie and Mel had asked me to join them on their upcoming tour to Japan and I was even more flattered. But after many years on the road with The Righteous Brothers traveling was never my favorite thing and I declined. Nevertheless, I realize, even more so today, what an honor it was to work with such a groundbreaking group of musicians.