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The Ventures' Bob Bogle Loses Fight With Lymphoma at Age 75

June 16, 2009 1:19 PM ET

Bob Bogle, lead guitarist and co-founder of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame-inducted band the Ventures, passed away on June 14th, the band's Don Wilson told their native Tacoma, Washington's News Tribune. Bogle, who suffered from non-Hodgkin lymphoma for the past several years, became ill this weekend and was taken to the hospital, where he died at the age of 75.

Bogle and Wilson were construction workers who moonlighted as musicians when they formed the Ventures in 1958, and two years later their classic rendition of the instrumental "Walk, Don't Run" catapulted the surf-rock band up the charts. They went on to have hits with "Telstar," "Perfidia" and "Hawaii Five-O," releasing more than 40 albums and charting in the Top 40 with 17 of them, according to AllMusic. Overall, the band sold more than 100 million records, News Tribune reports.

The band became one of the most influential guitar-based bands of their era, and were inducted into the Rock Hall in 2008. "["Walk, Don't Run"] started a whole new movement in rock & roll. The sound of it became 'surf music' and the audacity of it empowered guitarists everywhere," John Fogerty said during induction-ceremony speech. Eddie Van Halen also told Rolling Stone last year that the Ventures' "Pipeline" was among the first songs he learned how to play on guitar.

"Boy, I tell you, he's the brother I never had," Don Wilson told the News Tribune. "And he is much more than any brother could be. He and I were partners for, like, 52 years. And to tell you the honest truth, we had never, ever had an argument in all that time — never." Even though Bogle eventually moved to the bass for the Ventures, it was his classic work as the band's lead guitarist for which he is most remembered. "If you listen to 'Walk, Don't Run' and 'Perfidia,' the lead guitar is just totally unique," Wilson said. "He used that vibrato bar — they call it a whammy bar — and he used it like nobody else."

A private funeral service will be held on Friday, June 19th.

Related Stories:

Madonna, Mellencamp, Cohen Honored at Emotional Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction
Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time: The Ventures' "Walk, Don't Run"

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