Don Wilson, co-founder of Tacoma-born Hall of Fame rockers The Ventures, dies at age 88

Don Wilson, co-founder of rock legends The Ventures, pictured in 2008, on the eve of the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Peter Haley / The News Tribune PETER HALEY THE NEWS TRIBUNE

by Staff of the News Tribute

The News Tribune

January 25, 2022

Tacoma’s original rock and roller has died, but the music lives on. Don Wilson, co-founder and rhythm guitarist of The Ventures, died of natural causes Saturday in Tacoma at age 88, surrounded by his four children, according to a statement from his son Tim. “Our dad was an amazing rhythm guitar player who touched people all over world with his band, The Ventures,” said Tim Wilson. “He will have his place in history forever and was much loved and appreciated. He will be missed.”

With an estimated 100 million record sales, the Ventures set the standard for instrumental guitar rock in the 1960s and 1970s. Their hits included the instantly recognizable escalating riff of “Walk, Don’t Run,” and the equally familiar theme song for “Hawaii Five-O.” Those and other songs propelled their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. Some rock historians and critics felt the honor was long overdue

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