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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

D. J. David B. Spins Comics-Tunes: The Ventures

Usually I spotlight a comics character or a cartoonist for my Comics Tunes feature. This Tuesday I’m going to mix it up a little. I’m featuring an artist.

The Ventures, seen below in a classic photo that makes them look like they’re waiting for a bus, are one of the most successful recording acts of the rock ‘n roll era, if you measure success by how many records they released. I don’t count how many albums the Ventures recorded, I measure them by the pound (a ton of LPs the way I figure it).

The Ventures hold another record in addition to the record for making a lot of records. They also cut more comics-related tracks than anyone else. (Unless some astute Arf lover can think of a group that had more!)

Yes, there were albums of nothing but super-hero songs, and several artists recorded entire albums of just Batman tracks, but The Ventures had more songs about more unrelated comic and cartoon characters on different albums at different times in their career than anyone in their right mind would dare.

I took the Liberty (inside joke) of clumsily editing together some of the Ventures’ best into one four-minute comics medley. Listen for The Pink Panther Theme, Dick Tracy, The Batman Theme, Roadrunner, and Snoopy vs. The Red Baron, by simply clicking on the bar below…


(if no bar appears please click here to listen)

Next Tuesday, more comics tunes!


C. Yoe (in the funny papers)

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8 Responses to “D. J. David B. Spins Comics-Tunes: The Ventures”

  1. Michael Burton Says:

    I do believe those fellas have had lessons!

  2. R A Says:

    Liberty was the record label, right?

    Anyway, I love those guys. Plus the Spotnicks, and the Shadows, but I really like instrumental rock n roll.

  3. D. J. David B. Says:

    I think they started out on Dolton and ended up at Liberty Records, but the two labels may have been related somehow.

  4. craig yoe Says:

    love the ventures! i wouldn’t mind a part two at all–what other comics songs did they do, d j david b?!? are they still around?

  5. D. J. David B. Says:

    I believe The Ventures are still playing, but with some personnel changes. Although if any group deserves a quiet retirement, it’s these guys. I’ve been collecting their records for years and I still don’t have all of them.

    I can’t think of any other comics-related songs besides the FIVE that I edited together here, but there may be more on the dozens of Ventures albums I don’t have!

  6. David Bernstein Says:

    I’m a huge Ventures fanatic!

    A little update on where they are now: The Ventures are still touring and recording, mostly for their huge audience in Japan. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last April and just yesterday played to 50,000 people in Montreal! The touring band in the USA is Don Wilson, original rhythm guitar player, Nokie Edwards, original lead guitar, Bob Spalding, who has played with them since the early 70s on bass, and Leon Taylor on drums, son of original drummer Mel Taylor. When they tour Japan (as they have done nearly every year since 1965), lead guitar is by Gerry McGee, who joined in 1968. Original bass player and co-founder Bob Bogle still records for their studio albums.

    Now as far as comics related songs go, on a Japanese album called Punch the Monkey 2 you’ll find the Ventures own cover of the theme to the great anime classic, Lupin the Third.

    They also covered Sugar, Sugar by the Archies… not necessarily a song about comics characters, but one BY comics characters!

    And of course the Ventures DID do a Batman themed album, with several comics themed original songs with names like: Zocko!, Jokers Wild, the Cape, and UP Up and Away.

  7. Super I.T.C.H » Blog Archive » D. J. David B. Spins Comics-Tunes: Music To Read The Creeper By Says:

    [...] The Ventures! Possibly the group with the most comic book records to their credit, they recorded a suitably creepy record called – you guessed it – The Creeper! The link to [...]

  8. Super I.T.C.H » Blog Archive » D. J. David B. Spins Comics-Tunes: Another Road Runner Song? You Bet Says:

    [...] they have recorded more comics- and cartoon-related songs than any other group (as I noted back on August 29th, 2008). How fitting that they had a Road Runner [...]

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