Honoring music legend and guitar virtuoso Don Wilson
This week our Tuesday Council meeting deviated from its regular programming to celebrate the life and legacy of the late Don Wilson, a Pierce County native and founder of The Ventures.
I was humbled by the group that joined us in chambers. It was standing room only and one after another people came to the microphone to share stories about Don Wilson, and the impact The Ventures had on their lives and musical careers.
We were joined by his children Tim, Staci and Jill, along with Rock N’ Roll Hall of Famer Roger Fisher, who was a founding member of Heart, Seattle guitarist Randy Hansen, drummer Jeff Kathan and the Consul General of Japan Hisao Inagaki, who shared a memory of listening to The Ventures on an 8-track growing up. We also heard from other local musicians and watched a short video clip of various musicians sharing the impact Don Wilson and The Ventures had on their careers.
I grew up in the 1970s and even though my parents were Big Band era music listeners, every now and then our record player would blare an album by The Ventures. My sister and I would dance around the living room on those nights.
Even though there were no words, the rhythm guitar spoke to you. It was just rhythm and the “ticky, ticky, ticky” was amazing.
I appreciate everyone coming together this week to honor a great man and The Ventures. I extend my thanks and appreciation to Consul General Inagaki for joining us to share the impact The Ventures had on the international scene – they were more popular than The Beatles in Japan! The Ventures truly bridged the gap between American Rock N’ Roll and International Rock N’ Roll.
It was a bright spot for us to honor such a wonderful person and a great band that did so much to inspire other rhythm guitarists and launch other bands as a result.
The legend of Don Wilson and The Ventures will live on. Thank you to everyone for such an impactful showing of support for the band and Wilson family.
You can read the proclamation or click the video below to hear it read at the meeting.
Watch the full, 1-hour recognition here.
View the photo gallery on the Pierce County Council Facebook page.