Mosrite / The Ventures Mark 1 / 1965 / Pacific Blue / Guitar For Sale
Offset asymmetrical double cutaway solid body with 'German Carved' top. This exceptionally rare, custom-color 'Pacific Blue' "The Ventures Model" weighs 8.30 lbs. and has a nut width of just under 1 9/16 inches and a scale length of 25 inches. Solid alder body, scalloped on top edge. Two-piece medium-profile rock-maple neck with a rosewood fretboard with metal nut, zero fret and 22 'speed' frets with small white dot position markers. Specially shaped "Ventures Model" headstock with "Mosrite of California", "The Ventures Model" and the Mosrite "M" logo decal in black. Individual "double-line" Kluson Deluxe tuners with oval metal buttons. The serial number "2956" is stamped into the twenty-second fret of the guitar. Four-bolt neck plate (stamp dated November 1965 on the neck heel and in the pocket). Two Mosrite single coil pickups with black plastic covers with "Mosrite of California" embossed on the lower edge and outputs of 11.78k and 11.48k. Three-layer (white/black/white) plastic pickguard with seven screws. Two controls (one volume, one tone) plus three-way selector switch, all on pickguard. Mosrite metal 'hat type' knobs with "M" stamped on top, numbered from 1 to 5 (one with a "V" and the other with a "T". Jack socket on pickguard on treble horn. Mosrite bridge with six individually adjustable saddles and chrome-plated die-cast Mosely type vibrato unit tailpiece. The Pacific Blue finish is bright and vivid and shows none of the usual fade associated with this very rare color. Housed in it's original brown imitation Crocodile hardshell case with brown leather ends and red plush lining (8.50).
With over 110 million copies sold worldwide of well over 100 studio, live, compilation and box set album releases, The Ventures, founded in 1958 as The Versatones by Don Wilson and Bob Bogle, remain unsurpassed for their impact on music and musicians.
“The Ventures – the quintessential guitar combo of the pre-Beatles era -influenced not only styles, but also a generation’s choice of instruments” (Guitar Player, Jan. 1987).
Over thirty star guitarists have named The Ventures as an early influence. The list includes George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Rory Gallagher, Joe Walsh, Stephen Stills, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, Peter Frampton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, John Fogarty, Mark Knopfler, Roy Buchanan, Ted Nugent, Gene Simmons, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, Steve Howe, and even Elton John; they’ve all testified to the importance of Walk Don’t Run, amongst other Ventures hits, to their early musical education.
Walk Don’t Run, a rearrangement of Chet Atkins’ version of jazz guitar great Johnny Smith’s composition, was their first hit. They rerecorded it again in 1964, and it became a hit once more. The group remains the only act to win Top Ten spots for two different versions of the same song. After a few personnel changes in the very early 1960s, the classic lineup of Don Wilson on rhythm guitar, Nokie Edwards on lead guitar, Bob Bogle on bass, and Mel Taylor on drums was established. The guitarists would often switch roles.
Over the last forty-eight years, through various musical trends and changes in taste, the band has played non-stop and thirty-eight of the Ventures albums made it onto Billboard's Top 200
From 1982- July ’83, Harvey Wicklund, a skilled guitarist and singer, filled in for Don Wilson. In an exclusive interview with us, Harvey relates that
“As near as I can figure [this Mosrite] was signed between March and July of 1983. Don wanted to stay home and work in the studio, writing and recording for the band and taking a break from the road for a while. The band had been on the road for 25 years at that time.
“Mel managed my band for 3 years (Harrison Swift) in which I was the lead singer. When HS split up and Don wanted to stay home, the band offered me the position. I was very honored to be invited to play with the world’s greatest instrumental band. I learned a great deal from them and will always be thankful and grateful to have been invited into their circle.
“Here’s a typical story of how the band operated: We arrived at a gig in Ohio in the dead of winter. The venue was a group of Quonset huts connected together with big propane heaters that made your eyes burn. The club owner came to the band and said that not enough people had turned out (most of them came on snowmobiles) to be able to pay the band. Bob asked him how many people showed up? 20 people was the reply.
“Bob said, ‘If 20 Venture fans came all the way out here on snowmobiles to hear us play, we're going to give them a great show’ - and we did!!!! That type of thing happened more than once while I was with them.
“I was introduced to Mel by Jerry Carter from a group called SMITH around 1975 and he booked HS onto the Black Angus circuit. I also was with one of Mel’s daughters for 8 years. Mel and I were close and I loved him and I miss him very much. I'm sure that you know Larry "The Mole" Taylor from Canned Heat is Mel’s Brother. I still call him Uncle Larry when I see him!”
The Mosrite Venture model was created by “Semie” Mosrite, who designed the pickups and wound them himself, designed the “M” headstock, added the German carve, tilted the neck pickup, introduced “speed” frets, and bestowed upon the guitars splendid finishes of deeply saturated colors.
As Mosrite historian Tim Brennan wrote in Modern Guitar Magazine (Jan. 18 and August 31 2005):
“Semie had built a guitar that he lent to Nokie Edwards of the Ventures to use on some recording sessions. This was to change everything! Nokie bought a guitar from Semie and, within a year, an endorsement deal with the Ventures would make Mosrite a household name, at least in the surf/instrumental guitar world.
“It was probably Nokie who made the Mosrite name famous. Nokie was the lead guitarist for the Ventures, an instrumental group, and by 1962 the entire band was playing Mosrites on songs like "Walk Don't Run" and the theme from "Hawaii 5-O". The back of one of their albums read, "Guitars courtesy of Mosrite Distributing Corporation". That was enough to start the ball rolling and soon Mosrite had substantial orders from dealers, which signaled the start of Mosrite's heyday. Initially building 20-30 guitars a month, the orders kept coming in and Mosrite was on its way to becoming a credible American guitar manufacturer.
“Semie had been working with Bob Crooks of the Standel guitar company who wanted Semie to design a guitar for him "like a Fender". This guitar eventually became the basis for the Mosrite Ventures model. Early examples of these guitars have "Joe Maphis Model", or, simply, "Mosrite" on the headstock.
“Legend has it [confirmed by Nokie Edwards and Mosrite GM, John Rutledge] that Semie flipped over a Stratocaster and traced around it to produce the now-classic Mosrite body design. However, the shape of the Mosrite Ventures model is more elaborate, more curvaceous, and, in the opinion of many, more pleasing to the eye than an upside down Strat. In fact, Semie's innate talent for original guitar design would prove itself again and again over the years.
“After working on a prototype with guitar artisan Bill Gruggett, the first ‘official Ventures’ guitar became available in 1963. The first model had a set neck and a celluloid-bound body, with a large "The Ventures" logo on the headstock. They were available in red or sunburst only. The amplifier jack was on the side of the guitar and these are referred to as the "side jack models.
“The necks were very thin and had extremely low frets known at Mosrite as ‘speed frets.’ They had a zero fret and semi-circular-type metal string guide (nut). The vibrato unit on these early models was called a "Vibramute" and had a special muting mechanism near the bridge. All Mosrite production numbers are sketchy, but it's believed approximately 200 of these guitars were built. The Ventures used this model on their January, 1965, tour.
“In 1964, the amplifier jack was moved on to the pickguard and the body binding was dropped. The neck joint was changed to the bolt-on type but the screw heads were covered by a metal plate, which was subsequently changed to a more standard type bolt-on neckplate with exposed screw heads.
“All of these changes suggest economy in manufacturing as the ‘original’ design would have been very expensive to produce. The Ventures logo became smaller in mid '64 and the pickups changed to show the ‘Mosrite of California’ logo embossed on them, but with no "R" for registered trade mark.”
Bob, Nokie, Mel and Harvey signed this gorgeous – and genuine - Mosrite Ventures model (stamp dated November 1965 on the neck heel and in the pocket) on the pickguard, with Bogle autographing “The Ventures” above his own signature.
This is one guitar where you’ll want to ignore the band’s signature advice: Run, Don’t Walk – it won’t be here long.
6/17/2009. We note with sadness the passing of Ventures' co-founder Bob Bogle yesterday at age seventy-five. "He had a special sound that nobody could ever recreate," his pal and Ventures co-founder Don Wilson told CNN Radio. "He was totally unique as a guitar player." The two met as construction workers. "We had a lot of time on our hands after work, so we'd get together and play," Wilson recalled. "A year and a half later, we had a No. 2 hit called Walk Don't Run."
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