Terrible news. I understand he was the last surviving member of the original Ventures. He and Bob Bogle formed the band in 1958.
I grew up in the late '50s and the mid '60s and the Ventures were the instrumental band of the era for me. I remember buying the Play Along with the Ventures series on LPs. (Btw, I still have I think two of the albums.)
This was, of course, before Youtube, instructional DVDs, CDs and cassettes. I remember hearing a passage and then the voice-over guy would cheerfully say, "Now you try it." I was so excited to learn how to play my favorites such as Pipeline and Walk Don't Run and a bunch of other Ventures hits.
RIP. Being a little too young to have caught them in their heyday, I'm pretty sure I was turned onto them via Quentin Tarantino movie soundtracks.
Found a half dozen of their records in a 2nd hand store 2 or 3 years ago for like a buck a piece, did some wikipedia reading, never realized that for years they'd just put out an album of instrumental top 40 covers every 2 or 3 months and had a discography of over 60 studio albums and over 200 albums overall.
RIP.....yeah the Ventures were the best instrumental players...
They made a lot of us want to play guitar. Me, I had to go through drums, bass and then guitar, but then I am usually a day late and a dollar short.