Nokie Edwards, a guitarist and bassist for surf rock pioneers The Ventures and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has died at the age of 82, the band’s manager said on Tuesday.
Edwards, who played bass on the hugely popular 1960 surf rock rendition of Walk, Don’t Run before switching to guitar, died on Monday after suffering an infection following hip surgery in December, manager Fiona Taylor said.
“Nokie has been part of the Ventures’ history for almost six decades and helped to shape the early Ventures’ sound and the success of their career,” the band said in a statement on its website. “He was an innovator and one of the greats on guitar.” Edwards, an Oklahoma native who was living in Yuma, Arizona, fell and injured his hip on Christmas, Taylor said.
The Ventures were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 by Creedence Clearwater Revival’s John Fogerty and were lauded as the most successful instrumental group in rock history.
The group is best known for 1960’s Walk, Don’t Run, which reached No. 2 on the charts, selling two million copies. The Ventures, formed in Washington state in 1958, also performed the theme to the TV series Hawaii Five-O. The Ventures are especially popular in Japan and the Edwards-penned song Ginza Lights was one of their first hits in the country, the band said in a statement.
The band last toured in 2016, scheduling nearly three dozen performances in Japan, according to their website.