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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Surf Music General Discussion »

Permalink Nokie Edwards R.I.P.

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Thank you Nokie!.

You made music, guitars and life a joy for us all these decades.

Eternal rest unto thee.


When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.
Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.

Cherokee proverb

Last edited: Mar 14, 2018 19:39:04

Did anyone catch the tribute / memorial service with Venturesmania (Deke, Garrett, Mel, and Chris Sprague)?

Site dude - S3 Agent #202
Need help with the site? SG101 FAQ - Send me a private message - Email me

"It starts... when it begins" -- Ralf Kilauea

Josh and Marty went. Some pics on Facebook.

In almost 40 years of playing gigs, that might have been the most memorable. The vibe in the room was off the charts good. Just an amazing thing to have been a part of.


WoodyJ wrote:

In 2003 I was fortunate to be on the "Surfin' to Baja" cruise to Ensenada with The Ventures and Los Straitjackets. I was able to tell Nokie that he was the reason I wanted to play the guitar and that even though he didn't know it, he was my teacher. I will never forget the smile on his face and even then, I was certain that he heard the same comment from many other guitarists over the decades.

Here is Nokie, Bob, fan KZ and an on deck photo from Surfin' To Baja.
Both Nokie and Bob were great guitar players, and great human beings.
Maybe they are again reunited.


I'd like to echo Mel's statement. There was such a good vibe in that room. Everyone there LOVED Nokie. Even us simple fans that showed up to pay our respects were there out of a love for him and his music and his influence on our lives in some form or other. Every story shared, every video played, and every musical tribute was just glowing with that love and admiration.

The Venturesmania set was particularly good, and I especially loved when Skunk Baxter got on stage and played the steel with them. That was a really cool rendition of Sleepwalk.

Below are some of my photos. I only took a few as I wanted to spend more time experiencing the service rather than documenting it.

The program:


Playing Sleepwalk with Jeff "Skunk" Baxter (Steel player from the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan)

Venturesmanie with Brian Lonbeck (I'm not very familiar with him, but he is a country guitar player that can REALLY PLAY! A frequent player at Deke's festivals)

Seymour Duncan sharing some stories

Some of Nokie's awards, including his Rock & Roll Hall of Fame trophy, his medal from the Emperor of Japan, and many other honors

The Jazzmaster (with Tele neck) that was used by Nokie when recording Walk Dont Run 64

One of his Hitchhiker guitars

Another one of the guitars on display

I'd like to thank Deke & Mel for sharing the details of the service so us fans could be there, and I'd like to thank Nokie's family & friends for sharing such a nice service with us and giving us a chance to say our goodbyes to a wonderful man.

The photos above look a bit pixeled. If anyone wants the raw files, IM me and I'll send them to you.

I just wanted to add a personal story about Nokie. Like so many on this site, he was a guitar hero. So naturally I was really stoked when Nokie and Venturesmania were playing in Burbank (at the time I lived less than a mile away in North Hollywood). Of course, the set was absolutely awesome, but it was after the set that stuck with me.

After the set, Nokie was at the merch table getting set up, and I walked up with a copy of the Venturesmania CD and I wanted him to sign it. I handed him the CD and a pen, and before I could say anything, he put my cd down and shook my hand and he looked me in the eye and then proceeded to thank me for being at the show and picking up the album. Here I was, an awestruck fan boy in a room full of guitar geeks (many in bands we hold dear on this site, too!) and he was thanking me! THANKING ME!!! Such humility and respect and genuine gratitude coming from a literal legend! It almost floored me. Of course, I thanked him right back! I thanked him for his music and his inspiration. He signed my CD and I was about to walk away when, he looked me in the eye (again), and he asked if I played guitar. I told him "I try", and he chuckled a little and said "keep trying". I said "I will, and you keep playing Nokie" to which he replied with a smile "I will".

I'll never forget that. It was a simple exchange, but one that made him grow beyond legend in my mind. After that moment, he felt more like an old friend.

Many of the story-tellers at the service mentioned how when Nokie talked to you, he made you feel like the only person in the room. I can honestly say from experience that it is absolutely true. I am very fortunate to not only get to see him play, but I actually had his full attention for a minute or two of his time on this Earth, and I will never forget it.

RIP Nokie. Keep playing (and I'll keep trying).

Thanks for the photos. Tasteful and solemn.

I did production assist twice for The Ventures. First time was with Gerry on guitar and they had an organ player, second time was with Nokie, Bob, Don and Mel (again) doing sound for a show they played. Met Nokie in their trailer. They were really quiet people all sitting in their trailer.

Thanks for the photos and stories Josh!

Site dude - S3 Agent #202
Need help with the site? SG101 FAQ - Send me a private message - Email me

"It starts... when it begins" -- Ralf Kilauea

Thank you! Smile

I just looked at the memorial service video. Some interesting points and an interesting person in particular:
1. Most of the guitar gear at the service was Mosrites - including the Mosrite inspired Hitchhiker guitar. That's quite appropriate. Nokie was the guy who brought the guitar and subsequent distributorship to the Ventures. That went pretty well - for a while. The Mosrite guitar premiered on the 'Ventures in Space' album and was the Ventures sound for most of the 1960s.
2. I loved Deke Dickerson's yarn about paring Nokie and Dick Dale with Dick Dale's continuous soloing in their set - ignoring Nokie until the set end. Then Nokie just blows the good Mr. Dale away with a 20 second lick. I'll bet that frosted Mr. Dale's loins. I've played with "guitar hogs".. we probably all have.
3.Interesting person... Jeff "Skunk" Baxter. I actually met him in a 48th Street (NYC) guitar shop decades ago. He's had quite a varied career - guitarist, producer, session man, and self-educated security contractor for the US government.

I didn't see any one of the remaining Ventures present at the service - a bit disappointing.
J Mo'

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