Nokie Edwards, guitar player for The Ventures, one of the most successful bands to emerge from the Pacific Northwest during the 1960s, has passed away at the age of 82 years old.
Deke Dickerson shared some wonderful memories of the man on his Facebook page:
NOKIE EDWARDS 1935-2018 Hard to know where to start… Nokie Edwards, to me, was one of the greatest guitar players that ever lived. Nokie was also a huge influence on me. As lead guitar player for the Ventures, almost every other famous guitar player you can think of grew up cutting their teeth learning Nokie’s parts from those great albums. My good friend Crazy Joe, after touring with me for a couple of months, said “I think I have you figured out. Your whole guitar style is 1/2 Nokie Edwards and 1/2 Cliff Gallup.“ Boy, he was right. I was fortunate enough to back up Nokie on many occasions, and we even made a record with him. Just being around the guy was like hanging out with some mythical figure, one of the Founding Fathers or one of the Greek gods right here on earth, sitting there in front of you. Sometimes it was hard to speak, realizing this was the same guy who played the lead on things like “Journey To The Stars” and “Diamond Head.” I went to visit Nokie in late October at his home in Yuma, Arizona. I was shocked at how frail and feeble Nokie seemed when I visited. His health had really taken a turn for the worse. Even though his wife Judy talked about future medical care and upcoming surgeries, it really felt like Nokie didn’t have long. While some people might feel extreme sadness with the passing of a legend like Nokie, it occurs to me that Nokie lived an incredibly rich and full life. He had been inducted into the rock ‘n’ roll Hall of Fame, had gold records on the wall, toured the world for decades, had millions of little geeky kids like myself idolize him, and a good woman who took care of him. And I know that somewhere up there, Nokie’s looking forward to the jam session this evening with his heroes Chet Atkins and Les Paul. Rest In Peace, my friend.
Rest in peace, Nokie Edwards.