TACOMA BAND THE VENTURES HONORED BY GOVERNMENT OF JAPAN

Seattle PI

Longtime Tacoma band The Ventures have been given honors by none other than the Emperor of Japan himself. Members received “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette” medal for “their contribution to the development and enrichment of music culture in Japan, as well as to the promotion of cordial relations between Japan and the United States.” The Consulate-General of Japan noted that it’s the first time the Japanese government has decorated anyone from the foreign pop music genre. Akira Takeda, a spokesman for the consulate, said the group has a very wide fan base in Japan, and despite their age still manage to tour their twice a year. Don Wilson, of Sammamish is the only surviving original Venture. Takeda said the Consulate is planning on holding a ceremony for the band in late June to accompany a to-be-announced performance at Seattle-area venue. The Tacoma band, maybe most famous for “Walk, Don’t Run” and often categorized as surf rock, formed in 1958. They visited Japan for the first time in 1962 as an opening act and have toured their nearly every year for a total of over 2,400 performances. The band also has several songs dedicated specifically to Japan.

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