V is for… The Ventures
Let’s just say, for argument's sake, that Dick Dale was surf’s greatest artist. That would make The Ventures its greatest band. The band’s legendary single Walk, Don’t Run (watch a live clip from 1964 here) is just one highlight in a career that’s still ongoing.
While the band never recaptured their fame in the US after the '60s ended, The Ventures remain big in Japan and still regularly tour there. In fact, the Japanese government awarded The Ventures the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays and Rosette in 2010 in recognition of their contribution to cultural exchange between the US and Japan.
V is also for… Vibrato
Wiggling a guitar’s vibrato arm is part of an essential surf trifecta that includes a sopping wet reverb sound and plenty of tremolo picking. Many guitarists refer to a guitar’s vibrato arm as a ‘tremolo’ and the tremolo effect produced by amplifiers and stomp boxes as ‘vibrato.’ That’s the wrong way round. This anomaly is attributed to Leo Fender who got the terms mixed up.
He was busy changing the world though, so we’ll let him off.