Nokie Edwards playing guitar for the first time after his operations at Saiseikai Tokyo Hospital in Japan. Source:

Nokie Edwards, Ventures Guitarist, Facing Hospital Bills After Heart Surgery in Japan


Ventures guitarist Nokie Edwards, Cherokee, is reaching out to music lovers in a time of need.

Edwards experienced two heart attacks while on tour with the Ventures in Japan in the fall, and his recovery, in hospitals in Sendai and Tokyo, necessitated the insertion of a pacemaker and three stents.

A member of both the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame and the Native American Music Association Hall of Fame, Edwards is now back home in Oregon, and with his wife Judy he is trying to raise money to cover his hospital bills. They're soliciting donations using, and as of this writing they have raised $13,000 of their $125,000 goal.

Judy Edwards is posting updates on Nokie's condition to his official site, The latest, from yesterday, reads in part:

Nokie has seen his GP last week and his heart doctor this week. He is moving forward with his recovery... Which we all know what a strong man he is. Nokie has his pacemaker check on the 14th of this month and his heart ultrasound and echo on the 19th. I am sure he will pass with flying colors.

You will all be happy to know he has picked his guitar up twice this week and is now on a schedule daily playing guitar except when we are away from home. Also, he has been working out riding a stationary bicycle twice a day and getting good exercise. Now if I can figure out how to get him to play the guitar and ride the exercise bicycle at the same time, I may be able to get a video of it. Taping his TV remote control to the handlebar of the bicycle may have had a little something to do with getting him to ride the exercise bike. Ha! Ha! Ha!

Below are some photos from Nokie's hospital stays in Japan, taken from a gallery Judy posted to

You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page



Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on
Hope to hear Nokie in action as soon as possible. Good luck Nokie! Silvano Bracco (Sanremo ITALY)

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on
dear nokie,im praying for you everyday,and wishing you a speedy are the real thing a true guitar hero.and an inspiration to all of us.all my best to you and judy.r.j.romano

Clarence Brown's picture
Clarence Brown
Submitted by Clarence Brown on
Still listen to The Ventures music. I coaxed a surprising number of Ventures songs off of 33 RPMs I bought back in the 1960s & put them on CD & my PC. Which ones? Night Stick, Hawaii Five-0, The House of the Rising Sun, Driving Guitars & about 70 others. I always listen to them. Remarkable sounds. Hey, Nokie stay cool, get well, because you are a marvelous musician. My name is Clarence & I am 69 years old now.

mike brown's picture
mike brown
Submitted by mike brown on
HI NOKIE, Just another big fan of yours for 50 years who caused me to study guitar and play 20 years for a living. Hope you get back picking soon and maybe put out a solo album=sorry-CD. You and Chet are IT. Period. Mike Brown-ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GA.

r.j.romano's picture
Submitted by r.j.romano on
i have been following nokie all my life buying records tapes and anything i can get,even bought the same model guitars that he played.fenders,mosrites etc.i believe he is a national treasure he has kept many a young player like when i was once.. off the streets.. it took hours to figure out his licks i would say he has influenced players all over the world by the thousands,i call that amazing.r.j.romano

Cy Hoen,  Cy's Sporting Goods's picture
Cy Hoen, Cy's ...
Submitted by Cy Hoen, Cy's ... on
Nokie. missed you when you were in Anchorage, Ak. You played Kodiak, Alaska a long time a go in my store, Still have the Colt, Best to you. Cy

Dito's picture
Submitted by Dito on
My name is Orlando Arcos, I am Ecuadorian, and I have listened to The Ventures, since I lived in LA in 1966. I´m sorry to hear that Nokie has been ill, but I´m really happy to know he is better, Nokie, God bless you always, I wish you the best. My Email

Walt Starkey's picture
Walt Starkey
Submitted by Walt Starkey on
Nokie, I don't know if you remember me but I played bass with you back in the 70's in Puyallup up on south hill. I have you in my prayers and hope you have a complete recovery. All the best, Walt

Ed Pelleau's picture
Ed Pelleau
Submitted by Ed Pelleau on
Hey Nokie, still love the Hitchhiker you sold me. Good luck with the heart..I've been there, done that. Eat healthy, exercise when you can, above all keep a positive attitude. Too much guitar playing ahead. I still listen and play along with your recordings. (some of them) on a weekly basis. Take care friend, Ed

gil perry's picture
gil perry
Submitted by gil perry on
i was honored to play music with you in yuma in 2012, sleepwalk was one of my first songs on are a special talent and special to the music industry..take care and keep playing that guitar..we played take me home country roads a few times...thanks...

Judiejd@fontier.Com's picture
Submitted by Judiejd@fontier.Com on
Sweethome and us miss you 2=Loved playing music with you and having you at our house--Even with you putting Gravy on your chocolate cake!Cntact us when you can!

Ray Mighells's picture
Ray Mighells
Submitted by Ray Mighells on
Glad to see you're on the mend Nokie, I am looking forward to seeing you perform on Fox and Friends (Fox News Channel) and at the Seneca Casino in Salamanca NY.

Jimmie Cason's picture
Jimmie Cason
Submitted by Jimmie Cason on
I wish you the very best and will keep you in my prayers. Im have been a fan since 1962, I have 42 Ventures albums and believe me they have had plenty of wear. Get well soon Watash.

Toby Moore's picture
Toby Moore
Submitted by Toby Moore on
One of your greatest FANS.Get well real soon, call me some time. 541- 726- 9850 We listen to your CDs. a lot. Hi to Judi See you, Toby

Toby Moore's picture
Toby Moore
Submitted by Toby Moore on
One of your greatest FANS.Get well real soon, call me some time. 541- 726- 9850 We listen to your CDs. a lot. Hi to Judi See you, Toby

VON CROSBY's picture
Submitted by VON CROSBY on

A long time fan's picture
A long time fan
Submitted by A long time fan on
Have been a fan of yours since the early 60's . Do not understand why you are seeking donations to pay your hospital bills! You are one of the most successful guitarists ever and played for years with the best and most popular guitar bands- The Ventures- on the planet. Millions of dollars have been made. You cannot be broke...nuff said!

Lee Stewart's picture
Lee Stewart
Submitted by Lee Stewart on
The money he has made now he is begging for the public to pay his bills..disgraceful!!

martin Jenkins's picture
martin Jenkins
Submitted by martin Jenkins on
You should be ashamed of yourself asking for money..all the money through the years you have made I think this has not helped your public image cashing in on your fans help is so out of order and you should reflect on the damage you have done to not only yourself but the question where has all the money gone!!..a disgrace...time you quit churning out the same old rubbish!!

James Roberts's picture
James Roberts
Submitted by James Roberts on
Why go round the other Ventures members and ask for a loan you can't be broke.

Jim Walters's picture
Jim Walters
Submitted by Jim Walters on
I have met these two some years ago..they will sqeeze every last dime out of you!! May he should go busking! or pay his bills like we all have have done your self no favours here my friend.

Dr AK BEHERA's picture
Submitted by Dr AK BEHERA on
I am great fan of Nokie and the Ventures group. I pray GOD Nokie Edwards will recover very Quickly (Bhubaneswar, INDIA)

Henri of "O Henri's Bar & Grill"'s picture
Henri of "O Hen...
Submitted by Henri of "O Hen... on
Wishing you the best, Nokie..I,too, had heart surgery a yr. ago & am doing great..You & Linda are in my prayers..