TOKYO (CelebrityAccess) — Gerry McGee, the former lead guitarist of the instrumental rock band The Ventures, died after collapsing on stage in Japan on October 8th.
“It is with extreme sadness that I write this post. I was advised by Gerry’s family this morning that he had passed away early this morning, California time, at approximately 4 p.m. in Japan on October 12. Gerry was on tour in Japan so that he could re-connect with his friends and fans, as it had been two years since his last tour with The Ventures which, as we know, was cut short for health issues. Gerry had been very much looking forward to his return to Japan and, the last time I spoke with him, he was really happy to set off on this tour. Unfortunately, during his performance earlier this week, he had an apparent heart attack and was taken to the hospital in Tokyo where he remained in a coma until today,” said a statement posted on the band’s website.
Gerry joined The Ventures in 1968, stepping into the as guitarist after founding member Nokie Edwards left the group. During his tenure with the band, he recorded three of their biggest hits in Japan, including “Ame No Midosuji”, “Kyoto No Koi” and “Kyoto Bojo.”
He toured with The Ventures for three years and then rejoined the band in the 1980s until he was forced to step away two years ago due to health issues.
McGee, whose father was the famed Cajun fiddle player Dennis McGee, recorded with a list of artists that included Elvis Presley, Eric Clapton, John Mayall, Kris Kristoferson and The Monkees.
According to the group’s statement, his family said they will set up a PO Box for well-wishers and said they will probably establish a GoFund Me page in order to stage a tribute to McGee for his fans in Japan and in the U.S.
Gerry performing last year in the U.S.