Sunday, January 21, 2007

namm 2007

Most years I meet up with some friends (scattered across the country) and we head to southern California for the NAMM convention. The National Association of Music Merchants is held each year in the Anaheim convention center and brings manufacturers of musical instruments and equipment from around the world to show their newest inventions. Some of which are pretty weird.

The crowd at the show is one of the more eclectic you'll find: Chinese businessmen in suits, manufacturers in logoed polo shirts, music store owners, rock stars (current, past and wannabe) and their inappropriately dressed girlfriends. We always have fun trying to spot musicians ("Hey, there's Neal Scon from Journey. And Michael Anthony from Van Halen") and working at getting into the manufacturer's parties.

The level of talent around the show is always mind boggling and reminds me what a total hack I am. In the course of a couple of hours I can go from Doyle Dykes ripping it up in the Taylor guitar booth, to Keb Mo at a manufacturer's party. Then walk out of the party to find Johnny Hiland just smoking on a stage in the hotel lobby. Even the guys playing demos are fantastic (well, almost all of them).

This year was kind of lacking in stupid new gear. Sure, there were the usual ridiculous guitars and insanely priced acoustics with more abalone and mother of pearl than wood. But there was nothing to match the toilet seat guitar, or the backwards guitar, or the first time I saw the flavored sax reeds.

Well, there's always next year...

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