FEBRUARY 7th 2015

The NAMM Show Photos/Review By: Char Tupper

NAMM Show Photos: http://www.metaltitans.com/concertpics/the-namm-show-2015/
NAMMJAM Photos: http://www.metaltitans.com/concertpics/namm-jam-2015/
Metal Allegiance Photos: http://www.metaltitans.com/concertpics/metal-allegiance-2015/

It is late January, and it is that time once again to fly down to sunny little Anaheim, CA for one purpose, and one purpose only, to partake in the biannual NAMM Show 2015. For those who are unaware of what exactly NAMM is, it is the National Association of Music Merchants, let’s just say NAMM is the “pinnacle event” to start off the year, every year.

Numerous merchants from around the world come forth for 5 days (January 22nd-January 25th) showcasing their newest, yet best product they have to offer for the new year. The companies also showcase their classic product including best sellers. Booths like ESP or Schecter Guitar Research , like last year, had enormous booths filled with unique custom designs from their very own custom shops like extravagant shapes, designs, and paint jobs. The booths are also infamous for having big name musicians using their product, so pictures and their guitars/basses hung from the wall as a “badge of honour” so to speak. Spector Basses was another popular booth. Don’t let the booth size fool you, this booth packs quite a punch with an array of guests at their infamous “Artist Zone” like Rachel Bolan, Rex Brown, Quintin, and countless others. The booth was constantly busy with people walking in and out of the booth, from small local bass players, to big name musicians like Rudy Sarzo and Devin Townsend to simply say “hello” to owners PJ Rubel and Stuart Spector.

Dean Guitars this year had a major “booth revamp” from last year. They had a room all to themselves on the third floor of the convention centre filled with countless different designs and guitar models. They had 2 though, that hit the metal communities heart strings of sorrow, by having one, of course, showcasing Dimebag Darrell’s original “Dean from Hell” guitar. Viewing his original guitar in the showcase just brings a tear to the eye, but, knowing he is doing countless solos with numerous other great musicians we have lost, we all await to see you again Dimebag, we miss you. The second guitar that was being honoured at the Dean Booth was one of recent passing, Wayne Static of Static-X. He recently passed away peacefully in his sleep late 2014. Wayne was loved by many and he was a man who passed on far too early in life.

This year I found a few of the booths were relocated, made it a little tricky to find, however some seemed like they were exactly where I left them back in 2014. The Gibson booth is worth the honourable mention due to having a “Guitar of Thrones”, that was a pretty nice Throne, I must say. That being said, the booth was much larger this year, amazing layout, everything was easy to see and find while also having a larger sized stage area for artist demos and speeches from company VP’s, etc. NAMM is an amazing place to make connections in this music industry, whether you are a metal head, country star, teen pop star, or hip-hop rapper, NAMM has something for one and all. This year the Moog and Fishman booth had a special treat of having artist demos by the one and only scumdogs of the universe, GWAR. Getting to watch the reactions of countless people as Balsac, the Jaws of Death, Pustulus Maximus, and Beefcake walk through the masses. Let’s just say watching the very serious businessmen and women and their jaws drop as they “stroll by”, nothing can beat that. Appearances around NAMM included some of the usual characters like Peter and Wolf of Accept, Devin Townsend of DTP/Ziltoid, Lee Skylar, Rob Trujillo of Metallica, and countless others. Always a pleasure to see the familiar faces in and around NAMM.

The NAMM event is also well known for having countless concerts in or around town in relation to NAMM. For example, the Randy Rhoads Tribute show in Santa Ana, CA on Jan. 23rd, always a huge success with numerous guitar players from bands paying tribute to the one and only, Randy Rhoads. The same night there was also the “Hottest Ticket at NAMM”, NAMMJAM 2015, headliners Steel Panther alongside other musicians played a packed show in Anaheim, CA. Quite a few of the nights during NAMM had a minimum of 2 shows playing the same night, made seeing concerts a bit of a challenge, but I feel I got to enjoy and see the hottest events, with some friends close by my side.

To say NAMM is a “fun event” is pretty much an enormous understatement. It is a such an exciting opportunity to better your business whether it be photography, magazine or webzine, bands, even being a buyer for a music shop, your business can only grow from the 5-day event. The experience itself is nothing like you will ever have anywhere else, like meeting worldwide renowned musicians from bands like Metallica, Black Sabbath, Megadeth, even Backstreet Boys or Lynard Skynard that on a normal basis, they would be in hiding on a tour bus or at home. If you are contemplating whether NAMM 2016 is the right event for you, well stop! If music is where your heart skips a beat, well don’t skip the beat of NAMM, because it will be worth your while to partake in one of the biggest music events you may ever experience.