Ahh…I love the smell of NAMM in the morning. Waking up for Day Three you feel yourself changed, a NAMM-Morphosis of sorts…like a super power. You now walk the vast NAMM halls as if on a hover board, connect with your fellow NAMM goers like a matrix, and forego NAMM maps and apps. After charging up at the NAMM U Breakfast (yes, food during the daylight hours!), you’re ready to go. In essence, you become one with NAMM. Of course, the occupational hazard here is that you grow accustomed to the non-stop excitement.
The day’s NAMM U Breakfast was especially relevant as digital ninja master, Jay Baer, enlightened us on Hug Your Haters: Customer Service in the Digital Age. In our society’s “on-the-go / social media / hear me roar” customers, it is more important than ever to embrace the digital revolution. With the three days’ worth of NAMM U Breakfast scrambled eggs, strong coffee and MI industry pearls of wisdom, you can’t help but feel the big picture and how it’s the sum of a million points of light.
Other awesome features in addition to the NAMM U Breakfasts are the Idea Center, Retail Boot Camp and NAMM U Online which highlight the best practices and ideas in the music products industry, helping MI professionals run successful businesses. So if you aren’t learning a ton, you’re not wanting to.
For the day’s first interview, I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down with none other than, Women’s International Music Network (WiMN) founder and host of the She Rocks Awards, Laura B. Whitmore. Just the night before at the She Rocks Awards, she rocked the house! Now sitting down one on one, she serenaded me like an alluring French perfume…c’est un plaisir. Hearing her “the day after” thoughts on the She Rocks Awards, her pride and exhilaration exuded. What a night at the Awards show and now spending some time with her at the WIMN booth and hearing her perform solo was an added special bonus. I commend her on her ongoing efforts to helping others and serving as a shining star.
RELATED STORY: Laura B. Whitmore: Lighting the Way for Women in Music
My next stop was nearby to see Lisa Johnson, author of 108 Rock Star Guitars. Lisa’s so cool and rebelliously stylish. Hands down, her book is one of the most exciting guitar books on the planet as it gives you the up close and personal view of 108 iconic guitars from the most famous players ever. Guaranteed to rock your eyeballs!
RELATED STORY: Interview with Lisa Johnson, the Girl with the Guitar Art
Then I hovered over to the C. F. Martin Guitars booth, which felt like it had its own gravitational pull. There I was greeted by the enchanting Aliza Rabinoff, who guided me around the altars of the large and well stocked Martin guitar displays. Of extra special note were the 17 and 15 Series, the Standard Series and the John Lennon model. If only my credit card would allow me to take them all home.
Afterwards, I met with the playfully pink haired singer / songwriter / actress, Jamey Geston, who told me about her upcoming NAMM performance and role in the upcoming movie, Soul To Soul, where she’ll be playing the daughter of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Wow!
As it was my last full day at NAMM, I was off to cruise the jam packed halls to see the latest cool offerings from Coffin Case, Ibanez, Alert the Globe, Reverb, Ultimate Ears, JamStik+, ToneGear, Laney and Radial Engineering. Always so much to see and you never feel like you got to see everything that you wanted to.
To finish out the afternoon, I was fortunate enough to catch Caroline Sky’s performance at the Anaheim Hilton’s NAMM Stage. I was so taken by her exquisitely talented performance as she’s only 15 years old but it was so pure, flawless and soulful that, as it so rarely happens to me, time stopped and was I just awed. Somebody please sign this heavenly songbird to a record deal!
As the sun set, I was off to the sold out Duesenberg Imperial Ball “Stepping Out” Charity Concert with Johnny Depp and friends. Sponsored by Duesenberg, SennHeiser, Credo Arts et al, this year its recipients are the Art of Elysium and Pet Orphans of Southern California. The charity offerings were some amazing pictures of rock’s elite from Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones. The most desired piece of the bunch was a one of a kind signed painting of Alice Cooper, Joe Perry and Johnny Depp, more on that later. Johnny and crew came out rockin’ with Bowie tunes, paying their respects to the Thin White Duke. Things really kicked into overdrive when none other than the Prince of Darkness, Alice Cooper, walked out on stage and the boys cranked into Cooper’s mega hits. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Robby Krieger, of the Doors joined the band and they flipped the switch on the Doors anthems. Crazy, I know.
What an amazing, legendary night of rock. Back to the that Cooper, Perry, Depp painting, it sold for quite the tidy amount and was for a worthy cause. Who said rock and roll wasn’t tax deductible?
Meanwhile, back at the ranch (i.e. the Anaheim Hilton NAMM Stage), Flashback Heart Attack was the rock incarnate of the hits from the’ 80s. Without a doubt, they knew what they liked about you.
During the brutal flight back East, my mind was swimming in the fresh memories of what was the largest, and in my opinion. most rockin’ NAMM to date. I’m glad to be home but how many days until next NAMM?