Review By Bobby HQ Storm, Sandy Storm
It was that time of year again, Winter Wonderland hit Southern California as the city of Anaheim hosted the annual National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) event, January 21 – 24th.
“Believe in Music” was this year’s theme as exhibitors from around the world gathered into the convention center, eager to showcase their new products and there is no doubt, the NAMM show is the platform for such a task. Innovation, creativity and sheer genius in capability was on full display as stated by NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond, “As we look at the record number of exhibiting brands, influx of new entrepreneurial spirit and attendance from 125 countries, the industry seems poised for vital growth and breakthroughs. The NAMM Show is a reflection of our industry, not only where it is now, but even more importantly where it is heading next.”
The 31st annual NAMM TEC awards was held on January 23rd, which honored individuals, companies and technical innovations that represent the music community as a whole. The events most prestigious award, the “Les Paul Award” recipient was artist and executive Don Was. Founding member of Was; the band had a unique blend of soul, funk and R&B. Don has also made a staple in the music industry as a producer, with such artists as Bonnie Raitt, The Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Ziggy Marley and currently the President of Blue Note Records since 2011.
As we explored the endless isles of musical splendor, we were able to speak with several representatives of such products as Samson, showcasing their new light weight yet heavy hitter bass amplifier as well as their wireless video/audio system. ESP guitars are excited about their dedication to Bass guitarists and prove it by redesigning their Bass line. ESP also takes us through some of their artist signature series guitars. Sonor Drums are proud to have back in their fold; Nicko Mcbrain of Iron Maiden, and who better than Nicko himself to tell us about it. Nicko talks about the Sonor reunion and a couple of other gems as well, you can view our interview at this location. Check out the above mentioned product interviews, also including a chat with musician Mike Campese, below:
Now, what would NAMM be without the abundance of celebrations that carry on each night during the event? It seems that every club known throughout Southern California hosted a NAMM party. Zakk Wylde paid tribute to Black Sabbath with his show Zakk Sabbath. Graham Bonnet of Rainbow, MSG and Alcatrazz fame rolled into town to Rock a NAMM evening along with Kill Ritual. Hometown rockers L.A. Guns also hit the town to offer up their services. Other Star studded events included several remembrance concerts as well, such as the BONZO BASH honoring John Bohnam. Participants gracing the stage included Brad Whiteford (Aerosmith), Dave Lombardo(Slayer), Chad Smith(Red Hot Chili peppers), Simon Wright(Dio, AC/DC, Operation Mindcrime) to name a few. Another event was the Randy Rhoads Remembered; featuring such artists as Doug Aldrich(Whitesnake), Michael Angelo Batio, Roy Z(Tribe of Gypsies, Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford), Chris Broderick(Megadeth) and Ronnie Montrose Remembered seen the likes of Steve Stevens(Billy Idol), David Ellefson(Megadeth), Legendary drummer Carmine Appice, and Brad Gillis(Night Ranger).
There was a second and very important theme that I witnessed throughout the event; a very prominent educational presence that seemed to have covered every aspect of the Music Industry. Workshops were set up throughout the day; both business and talent were center stage. Teachers and students alike showcased not only their musicianship, but the importance of music. I, for one, truly appreciated the two themes as they intertwined to create a natural surge of positive energy, especially in such a somber time in musical history; as the legends of music leave us on an almost weekly basis. One can’t help but wonder what the future holds. The urgency…, the necessity of rising stars to carry on the torch has never been greater.
Thanks to events such as The NAMM Show, music is resounding….and may it reach into every fabric of society and every fiber of being…..“Believe in Music”.