[Harp-L] NAMM Report

Thanks to the kindness of Michael Peloquin I was able to get a NAMM pass. I arrived early Saturday morning and was actually able to park in the Anaheim Convention Center structure. (In past years I've had to park a considerable distance away in one of the Disneyland lots.) Security was much tighter than at past NAMMs with photo ID required every time I entered the main hall and bag check every time I left. Also signs everywhere said "NO PERSONAL INSTRUMENTS ALLOWED!" but with some fast talking I was able to convince the guards I was a performer even though I only had a visitor pass.

I was disappointed to discover that for the first time in close to a decade of NAMMs there was no Hering presence! No Madcat, no Alberto Bertolazzi! Bummer. Also disappointed that Bends was not down in the acoustic hall showing off the Bends Tonica as they were last year. But on the bright side, for the first time Seydel had a booth, and I had a nice chat with Rupert Oysler there. Also touched bases with Andy Garrigue at Hohner and with Ronnie Shellist at Suzuki. I was told Lee Oskar was there too, but I missed him.

I didn't recognize any celebrities this year. In past years I've seen Stevie Wonder, Charlie Musselwhite, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, Herbie Hancock, George Benson, Carol Kaye, George Duke, Larry Coryell, \Gene Simmons and many other celebs, but this year about the only name I recognized was Yngwie Malmstein. I'd see a big crowd of people lined up to meet and greet someone and then find out I had no conception of who they were - the lead singer from Megadeth, or Mars Volta for instance. Oh well I guess I'm getting too old for that sort of thing.

But I had lots of fun watching demos of the latest gadgets and playing with some of them myself. I left almost ready to drop $600 on a Korg Wavedrum. Those things are amazing. But now that the buzz has worn off, I think I can wait on that one. More

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