There to represent Rock Eyez, my wife Jen and I just returned from attending the annual NAMM Show at the Anaheim Convention Center. For those who don't know, the NAMM Show is considered the largest music trade expo in the world. The January 2008 event had 1,560 exhibitors and a record-breaking 88,100 attendees. The convention is not open to the general public, but only to qualified members of the music industry. Thousands of new product introductions and demonstrations are featured at Winter NAMM, making attendance by journalists a necessity. Apart from previewing the latest in musical developments, visitors are treated to special events including autograph signings, demos by (often) well-known musicians and mini-concerts. And every night after the doors close, there's always a party or show to go to!
Thursday evening we attended the "NAMM Jam" at the nearby Galaxy Theater in Santa Ana. On the bill was a proverbial who's- who... a 3 hour show featuring sets by Y&T, Tracii’s LA.Guns, Gilby Clarke, Pat Travers, Warren DeMartini and George Lynch. All accumulating in an inspirational and endless jam-fest! (Photo coverage to follow!)
The next night we were lucky enough to be invited to the private Washburn concert for the reunited Extreme. They're back, baby! Sounding better than ever - and giving the fortunate attendees a full two hour show. Jen documented it all, and will be sharing with us soon!
Wandering through the huge exhibition halls, we bumped into tons of famous musicians who were all happily willing to chat or pose for a picture. My apologies upfront for those who might get sick of looking at us! Photos include Nikki Sixx, Gilby Clarke, Fred Coury (Cinderella), Jim Peterik (Survivor), Rick Springfield, Dave Meniketti, Phil Kennemore & Leonard Haze (Y&T), Jon Anderson (Yes), Michael Anthony, Rikki Rockett, Scott Rockenfield & Eddie Jackson (Queensryche), Chuck Wright & Frankie Banali (Quiet Riot), Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake / Thin Lizzy), Jeff Pilson & George Lynch, Graham Bonnet (Alcatrazz), Big Cock, Paul Gilbert (Racer X / Mr. Big), Rowan Robertson (Dio) & DC4, Steve Brown (Trixter), Frank Dimino (Angel), Black 'N Blue, Buck Dharma (B.O.C.), Robert Sweet (Stryper), Jetboy, Bobby Blotzer & Warren DeMartini (Ratt), Glenn Hughes, guitarist Greg Howe, Chris Caffery (Savatage), Ron Keel, Terry Ilous (XYZ), Simon Wright, Chris Slade, Uli Jon Roth, Bob & Bruce Kulick, Troy Luccketta (Tesla), Phil Soussan (ex-Ozzy), Rudy Sarzo, Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister), Steve Plunkett (Autograph), Tod Howarth (Frehley's Comet), Georg Dolivo and Brian (KIX) Forsythe (Rhino Bucket), Bobby Rondinelli (Rainbow / Sabbath), Lizzy Borden... Phew! And there were plenty more that we missed, not wanting to waste time in endless lines (Paul Stanley, Slash, Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen...)
Saturday evening found us at the beautiful OC Pavilion to check out Terry Ilous' XYZ. A very cool jam ensued, including fan favorites Ron Keel & Josh Ramos. Following the show, guests were treated to an elegant after show party, complete with a live jazz band. A full report forthcoming.
NAMM is definitely every music fans dream, and we look forward to covering it again next year!
All photos copyright by Jennifer Bartram-Schmitt
Special thanks to Jason Reppenhagen for all of his assistance and setting up our passes.