Last time I started talking about those crazy, exhaustive gatherings known as NAMM shows that happen twice a year in America. I always loved the playing aspect of these shows, and the fact that you always get to see a lot of the same folks each year, and get a chance to “catch up” with them. Certainly that’s a great thing to look forward to, but that very same thing can be so exhausting……I mean, it really started to get like “Groundhog Day”, when you see and hear the same stuff all the time from the same people that keep passing by your booth year after year. It’s like watching your life pass by right in front of your eyes sometimes!
Even though I definitely tended to wear “too many hats” under the NAMM roof, it was truly fun to see the differences, and more importantly, the connections between being involved with the publishing industry as well as the playing and performing industry. In a way, I had achieved the perfect balance between these two ends of the spectrum with my Hot Licks Video business. It was also great to always check out the new gear, and to see “what new free stuff would get thrown at me this year!”
In between all the heavy responsibilities I had at these shows, I always would allow myself (and needed badly) some walk-around “free” time, that enabled me to take it all in as a regular “civilian”! This was often when some of the most interesting and fruitful encounters would take place with other folks, and when I would get to really try out and fall in love with certain guitars, accessories and other wondrous things. It was always a blast performing at the booth too, and we always had nice crowds watching and listening. One thing is for sure…everyone is there under that rood, sharing one thing…a deep love and appreciation of music!
I can recall one time when we had Tuck Andress, the brilliant fingerstyle guitarist who had just done a video for me, performing at the booth. He sat high up on a stool, so the throngs could catch a glimpse of him, and there must’ve been 500 people there, clogging up the aisle! All of a sudden, his guitar dies, the sound goes off, and we have no idea why! Well, as it turned out, some guy from about 20 booths down who made harps of all things, went behind the curtain, and simply yanked the amps plug right out of its socket! I couldn’t believe it………..guess I better think twice again before I god forbid, put a dent in the booming harp makers industry! A confrontation between he and I soon followed that was not very pleasant, but to this day, I’ll never understand why he was really THAT ticked off….it certainly wasn’t volume…Tuck was playing gentle harmonics at the time! See you next installment!