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The 2008 NAMM Preview: On The Verge PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 16 January 2008 03:22
namm08.jpgBy Nick Friese & Ken Volpe - GJD
You can feel the heavy and quickened pulse in the air around the offices of GJD: We must be on the eve of the 2008 NAMM Show. The news is flying into our inboxes from all directions on new guitars, amps, pedals, partnerships, software, parties, accessories, artist appearances, dinners, meet and greets, and so much more. For those of us getting ready to make the pilgrimage out to the gear and guitar Mecca, we are caught up in a complete sensory overload of show schedules, coverage, meetings and work.

This year there has already been a flood of interesting NAMM news that the guys and gals at GJD have been talking about and thinking about as we head out to the show. Here's a list of a few NAMM news items that we've been discussing at the GJD coffee klatch:



* Martin's 175 Anniversary as an acoustic guitar manufacturer - a family owned guitar maker that has passed through six generations of Martins!

* Fender just announced a partnership with Taylor to distribute Taylor guitars in Europe, Africa, and most of the Middle East. Will we see another acquisition of a major guitar brand by Fender in 2008? And would it start with a 'T'?

* News that Nuno Bettencourt and Gary Cherone are reforming Extreme for a private gig at NAMM on Friday. Will a reunion tour soon follow? I guess VH-1 couldn't make that happen but the folks at NAMM could.

* Gibson and Slash are coming out with a signature line for the Gn'R and Velvet Revolver axeman this year. We're told that there will be at least six guitars in the collection.

* Taylor will be showcasing their new Electric Solid Body Guitar. Surely the sales will be brisk for the new models once the buyers get their hands on those guitars.

* Which company will be the winner of Jim Basara's dreaded, "What Were They Thinking Award?" Last year's winner was Gibson's Keifer Sutherland's Signature KS336. Who will it be this year? Jim will be on the prowl!

* News that Carlos Santana and Paul Reed Smith will unveil twelve new PRS models, including the newly named Santana MD model on Friday.

* The All-Star Guitar Jam on Saturday night with Muriel Anderson, David Grissom, Laurence Juber, Pete Anderson, Gary Hoey, Thom Bresh, Stu Hamm, Trace Bundy, Andreas Oberg, John Stowell, Bruce Arnold, Steve Adelson, Maria Butterly and Danny Gottlieb are sure to throw off some mammoth jams. We'll have our earplugs and will be up front and center. One of the GJD'ers will certainly provide a review for you.

* There are also dozens of other live music events in the greater Los Angeles area. Over the weekend Tone Merchants has it's annual Shred Fest featuring many of the world's greatest chops masters. So if you are into Shred, that cozy venue is the place to be. If you are willing to drive a little further, as in North Hollywood, Thursday night at the Baked Potato features The Jazz Ministry. We were there last year and most would agree that this is a quartet of the world’s finest musicians. Michael Landau on guitar, Abe Laboriel Sr. on bass, Abe Laboriel Jr. on drums and Greg Mathieson on keys. The Baked Potato is a long-time So Cal institution for serious music.

So as I write this, I would recommend that you get yourself a few extra days off from work, bust out the wallet, rent a car, and forgo some beauty rest to indulge yourself in top shelf music.

It’s hard to believe that one can see hundreds of displays of the latest new gear, check out a plethora of live music and catch up with fellow gear hounds in such a short time. But NAMM is much more than that. NAMM is an experience that floods your senses, stirs your emotions, and fulfills all your expectations. I guarantee that If you throw yourself into NAMM you’ll have an amazing weekend and be hooked for life.
 
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