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The NAMM Show: The Perfect Storm PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 21 January 2008 10:47
namm08.jpgBy Nick Friese - Guitar Jam Daily
Another NAMM Show has come and gone. Just like a storm that comes in like lion and exits like a lamb, the halls of the Anaheim Convention Center was hit with a force of 80,000 attendees from music manufacturers, press, musicians, retailers, members, and visitors over four days. They came. They saw. They played. They Partied.

This year's show showcased 1,559 exhibiting companies that set an all-time record for the four-day gathering at NAMM. Even though the final attendance numbers have not been released yet, according to the NAMM execs the overall pre-show registration numbers of retail buyers and various industry members projected a solid attendance versus last year's attendance that reached a record-breaking 84,695.
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This year, for the first time, those who couldn't come to the show could plug into the NAMM Show Channel on YouTube.com. You can check out all of the action from the show here www.YouTube.com/theNAMMShowChannel.

There was so much to cover at the event - much of it we nailed. And some we probably missed. As GJD's Ken Volpe continued to say to me, and others, that he needed to clone himself many times over to capture all that was on the show floor.

Over the next week you'll get Ken's post-show wrap, photo galleries, video, audio, and then the most anticipated editorial awards series in the guitar industry; GJD's Guitar Tech, Jim Basara's NAMM Awards.

For me the show was just a blur of meetings, exhibit tours, various performances throughout the convention center and in the surrounding hotels over the four days, artist interviews, sightings, and catching up with friends.

Many of the highlights for me came from spending time at the exhibits and walking through the rows of new gear and guitars - surprised?

I spent time with Paki Newell at the Martin exhibit to talk about the 175th anniversary of the company, the anniversary models and other new guitars that were on display. Some of the notables were the 000-42M Eric Clapton Limited Edition, DM-28M Elvis Presley leather covered guitar, and the faux Gibson dreadnought designed by Martin in honor of Gibson's bid to take the dreadnought patent for their own. The Martin Ukes were quite impressive too, and equally pricey!

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More news was found at Line 6 with the launch of the new Pod X3 and the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" amp, along with their new Spider Valve tube amps. Eric Tarkanian, VP of marketing at Line 6, told us that their amps ($500 and under) are now the number 2 selling amps in the US.

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We also saw some beautiful sights at both the Taylor booth with their new Electric Solid Bodies. David Hosler told us that sales are swift on the new electrics and that things couldn't be better with the launch of the new line. They are quite a sight and easy on the eyes - and on the ears. Country superstar Taylor Swift and her band stopped by the Taylor booth for a short set and packed and rocked the house with both the Taylor acoustic and Electric Solid Bodies.

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Candian guitar maker Godin, had some stunning new models on display with their new 5th Avenue Acoustic and their new Passion RG 3 electric guitars. The company continues to innovate with interesting guitar designs and electronics that are built into the bodies of their electrics. Moreover, they were showing off their new John McLaughlin model too.

godin-guitars-namm-01.jpg

Paul Reed Smith also had a jam filled show as they introduced 12 new models at the show with a kick off press conference with Carlos Santana and Paul Reed Smith welcoming in the Santana MD. Plus, PRS had a new acoustic line and the new SCJ Thinline full hollowbody guitar on display.

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All of this was just the tip of the gear 'burg. So much more was out on the floor and I could spend days riffing on all of it with you. Call me for more.

The halls and hotels were filled with music all weekend. There were blistering performances by Johnny Hiland, John Mayer, at private events to Muriel Anderson's All Star Guitar Night featuring Gary Hoey, David Grissom, Pete Anderson, Stu Hamm, Laurence Juber, and the list goes on...

We had some fun sightings too as Stevie Wonder was wandering the halls of NAMM with his entourage. It was like a having the President of the United States walking through the crowd with the security, hordes of people, and flashes going off around him. He was so calm and cool as he slipped through the chaos so gracefully. We also ran into Billy Gibbons, Ingwe Malmsteen, Mick Mars, and others that have taken the music and guitar world by storm.

So sit back and enjoy the rest of the coverage that will be coming your way over the next week or so. Like me, you'll get your fill. We promise.


 
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