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Thanks for the NAMMemories

NAMM is the National Association of Music Merchants.  Good people doing good things for weirdo musicians. The NAMM Show is their annual trade show at the Anaheim Convention Center which is nestled in the sweet loving arms of four days of raging parties, concerts and a billion dollars of martini soaked musical instrument orders.  It is attended by over one hundred thousand socially uncomfortable musicians and techies doing their best to interact with the trained sales falcons meanwhile every 150th person you see looks like the Unabomber because they are quasi-legitimate rock stars in pseudo “please don’t (do) see me”  undercover attire.  However if you see someone in a burka it’s definitely Mick Jagger.

The NAMM show is important on the tech end of things because all the merchants are showing off their latest bleeding edge nuggets of importance that everyone absolutely must have because they changed the last two digits of the serial numbers from 14 to 15.  However here are a few items of note that caught our blurry-on-a –NAMM-bender eyes:

Fugoo SpeakersFeel like duct taping a speaker to your head while you jump out of a plane and then hit a lake at terminal velocity but still somehow survive long enough to hike up a volcano way too close to the lava all the while cranking the greatest Paul Anka hits with 200% more 360 degree ANKA AWESOMENESS! Well then the Fugoo speakers are for you.  They are 100% waterproof, have 360 sound, totally Bluetooth connected and are claimed to be virtually indestructible.  Here’s a fun pic of the speakers cranking the Golden Girls theme underwater at NAMM.

NAMM is about walking and more walking and then crying about how much your feet hurt and it’s not even lunch yet.  This is where I was emotionally when I saw Henry Rollins walk by who was limping badly which 1) Made my fanboy brain go “So he is human!” 2) Made me bust my Weeble like frame into an olympically fast waddle in the vain hope I could meet one of the few idols of mine who have escaped me which ended with the whah-whah-whah sound when security whisked him into some important person escape pod to some award deal I could almost hear somebody talk about.  This left me and photographer Stu in a post-waddle-sweat standing in front the mother-ship technology of Solid State Logic:

Solid State Logic BoardThat scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey with those guys in desperate need of a back shave upset with the monolith?  That was photographer Stu and I.  These mixing board monoliths are a geeks dream, have the price tag of a Ferrari and are a part of the reason your last concert ticket was eighty bucks.  The L500 unit has 962 inputs and 962 outputs.  This basically means every band member in every club in Denver playing tonight would have their own channel and a couple left over for their pets and grandparents rocking various woodwinds.  That is cool and all but what about the gravelly sound guy whose cigarette habit has removed all moisture from his face for the last fifty years and his “Jimi Hendrix once sweated LSD on this board” just gave up and blew its final radio tube?  I give SSL bonus points for keeping analog alive with their AWS (Analogue Work Station) line which will get get the ear-job done with an experienced sound pro.   We need our machine overlords but momma’s home cookin’ is made with love and human hands.  Unless Momma’s a crappy cook then get the L500.

On the Saturday of NAMM I was lucky enough to find a half-cheeks-worth of real estate on a concrete bench with 12 other half-cheeksters to eat a $13 half-frozen burrito from a food truck I’m pretty sure was called the “Chernobowl”.  It was at this moment I left my body and rose up above the whole situation and saw all my fellow NAMMster’s geometric position on their collective half-cheek perches.  We could not have been more collectively and spatially anti-social if it was a “Guess Which Person Within a Hundred Feet of You Has Ebola Conference 2015.”  It was also at this point that I noticed that one of the greatest guitarists, artists, vocalists Richie Kotzen was concrete perched half-cheeked across from me dressed in full Unabomber wishing he had remembered to bring the burka sitting with his manager eating his semi-frosty Chernobowl burrito.  I didn’t bother a second look because my feet hurt too much.  That only makes sense to anyone who has gone to NAMM.  Then photographer Stu  sent this text: “Dude, you gotta see this.”  I call photographer Stu “The Human Boy Scout” because he is machine like professional, he always has my back, never lies and so if he says “go” I go no matter how little waddle power is left in the Weeble.

And there it was.  The perfect amalgamation of the total NAMM Show experience: The Marshall Amplifier Refrigerator.  Reese’s your chocolate might have gotten in some peanut butter but this amplifier landed in someone’s refrigerator which ups the ridiculous level a few notches.  “Bring Home a Legend.  From the main stage to the man cave the Marshall Fridge was born to rock.” is their tagline. Whoever wrote that should get a free beer bonus.

All chuckles aside the NAMM Show is something you must experience at least once in your life.  And if you are able to rip away that pesky sanity thing off your head-brain-thing go many times after that.  It is the YAY!- worst-awesome-horrible-best-ridiculous-you shittin’ me!!? time that is basically too weird and wonderlandy to pass up.

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