January in southern California - always a welcome break from the winters cold - and especially this year. As in
some past years, I hear some people speaking about a hundred degrees difference from when they left home (22 below zero) and arriving to 80 degrees!
The first order of business for me is always to got to the Ernie Ball / Music Man exhibit to see what they've got for new basses.
I arrived just as the NAMM show was officially beginning, with a marching band playing the Star Spangled Banner, (led by Cookie Monster) right in front of the Ernie Ball booth.
As soon as they finished, drums started crashing, basses being thumped all over the place, and the usual NAMM chaos had begun.
Whoa... they've got a new model, somewhat like the StingRay I play, but with lots more options... each of those buttons on the body gives different pickup
configurations - both passive and active. And a beautiful new shape. I'll be wanting to use this bass for sure.
Over at the Beyerdynamic microphones booth, I have two performances daily, with the California Guitar Trio. (We all use Beyerdynamic mics.)
Crowds varied from medium to big -- so did the volume coming from booths around us! We were trying to stay to the convention rules about maximum level, but sometimes a
disco beat from across the room would be so loud we were tempted to play along with it.
And, there was plenty to see at Beyerdynamic's booth aside from our playing... they have a new way of customizing microphones - on their website you say or sing whatever name or
phrase you want on your mic, and they engrave that waveform on it before shipping to you - or they can make the mic the shape of that waveform.
Over at Ampeg amps, they had brought a working bass amp to the show which can only be described as gigantic.
I'm not sure it's accurate, but I heard a rumor that just the hum from this amp, when a bass was accidentally unplugged, knocked a couple of banjos off their shelf in a nearby booth.
Yes, there were the obvious banjo jokes circulating about that...
(by the way, way in the lower left corner is a very small amp -- that's the one I used at my performances with the CGT. I can only imagine if I'd had the
big one trucked over every few hours, to play at 100 decibels.)
Time to be sure the usual espresso booths are operating well this year...
(This was taken early in the day, before lines formed.)
No need to organize my photos from here on -- just some of the sights of the NAMM show.
Well, bye for now... I've got my wish list, as does everyone who attended.
I saw lots of friends, saw lots of new gear... wore myself out... and now it's back to the cold weather on the East Coast!