Just spent a weekend listening to loud guitars, keyboards and drums. It is the NAMM show (National Association of Music Merchants). The guys that make all the instruments that bands play, and the musicians that covet them!!
Day one: Hanging with the Shure guys (that’s who I am working for out here). Appearances by Ken Caillat (engineer of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” and his daughter Colbie. Line around the booth to get her autograph after she was done performing. Paparazzi everywhere (This is Southern California, after all). Kept on flashing flashes in her face, taking the same picture over and over. Day ended with The Makepeace Brothers, young Americana band that sounded great. I Think that they might make something of themselves! As I was leaving, I ran into my old friend C.J. Vangston, who is famous for many things, one of which is for being the keyboard player for the mighty Spinal Tap!!
Day two: The day started out with an autograph signing with Meshuggah, a Swedish hard rock band made up of four guys that look to be in their forties or fifties. Nice guys. I wonder if any of them are Jewish. Meshuggah in Hebrew stands for crazy! Next up was Lincoln Brewster, California Chrisian guitar player and singer. Couldn’t have been nicer. Equally so were his fans, who mingled with the fans of the next two acts- Korn and Alice Cooper! Then the craziness started. First Alice Cooper, then 3 guys from Korn! Their fans were very peaceful, unlike the slimeball photographers, who continually shot off flash after flash in their faces while calling to the artists, asking them to look up and ignore their fans so that they could get another twenty identical pictures! WTF, the guy is sitting on a couch on a stage, every picture looks the same. It was obvious that they were trying to crop out everything but Alice’s head, so they could get a mediocre headshot (or 20) for their agency. It is always hard to understand why they put up with this, but I guess it is part of the job now.
Day three: Hanging out with the GOD OF METAL. Rob Halford of Judas Priest arrived to sign autographs and receive a chrome microphone from Shure. For an hour and a half, he signed for anyone that walked up, and was, as I told him after the event, a total mensch! He told me that he was looking into doing a search to find out if he is part Jewish (he has a Rabbi working on it.) Following him was Dawes, a new rock band who played some great stuff and signed for an hour also. The day was filled with many celebrities coming to hang out, including Kerry King from Slayer, comparing head tattoos with Rob.