NAMM ’08: Best and Worst of Show Awards
Best Snack: Low-fat frozen yogurt was a hit on the show floor.
Best Band Name: Lox & Vodka. The klezmer group’s clarinetist, Tom Puwalski, was busy at NAMM, performing in the Hilton lobby and at the Legere Reeds exhibit.
Best Birthday: There were many significant company anniversaries celebrated during the show, but you can’t top Zildjian’s 385th on the longevity chart. Pictured cutting the cake are Debbie and Craigie Zildjian, Cady Zildjian Bickford.
Best Exhibit Theme: Ernie Ball Music Man returned to the limelight with a salute to gangsters of a bygone era. A highlight was the 1938 Buick sedan, complete with a “Vote for Roosevelt” sticker on the rear window and a Thompson submachine gun in the front seat. Among the “public enemies” on hand were (from left) Brian Spoeneman, Adam Gainey, Scott Applegate, Jodi Maine, and Nathan Stiff.
Best Seats in the House: Hal Leonard and Zildjian televised Sunday afternoon’s NFL playoff games.Happy faces at Zildjian as the hometown Patriots defeated the San Diego Chargers. Green Bay did not fare as well for Hal Leonard’s contingent, as The Pack lost to the New York Giants in overtime.
Best Finish: Lots of foot traffic at NAMM ’08, even as the show wound down on Sunday.
Best Color Scheme: Gold was in fashion, as witnessed by a Pearl River grand piano, the IbanezGeorge Benson guitar, and the Gretsch limited-edition 125th anniversary Chet Atkins model.
Best Variety: NAMM’s ongoing performances in the convention center lobby. Seen here is the Mark Wood Rock Orchestra…
Best Traffic-Builder: Ace Products’ display, with Brett Paley and John Maher behind the wheel.
Best Exhibitor Act:Saga Musical Instruments’ Tora Bora Boys.
Best Musical Surprise: Stevie Wonder at Yamaha Dealer Concert
Worst Trend for Latecomers: Breakfast service for barely five minutes, then right into the meeting agenda. Didn’t your mother tell you it’s the most important meal of the day?
Worst Venue for Schmoozing: Nonstop high-decibel music in Marriott lobby. It may draw some business, but it certainly drives a lot away at the same time.
Worst Logistics: The Long Beach Airport has perfected the art of directing you to Carousel One for your baggage and then, after 20 minutes or so, redirecting you to Carousel Two. Thank God they only have two carousels …
Worst Idea: The Convention Center’s “Lost Weekend” policy of opening beer, wine, and liquor stands at 10 a.m. sharp.
Worst Weather: Santa Ana Winds whipping up on the eve of the show.
Worst Wait: Autograph lines seemingly without end…
Worst ‘Do: ‘Nuff said.
Worst Prediction: NAMM’s Pete Johnson had high hopes for his San Diego Chargers but, alas, it was not to be.