Best & Worst of NAMM 2011
Not entirely sure what the point was, but the “Elvis on stilts” dude who was meandering (Well, mostly standing. Not that anyone could blame him – you try navigating the crowded NAMM aisles on stilts!) about the show floor on Saturday was certainly eye-catching.
DR Strings’ Neon offering and the color-coordinated guitar & strings setup on display at the Aurora Strings booth put a Technicolor spin on traditional fretted accessories…
Worst Byproduct of a Full Day Walking the Aisles
My room’s balcony at the Marriott boasted a view and breeze worthy of a “Best in Show,” but… choosing to sit down outside and read a few chapters of Keith Richards’ autobiography (Not bad. Check it out!) before going
to bed on Friday night ranks amongst the worst choices of this year’s get-together in Anaheim… Not only does the sun come up altogether too soon (there’s a 5 o’clock in the morning now?), but there’s no getting around the fact that sleeping outside on the floor of a hotel balcony just isn’t all that comfortable.
Best Opportunity to Hang with the Heavy Metal Heroes of My Youth
14-year old me is bursting with pride that I got to chat with Anthrax’s Frank Bello and Slayer’s Kerry King – courtesy of Fender and EMG, respectively.
Surely the good folks at ACE Products weren’t trying to make me feel badly about my (recently snowplow-assaulted) Honda, or encourage covetous thoughts, but that 12-Cylinder Bentley Convertible which took center-stage at their booth this year sure was a beauty…
It’s getting to be a (very) unwelcome tradition. As in the past two years, MMR’s staff again returned from California to over a foot of snow, delayed flights, slow rides home, and horrific street park-ing. Sure, it’s fair to say, “Hey, it’s Boston… in January – stop whining!” but at press time we’re already wrestling with 35” more snowfall than the total seasonal average, with at least two months of winter weather to go…
Best Time of Day
Everyone’s favorite time – especially after going nonstop from 7:30 AM onwards – is “Beer O’Clock” and Alfred Publishing delivered by transforming their booth into a convivial, standing-room-only pub. Thanks fellas!
While the gentleman performing outside the Convention Hall more accurately captured the overall look of the late James Marshall Hendrix, the youngshredder who MMR associate editor Eliahu Sussman ran into at the Tornovoz booth had the whole playing-a-right-handed-guitar-lefty thing going on nicely. A good start!
Worst Time of Day
Roughly 3.15pst on Sunday when it was beginning to become more and more clear that the Jets were going to best the Patriots. Small consolation that NY got knocked our of contention and Bracy too home the MVP for the 2010 season. A bummer of a way to wrap up an otherwise positive week in Anaheim.
The formally attired “tuxedo” chocolate covered strawberries at the SKB Open House party.
Indeed, it was a single-seat race plane parked smack-dab in the middle of the Aviom booth. Cars, buses – been there, done that. Thanks for providing an effective double-take moment, Aviom folks!
Worst Cab Ride
MMR head honcho Sidney Davis was treated to the “scenic tour” of LAX when his navigationally challenged taxi driver required not one, not two, but three circuits of the airport to finally work his way to the Jet Blue terminal.
For those who question the merit of the yellow-badge crowd, we bring you NAMM guest Norma White and her sky blue Stanta-cap-crossed-with-Portuguese-Mon-of-War headgear. Nice job, Norma – our hats are off to you! (get it?)
Best “Make Yourself Comfortable” Booth
Much of the time in Anaheim is spent dodging fellow attendees on the the show floor, racing from one meeting to the next, and generally going full-tilt in all respects. Seymour Duncan’s booth offered a welcome respite from the NAMM insanity, with a decor more evocative of a lush 5-star hotel suite than a busy convention center display.