2012 Best & Worst of the NAMM Show Awards
MDA’s Madeleine Crouch sure knows how to brighten up an ensemble! These red, elaborately patterned cowboy boots nicely set off her elegantly understated black pantsuit (This is my attempt at describing fashion. Pretty weak, I know…).
Worst Breakfast to Duck out of Early
Thursday morning’s NAMM Breakfast of Champions. We’d cleared our plates and finished off three cups of coffee by the time Ray Kurzweil accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award, so we figured it couldn’t get any better. Who knew Stevie Wonder was about to hit the stage? (Apparently many – including, thankfully, at least one of MMR’s staff). Ah, the pitfalls of caffeinated, overlapping appointments…
Best Wish Fulfillment
Anyone reading these ‘Best & Worst’ summaries in the past few years knows that the absence of a nearby In-n-Out burger joint has been the cause of much griping. NAMM must’ve taken notice of all the whining, as they arranged to have In-N-Out Double-Double burgers available in Hall D at the new “California Cookout.” Drool…
Best Tiny Plate of Food
This year’s New Orleans-themed Chairman’s Reception really took it up a notch with all sorts of delicious finger-foods, appetizers, and desserts. While we’re not sure how this particular item is especially evocative of the Big Easy, MMR’s NAMM team is in agreement that the Ale Braised Short Ribs on a Bed of Gruyere/Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese was worth repeated servings…
Nobody would expect folks to work (or eat) in the pouring rain. But the outdoor cafés closing for the whole day after a brief, light drizzle on Saturday morning? Lame…
Best ‘Wait, Is that Booth… On Fire?’ Promotional Display
Sabian’s unique “smokestack” arrangement of cymbals was eye-catching and, if first encountered at 9 am on way too little sleep, downright alarming.
Best Sunglasses-Required Drum kit
The Mirror Chrome Nitron Gretsch kit at the KMC booth plays like a dream, sounds great, looks expensive (at $10,859 it is expensive!), and… can burn through a person’s retinas if stared at for too long. This kit definitely was the most “bling” (the kids still say that, right?) drum set in Anaheim this year.
Worst Grasp of Geography
Marriott bellhop: “Taxi to John Wayne Airport?” MMR Crew: “Um… sure?”
Alas, no… And assuming “John Wayne Airport” was just an alternate name for the Long Beach Airport cost us roughly $100. Whoops!
Best ‘Can-Do!’ Attitude
Universal Percussion’s Tom Shelley was so determined to bring his home state’s (Ohio) Handel Pops to Tuesday’s MDA Reception that he had a whole bunch of the tasty treats packed in dry ice and delivered to Anaheim.
Worst Noise Pollution
Where were the decibel police this January? They certainly weren’t spending their evenings in the obscenely noisy lobbies at the Marriott and Hilton.
Best Approach to Portable PR
Irwin Berg of Humes & Berg Mfg. shows off his wearable digital promotional video display.
A message to all adult males: Do not try and rock the Justin Bieber look. It’s unquestionable that Canada’s favorite teenybopper export is leaving his mark on popular culture, but if you’re in your 30s and sweeping your bangs to the side, wearing unlaced brightly colored hi-tops and baggy hoodies, you really need to stop. Aging metalheads and the like are nothing new to the NAMM Show, but the surprising number of grown men trying to ape the fashion sense of a barely pubescent pop star this January was… unsettling.
Best ‘Exotic Travel’ Product
The Powell Flute Headjoint that was brought to the International Space Station by Colonel Catherine Coleman.
Playing the slots in the Vegas airport while waiting for the connecting flight to Long Beach on Tuesday. Up $8 – now I can pay off that car loan!
Best Display of Bravery
It’d take more than the live gator at Gator Cases to rattle MMR’s Laurie Guptill.