Playing NAMM

Well here we are again, it’s already time for Winter NAMM. Where did the year go? Today, I thought I’d run you through my NAMM adventure.

This year’s Winter NAMM show was held on January 22nd-25th at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim , California. As always, I was performing for a few of my sponsors at the show as well as performing in the NAMM Metal Jam and on the main stage in the Hilton.

I got to NAMM the day before the show starts to check in with sponsors, got my badge at registration and to checked into the hotel. As always, I was still packing late into the night but we managed to get to the hotel on time and get our badges without incident. I then headed to the hall while they were setting up everything and ran into a few friends. It’s always fun catching up. We got some lunch and then I checked in at sound check at the Slide Bar (down the street from NAMM) for the NAMM Metal Jam.

It was fun hanging with everyone for a few before I had to take off to go to my sponsor Cleartone Strings Pre-NAMM dinner party at Downtown Disney. Afterwards I would be returning to the jam so I could play later in the evening. The party was way too much fun and before you knew it I was on the way back to the Metal Jam. I managed to get there on time to play my song and hang for a few with everyone at the sold out show (always a great thing!).

After the show we went back to the Hilton to hang and have a few drinks with friends. And, wouldn’t you know it, we ran into the Cleartone gang and closed down the Hilton Bar around 2:30 am!

After a few hours sleep we were off for day one of the show. Luckily my hotel is only a 5 minute walk to the convention center which makes things so much easier. On Thursday I was scheduled to perform at the Cleartone booth at 12:30 (right before the Corey Feldman signing at the booth) then I was scheduled to do a live webcast from NAMM at the NUMUBU booth, followed by a performance with my band on the main NAMM stage in the Hilton at 10pm that night.

My 12:30 demo went great and it was fun hanging with Corey for a few after I finished. I then walked around for a few to see a little of the show before the webcast. Everything went smooth during the day and we were out of the show by 5pm. I then raced over to the Hilton to meet with my road manager to load in my gear by the NAMM stage for the night’s performance. After we loaded in the gear I went back to the hotel for a bit before show time. I got back to the Hilton around 9pm and passed Lynard Skynard in the doorway (they were playing upstairs at the Peavey party) . We got my gear in position by the stage and I got all my guitars tuned up and ready to go and chatted with my band and all my friends and fans at the show before we went on. This was to be the debut of my new band line up and we were premiering several brand new songs off my upcoming new CD.

The place was beyond packed, and wouldn’t you know it, we blew the power on the stage twice during my first song! Then I blew another piece of gear up before my rhythm guitarist blew up the amp they had on the stage for us to use. Well as bad as all this sounds, we actually got it all sorted out in nothing flat, and I talked on stage with the audience while the stage crew got us going. We then we proceeded to tear though our set and had so much fun with the crowd going nuts. After we got off stage I made sure the gear was off the stage we packed it up. I hung with everyone for a bit before I finally had dinner at the I-Hop across the street around midnight.Definitely a crazy first day of the show.

Day two was way more relaxed since I only had to play at one booth a couple times for my sponsor Essential Sound Products. My show highlight was jamming with bass great, Gerald Veasley, at the booth. It was so much fun and a great honor. I looked up while we were playing and Alan Holdsworth was watching us in the crowd! The day went by smooth without incident.

That night we hit a NAMM party down the street before hanging at the Hilton for a few with friends (at Winter NAMM, everyone hangs at the Hilton by the Convention Center).

Day 3 also went by like nothing and I even got to see a little bit of the show. I also had a couple great meeting with some cool companies. That night we had an early dinner with friends before hitting the Seymour Duncan NAMM and later the Schecter NAMM bash with “In This Moment” performing. It was great hanging with Seymour for a few, I always enjoy chatting with him. He’s got such great stories and is just so cool.

Then we jetted down the street to the Schecter bash. It was definitely packed and it was a great show and so much fun hanging with everyone. We decided to pass on the Hilton after and went back to the hotel to get some sleep. And wouldn’t you know it, at 4:30am our hotel fire alarm went off twice and everyone had to go out to the parking lot while they got it sorted out (there wasn’t a fire!).

Before you knew, it was the last day of NAMM. I only played a little on the last day, had a few meetings, saw a few of my sponsors, and actually saw a little of the show . I planned on getting out of the show early, but as always, we got side tracked and then the lights went out and the announcement came over the intercom “Thank you for attending the 2015 Winter NAMM show”. We made our way out and of course ran into friends and chatted a bit.

All in all, NAMM went pretty smooth for me, and from all the feedback I’ve received in the last week I definitely got a lot of peoples attention for better or worse. Even better, all my guitars survived (a couple years ago I broke the headstock off one of my guitars on stage performing on the NAMM stage).

I hope you liked my run through of 2015 Winter NAMM. Before you know it Summer NAMM in Nashville will be here.