NAMM report--long post with pictures at the end

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by JeremyC, Jan 24, 2003.

  1. JeremyC


    Oct 5, 2001
    Berkeley, CA
    Every time that I go to NAMM I focus on a different thing. One year I focused on hearing as many performances as possible. Another year I focused on finding a good fretless in the $1000 range (I ended up with a Music Man Sterling). This year I concentrated on meeting people and hanging out with them. I had a great time.

    Wally Malone (one of the moderators of The Lowdown Lowdown;f=5 and I roomed together and I will report that he is truly a nice guy. It was nice going with someone else….we introduced each other to various people and we alerted each other to “must see” booths.

    The first night, we went to the Bass Bash which was organized on Performers were Todd Johnson, , Mike Dimin, Steve Lawson, Watt, Michael Manring, Keith Horne, Trip Wamsley, Dave Pomeroy, and Victor Bailey. It was pretty overwhelming. They all were great. At the end of the evening, Victor Bailey was playing and he looked out in the audience and said, “Hey Omar, get up here”. It was Omar Hakim and he was sitting right next to me! The two of them then played Birdland, with Bailey playing Jaco’s bass part AND the melody at the same time. Wow!

    We got a ride to and from the bash with Sean Gallagher who is known as spankbass at….the arrangements for a roommate and a ride were all done thanks to the forums.

    The second night we went to the SWR concert. Norm Stockton gave us his tickets and we got there late, so we missed Michael Manring and Reggie Hamilton. However we did see Chuck Rainey and Andrew Gouché and his band. My embarrassing moment was when Andrew hit the stage he said, “last year I played with a 5 piece band and someone wrote a review online saying that it didn’t sound like gospel, it sounded like fusion. So this year I brought the singers so you will know that it is gospel music that I play.

    The person who wrote the online review was me, and I had just told Wally about writing it before Andrew said that. We looked at each other and I’m sure I turned many shades of red. Mr. Gouché, I meant it as a compliment. There are obviously many people reading these forums who never post.

    During the day, I mostly spent time meeting people. I talked Steve and Jill Azola, extremely nice people (who recognized my name from my posts on TBL). Steve makes some great basses and both Wally and I enjoyed playing his hollow body fretless. This bass had a curved fingerboard and bridge like an upright and would be a great instrument for a doubler to get.

    Ed Friedland got stuck doing his demo at Carvin for a big crowd of people who had come to see Steve Vai perform after him. I only got to talk to him for a moment. Next door Bryan Beller was working like crazy at the SWR booth, selling, demoing, running sound, moving boxes, everything. I also heard Adam Nitti play at the SWR booth and later talked with him. He is a great player and a great guy.

    Wally and I met Adrian Garcia (Bassaddik) at the Accugroove booth. Adrian is a true gentleman and we all enjoyed hearing the great speaker cabinets and meeting Mark of Accugroove.

    We never did find Bob Gollihur.

    I wandered through the software section and managed to see Earth Wind and Fire (everyone except the drums and horns) perform about 8 feet from me. Verdine White made it look so easy. They were demoing recording software and they wrote and recorded a song on the spot….one take each.

    Heard Jimmy Haslip jamming with Russ Ferrante at the Korg booth.

    We also heard (even though he's not a bassplayer) Joey DeFrancesco play the B-3. He was playing great basslines with his feet while just tearing it up on the keyboard.

    People I heard play:
    Todd Johnson
    Mike Dimin
    Steve Lawson
    Michael Manring
    Keith Horne
    Trip Wamsley
    Dave Pomeroy
    Victor Bailey
    Jeff Berlin
    Jimmy Haslip
    Adam Nitti
    Verdine White
    Bill “The Buddah” Dickens
    Andrew Gouché
    Chuck Rainey

    People I got to hang out with and/or talk to:
    Adrian Garcia “bassaddik”
    Mike Lull and Roger Gee of Mike Lull Guitars…nicest guys in the world and builders of my custom bass!
    Steve and Jill Azola of Azola Basses
    Rick Turner who was building a guitar right in front of me and explained everything he was doing.
    Dan Elliott of Bassquake
    Mike Dimin of
    Sean Gallagher “spankbass”
    Norm Stockton…..a great bass player and all around person, rapidly becoming a good friend.
    Michael Rhodes…who told me that being a top Nashville studio musician was like being in the movie “Groundhog Day”…”every day you get up and go record the same bass part on the same song”….or at least it feels like that…
    Lee Sklar
    Ed Friedland
    Bryan Beller
    Adam Nitti
    Wally Malone
    Steve Lawson
    Michael Manring
    Dave Pomeroy
    Keith Horne
    T.J. Hill
    John Turner and his insane collection of Conklin basses.
    Bob Lee (bassland) expert on Jamerson
    Chuck Sher of Sher Publications…the best fakebooks on the market…all legal…Chuck is an old friend who recommended me for my teaching job at Blue Bear School of Music where I taught for 14 years.
    Gene Okamoto of Pearl Drums…another old friend that I used to play with before he got the job with Pearl and moved to Nashville.
    Joe Kyle of the Waybacks and I kept talking on cel phones but we never managed to actually see each other in person.

    If I left anyone out, I apologize…as you can see, it was quite a weekend.

    Gear that I tried out or looked at:
    EBS pedals—great sounding pedals, better than any others I have used.
    Accugroove cabinets—wonderful cabinets, how do they do it?
    Glockenklang amps and cabinets—it doesn’t get much better than this
    Fender bass amp prototype—sounded good, no watt listing or release date given
    Warrior bass—these basses seem to be quietly taking over the world, many players that I saw were playing them. I certainly liked the one I tried.
    Lightwave basses---quietest bass in the world, best response for harmonics of any bass I’ve ever played, not too good for slapping because it doesn’t pick up the string noise which is part of this sound.
    Fender Victor Bailey 5 string—if you want a 5 string jazz bass style, this could be the one
    Ritter bass—totally unique looks and sound
    Viellete bass—wonderful semi-hollow body electric with incredible growl
    Azola bass—beautiful designs and workmanship, lots of unique designs
    Roland V bass—instantaneous response, but the least intuitive user interface that I’ve ever seen, I’m sticking with effect pedals and an assortment of basses.
    Digitech effects and multi-effects—nice effects pedals with a wide range of sounds, multi-effects pedal wasn’t very intuitive
    Moog pedals and theremin…the pedals are basicially sections of a Moog synth. Theremin would be a fun instrument to learn and play.
    Hipshot had their bass tremolo available in 4 and 5 string models. Requires some routing to install.
    SKB is coming out with an ATA case which will hold a bass gig bag. Cool!

    And much more….there are over 7000 booths at this trade show.

    Here is a link to the pictures I took.
  2. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Hey, Jeremy. Thanks for the info

    Who's the bass teacher at Blue Bear now?
  3. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i didn't see this officially, but i do know that their hard shell ata golf bag cases can hold 3 basses in their gig bags - 2 of them enabled me to bring 6 basses out to the show.

    i wonder how much the official skb gig-bag case will cost? (considering the golf case version that holds 3 that i use cost me $133 each) :D
  4. JeremyC


    Oct 5, 2001
    Berkeley, CA
    Stu Hamm and Breck Diebel are teaching bass at Blue Bear these days.

    I saw your SKB golf bag cases, John, great idea! The gig bag case that SKB showed me was a prototype, no date or price was established yet.
  5. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    how much do you want to bet it will cost $160 and hold one gig bag? :D