First and foremost, the "Not Jaded" part of the title I stole from one of my favorite bands, Dantes Boneyard, who released a song and video by the same name last year. After sorting through my thoughts and feelings of four days at the worlds biggest music convention (NAMM), those two words summed it up for me.
To be fair, their are two major NAMM conventions annually in the U.S. - the Summer NAMM convention in Nashville, TN, and the Winter NAMM convention in Anaheim, CA. By far, the Winter NAMM convention is the biggest and best attended by both musicians and companies trying to get their products in the hands of the Rock 'n Roll industries most talented musicians.
Covering the 2013 Winter NAMM show for http://www.ROCKwellUnScene.com, my focus was on SoCal bands and their experience at NAMM. We bumped into members of several bands that call SoCal home including SANGRE, All Else Fails, DMT, The Chimpz, Dive Bomber, As You Were, White Lie, Octane Mob, Stonebreed, Huntress, and many more. We also had the chance to follow around one of the most endorsed unsigned bands around: XNO. If you are a band hunting for endorsements, these guys are the ones you want to talk to. They do it well and they do it right. Don't expect them to give up their secrets because they won't. Give them your respect and establish a friendship and they'll happily share some helpful hints. The "Not Jaded" part of this story really relates to my feelings about NAMM versus what I saw from some of those I encountered at NAMM. I can say spending time with the guys from the legendary Great White, none of them are jaded. Nor were other greats such as Doug Aldrich (guitarist for Whitesnake & Dio), Robert Sarzo (guitarist for Hurricane & just added to Queensryche), Enigma, drum legend Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, Rod Stewart, & more), Roy Z (legendary producer for Rob Halford & Bruce Dickinson - and an amazing guitarist), Phil & Gonzo Sandoval (drum/vocals/guitar for Armored Saint), DC4 (Matt/Shawn/Jeff Duncan & Rowan Robertson), and many others. I can't say the same of some others I won't mention who left their signings before their lines were finished. NAMM is not a public event, meaning the people in line were your peers or people in the industry. I've seen and experienced people who I had admired being jaded to fans interrupting them at dinner or in public by over zealous fans. I can understand that to some extent, but to say "F*!K YOU", not in words, but more importantly by their actions, these people are jaded and should seriously avoid NAMM and get out of the business. Those of you in the business who are "Stars", at NAMM, need to humble yourselves, not show up if you're too cool, or get out. If you're too jaded, you're not worthy of my or your peers respect.
With that, I'm officially off my soap box. Check out this months edition of http://www.ROCKwellUnScene.com for all of our NAMM 2013 coverage. As always, "Occupy Your Local Venues & Support Your Local Bands!".
Written by: Wes "Rockwell" Anderson, http://www.ROCKwellUnScene.com
Photo's by Rockwell Anderson Media (Melissa and Wes Anderson)