Article and Photographs by: Courtney Ludwig
Music merchants, musicians, observers & purchasers from all over the world, National Association of Music Merchants, known as NAMM for short is an event like no other and takes place twice a year, once in the winter in Anaheim, CA and a second time in the summer in Nashville, TN.
By day starting around the 3rd weekend in January at the Anaheim Convention Center across from Disneyland becomes like a huge candy store for those looking to purchase new equipment, for those looking to become endorsed or to the visitor looking to meet that famous someone.
There is no way too see all that NAMM has to offer in one day that is why this is a 5 day event
Words cannot describe the visual presence the NAMM show presents. This year brought a whole new meaning and perspective to me as a photographer specializing in Rock n Roll photography and a huge fan of music, as there is more to seeing the occasional artist roaming the convention floor, or the freebies at the booths, from the instruments to the nuts and bolts that accompany the construction of making music happen and the vendors that present their product is unreal.
There were two booths that really stood out to me this year, the Pearl Drum Booth that displayed the partial prototype of Tommy Lee’s (Motley Crue) kit that he used on this past tour, which on tour was a full looped roller coaster and the kit of Dream Theater’s newest drummer and addition to the band, Mike Mangini, to see these items up close and personal, every cymbal, clamp, nut, bolt and touch of the artists’ own stank, made for a site to see.
The second booth is that of the SHU, Jeffrey & Kathleen Kelly, Owners & partners behind this great idea for the drummer is a cleaner way to mic the kick drum, the product is mounted very easy into the kick drum and attached to the screws inside by the elastic bands that attach to the microphone holder. The first model looked like that of a horseshoe that would attach to the hoof of a horse & holds the microphone in the middle of the horseshoe, this year’s model made to hold a flat microphone this concept has become a popular item amongst the to be and the well known drummers, Kelly, the brains of this idea came from his frustration of micing his own kit.
All in all, I was impressed, full of excitement and by the end tired, however I can say it was well worth the venture.