But the merchants prospered. This article gets it pretty much right: A wonderful hell.
I miss it, and I miss lusting over gear and being pretty sure that if I just bought that sampler or that drum machine or that Fender Custom Shop Tone King Amp for $2,000 ($4600 in today's dollars) that of course, my art and career would totally take off.
That's never the case, but that doesn't stop an army of longhairs and wannabes and has-beens and the occasional "holy crap is that STEVE VAI?" from turning up at the show to marvel at the latest batch of noise makers, and pick up both promotional materials and 8 different infectious diseases. As well as every knob they can pry off of a piece of gear.
Yeah, I even worked at NAMM a couple times. Standing in a bootth, looking cool. I thought I'd been hired as a gear endorser, and showed up ready to meet my adoring public. Turned out my manager owed the vendor a favor for one of his other acts that had an endorsement deal, and "free labor" - specifically my free labor - was part of the deal.
I walked away that day a wiser and richer man. The vendor tipped me a hundo. And I tipped myself a pedal or two when they weren't looking. I would tell you what they were, but I only endorse gear when I'm paid! DRUMROLL! Thank you!
Anyhow. Yeah This Year's NAMM has some things I'm definitely intterested in, notably the new Prophet-12 synthesizer:
I (and pretty much everybody else) used a Prophet-5 back in the 80s. This is at LEAST 7 better. Plus it looks rad.
I'm also probably going to get one of these Fender VI reissues. Steve Kilbey from The Church played one on Priest = Aura and Robert Smith of The Cure used 'em a lot on Disintegration.
Go buy some records so I can afford this stuff, please!