NAMM 2018

NAMM Photos

Once again, in Anaheim, CA, it’s the music industry’s trade show, and lots of us musicians are here for it.

I had to fly in right from Japan, so a bit unprepared with clothes for this warm weather, not to mention being a tad jet-lagged. But as always it’s fun to be here, and bump into lots of people I know.

Okay, this photo does make the front look a bit dark and forboding, and it wasn’t… I just can’t help sometimes doing that with my pictures!

But there's no denying that NAMM is colorful.

Something very different for me this year; the Parnelli Awards, which awards pioneers and influencers in the live event industry, asked me to host the event.

So, brushing off my King Crimson suit and tie, I had a soundcheck and my first taste of teleprompters...

For some of the evening I was backstage, as others presented some awards. It’s a big production. The video array reminded me of behind the scenes at a Peter Gabriel show.

Thrilled that a special lifetime achievement award went to Jonathan Smeeton, whom I’d toured with for years when he was lighting designer of the Peter Gabriel shows.

Of course, I wanted to take my usual audience photos… but in a production this tight, it had to be scripted in… so there it is on the teleprompter.

Here's the other side of the audience. The see through plexiglas thing is one of those 'presidential' teleprompters... it reflects the script to you, but is unnoticeable from the other side. So you can look at people while still reading.

I can’t say I was very good at using those teleprompters, and I did go off the script a bit in spite of them… but pretty cool seeing how they work.

In fact the whole evening was very cool. The best part by far was the fact that it’s set up to honor those folks who are working behind the scenes at our rock shows - trucking, lighting, shipping, monitor mixing, all kinds of production designers and crew… they deserve more credit than they get, and I was lucky to be able to be a part of this year’s event.

Outside the ballroom, I took a look down into part of the Hilton lobby, which is surely the epicenter of the noise and hoopla in NAMM nights

and I’m going to end this road diary with that picture… it kind of encapsulates the scene here at NAMM.

For me, I’ll head soon to Tampa to join the Cruise to the Edge, with Stickmen and guest David Cross. A few days at sea should be an interesting change from here at NAMM. But with about 25 progressive rock bands playing, I’m not sure it’ll be any quieter!

I’m sure I’ll see some of you there.