Didn’t sleep much the night before. Besides for a crying newborn, there were acid waves of anticipation oozing saturating my brain about my trip to NAMM. Never been and never thought I’d go. That is, until The Tone King called me up and said, “Wanna?”
All of us at TTK have our day jobs. We do what we do because we have a passion for it. Even if we have to pinch our pennies a little harder for the next couple of months, the payback is the experience.
Because of my day job, I had to stick around Chicago until Thursday afternoon and I had to get home by Sunday night. Which would only give me Friday and Saturday at NAMM. The Tone King would go on ahead and make the entire show, and I would get updates while in transit.
After a frantic journey fraught with a dozen near-death experiences with my brother behind the wheel, a thorough groping by the TSA, one steak sandwich, and three giant margaritas, I made my way to American Airlines gate 11A for a four and a half hour flight squeezed in between some dude with malaria and another with halitosis.
I am convinced that excessive blood-alcohol ratio killed any germs that may have entered my nasal cavity.
I didn’t hit Anaheim until 9 or 10 pm on Thursday. By that time, I already had a ton of updates from the show. But first, I had to meet the big guy.
Even though The Tone King and I have been working together for three years, we had yet to meet face to face. Once I arrived, we celebrated our first meeting with alcohol and great conversation. It’s obvious why people have no problem talking to The Tone King. He’s always interested in what you have to say.
Enough of the mushy stuff. Let’s get to those updates:
The master shredder who taught Christmas how to sweep arpeggios, moves on to conquer the blues with his new album “Deja Blues.” He also gives The Tone King a tour of his new Rocktron Intimidator Pedal.
OLA AT LAST!
TheToneKing.com has always had a long-distance fanship with the great Ola Englund. Now, we got to meet in person. And, he doesn’t disappoint. Probably one of the coolest dudes on the face of the earth. He talks about his new Satan amp and Seymour Duncan Black Winter Pickups.
THRASHER AND DIAVLO:
Want to hear more from Randall, here’s a look at two new amps in their line up. Thanks to a tour from Mike Fortin and Joe Delaney.
UK virtuoso Andy James gave us the rundown on his ESP Signature series and EMG pickups.
SANTO ANGELO CABLES:
Make sure that you don’t blow the hell out of your speaker with Santo Angelo’s new Killswitch Cables and DIY Pedalboard kit.
MIKE FREAKING SOLDANO:
The legendary name behind the legendary amps talks to us about his new Jettenuator Attenuator. Of course, we had a lot of catching up to do as well.
EDDIE VAN HALEN!!!!!!
Nobody saw this coming. What started out as a little jam on some EVH gear, became one of the greatest moments in TTK’s life. Where else but NAMM can you be sitting there, playing an EVH guitar when all of a sudden, Eddie turns the corner. Always cool, he just says, “Sounds good. Keep playing”
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About the Author: Marc published his first novel Becoming in 2010. It’s a kick-ass book with monsters and dreams and stuff, and you should buy it. Since then, he’s written thousands of articles for TheToneKing.com, many of which have been picked up for circulation by manufacturers and other news outlets. His next book, Drugs and Pancakes, should be available early 2014 if his alcoholic editor can find time to work on it in-between destroying his liver and screaming about punctuation. He graduated from Roosevelt University with honors, which means that he’s not as dumb as he looks. He’s been playing guitar for over 25 years, which is almost twice as long as most of his students have been alive.