After a breakfast of Cheerios and vodka, I made my way to Anaheim Convention Center early to get the lay of the land. After roaming around a bit, I made note of private rooms from manufacturers like PRS, Gibson, Fender, Godin, and Taylor.
Fender had already started with an exclusive early tour for those with a special pass. After failing to convince the three-hundred pound wall ‘o’ muscle that I was indeed special, I moved on to find The Tone King.
The Tone King was with the rest of his entourage. Easy to spot with Tone King Crew work-shirts.
Leading the pack is Paulster. A big dude with an even bigger personality. When it came to setting up interviews, there was no one better to have around. Next was Paul’s girlfriend, Dianna Batt. Besides for having an awesome name, Dianna prepped The Tone King for his interviews and kept him on point. The big guy does tend to ramble. Rounding out the pack was Mario. Shooting and narrating the walkthroughs and helping us get the amazing behind the scenes access, he also managed to charm the ladies.
Paulster and the gang are quite possibly the most efficient production crew out there. Even before we got done with our first interview, they had the next three lined up. Which, if you’ve ever tried to get even one interview lined up at NAMM, is one hell of a feat.
The second day was exhausting. And, even though I had plenty of content to upload, my cockroach-haven hotel’s Wi-Fi took over an hour to load my home page. Which explains why this is being uploaded ex post facto.
Here are some of the highlights from day deux.
NEUTRIK’S TATTOO GIRL:
Paulster had a chance to talk with a beautiful tattoo girl at the Neutrik booth. Not only does she display some awesome body art, but she’s got some rocking accessories.
ORANGE AMPS W MONTE PITTMAN:
Some of the best players out there are reserved to back up the biggest acts. Monte Pittman is no exception. A killer player who is the hired gun for Madonna. A phenomenal player that you should go and listen to immediately. He’s also a pretty cool guy who knows what he likes. And what he likes, is Orange Amps.
EC CUSTOM SHOP PEDALS:
Paulster gets his interview groove on once again. This time with EC Custom Shop. Talking about some of their amazing pedals.
BLACKSTAR ID SERIES:
Fans of TTK know that we’ve been keeping Blackstar on our radar for quite a while. Here’s another reason why. Check out the demo of their new ID Series Amp!
GIBSON MIN-ETUNE DEMONSTRATION:
At NAMM, sometimes we get a chance to meet some fans of the TheToneKing.com. This one just happened to work for Gibson. Aljon is not only an awesome dude, but he also knows his gear. Thanks to him for giving us an amazing demonstration on Gibson’s new Min-ETune!
GHS: GRETCHEN MENN & ANGELINE SARIS:
Always the charmer, Paulster scored an interview with Gretchen Menn and Angeline Saris. Two amazing musicians. Gretchen is a phenomenal guitar player whose two hand tapping technique will leave you floored, and Angeline is a incredible bass player who has some killer chops.
SCHECTER HELLWIN UNVEILED:
Last but certainly not least is the unveiling of Schecter’s flagship amp. Always doing things in style, Schecter not only made their first amp a Synyster Gates Signature, but they managed to get legendary amp designer James Brown to head up the project. And you know TTK loves James Brown.
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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.