NAMM 2017 Show Report
NAMM…well, where do we start? Lets start with the name. NAMM - National Association of Music Merchants - the biggest music instrument conference on the planet and certainly the most talked about. Neither myself nor Richard had been to NAMM before, and nothing can prepare you for the sheer size of the show!
The NAMM show attracts every key brand in the musical instrument and pro audio industries and, understandably, guitars are a massive part. While there is never a limitation on the size or type of brand exhibiting, this year saw the first ever Boutique Guitar Showcase, which featured a number of our luthiers.
After a very long but enjoyable flight sat next to the team from Guildford retailer Andertons Music Co, we touched down at the infamous LAX international airport. You can’t help but feel excited going into Los Angeles, whether it is the history, the weather or the fact we were going to see our fabulous luthiers, Richard and I couldn’t wait to get there. As usual, US customs queues at LAX were rather long and took us about 2 hours to get through and to our bags, but after a quick stop at Avis to collect the TNAG motor for the week, we weere on our way.
Luckily our hotel was right next to the Anaheim Convention Centre, which meant that we could just about miss the rain - yes it rained almost every day whilst we were there! So much for Californian sunshine!
NAMM is everything you imagine it to be. Huge, loud, incredible busy and a little crazy! As we were there assisting Avian Guitars with the launch of their new 2017 range we spent most of Wednesday setting up the booth and lining up all the appointments we had made with the press, etc..Based in Hall E, the acoustic guitar section was awesome. Everyone was friendly and there was a great buzz from the excitement of exhibiting. Truly wonderful to see an entire industry under one roof so excited and passionate.
Each day we got to walk around the show and truly experience what NAMM had to offer. From people clambering to the Paul Reed Smith booth to watch the one and only John Mayer talk about his new PRS signature amp, to bumping into James Trussart chatting about the new guitars TNAG are bringing in this year and his escapades to the desert to watch The Rolling Stones perform at Desert Trip and deliver his guitars to Ronnie Wood to watching the incredible Adam Miller playing his outstanding Nick Huber for their artist session..NAMM certainly did not disappoint.
The Boutique Guitar Showcase section was without doubt one of the highlights of NAMM, proving very popular with visitors. Every single new and established luthier exhibiting did an absolutely incredible job and, I have to say, gave myself, Richard and Michael a real sense of pride for what we do and the luthiers that we represent here at The North American Guitar. It is incredibly encouraging to see that our niché of the guitar buying market seems to continually be the one sector that is growing year on year and producing new and exciting luthiers and outstanding quality instruments.
We managed to grab a quick interview with all our extraordinarily talented luthiers on what they had on show and what they had coming up with us here at TNAG.
Hosted and organised by Jamie Gale the show was an incredible success.
As usual Jason did what he always does and displayed outstanding levels of quality and brand excellence. All of the pieces on display for Jason had already pre sold before the show (including our MDW in Manchinga) and so this was more of a branding expedition for Kostal Guitars.
This show Spalt guitars pulled out all the stops and created a show masterpiece called Frankenstein’s Music Machine which was one of the show’s most talked about pieces, The design and craftsmanship of Michael Spalt’s work is simply inspiring and beautiful. Look out for some new exciting stock coming in this year to TNAG from Spalt instruments.
One of our most popular electric luthiers Scott Walker’s level of quality is breathtaking. Displaying a mind blowing Santa Cruz model with his signature distressed fathom finish, a gorgeous lap steel and our favourite The Katana - coming to TNAG next week! Yes we snapped this one up as soon as we saw it!
Rick was on fine form as always and had an incredibly busy show selling almost his entire booth within the first two days of the show. Offering a brilliant selection of M1s including the very cool silver M1 BP which we may have arriving at TNAG HQ very soon.
Rick also took some time to tell us about his new Electroline model that is being released later on this year. Look out for more info on our blog closer to the summer.
We also had time to chat with the great guys at Bourgeois Guitars James & Ryan and finally got to meet the one and only Dana Bourgeois himself. We spoke about all the phenomenal Bourgeois guitars we have on order for 2017 and discussed the possibility of hosting a few events together here at the brand new TNAG showroom in 2017!
Lastly, we signed up some incredible new luthiers at NAMM and will be announcing them on our roster later this year so WATCH THIS SPACE!