NAMM Show 2006 By
Orange County becomes the hotbed of the music retail industry when the NAMM
show hits town. NAMM was originally an acronym for the National Association
of Music Merchants and began modestly in 1901 with only 52 members.
Today, the organization
represents nearly 9,000 music retail stores in 85 countries. The annual trade
show draws thousands and gives people an opportunity to see every imaginable
piece of new musical equipment coming to the market.
2006s NAMM show was the biggest convention to date and drew amazing displays
of merchandise and information about how to utilize it creatively and efficiently.
Booths ranged from the vast, elaborate facilities of Gibson Guitars, Macintosh
Computers, and Marshall amplifiers to smaller boutique companies such as Matchless
Amplifiers, ADK Microphones, and A Designs Audio.
One undeniable trend in this years gear was the enormous amount of computer-based
recording material. Companies such as Tascam, Fostex, Roland, and countless
others have integrated their technology to satisfy the computer recording needs
of modern musicians. Perhaps the greatest asset to the gatherings attendees
is the readily available staff of knowledgeable tech support experts who can
answer any number of questions about the possibilities of the various accessories.
As an added incentive, musicians from all genres eagerly attend the show to
keep apprised of the latest merchandise or promote their releases or endorsements.
In one casual setting, jazz guitar legends George Benson and Frank Gambale casually
improvised with one another while dozens of spectators gathered. Gene Simmons
of KISS paraded around the building with television cameras and gawking onlookers
as part of his reality show, Gene Simmons Family Jewels. A phalanx of drumming
giants from Steve Smith, Vinnie Colaiuta, and Teslas Troy Luccketta were
signing posters at the Zildjian Cymbals display. John Mayer walked in and was
immediately surrounded by a throng of shrieking teenage girls.
The NAMM show ultimately serves each individuals need accordingly. Some
attend to browse the future of music technology, some come to glean as much
information to answer specific questions regarding technical issues, and some
arrive for the people-watching and festive atmosphere. Regardless of the entrants
particular objectives, a splendid time is guaranteed for all.