By: Heather Vandemark
Saturday of NAMM was the most crowded day. There was river of people filling the street funneling into the convention center. The trick is to figure out who is signing where and what time. Some signs were posted the day before, others were posted day of, so you had to run around to get as many as possible. It seemed most of them were around the same time frame. I’m assuming to avoid really long lines. Choose your favorites.
First up in the Monster Rock Lounge, Nadia Peulen (Coal Chamber), Andy Coal (Andy the Kid, Wayne Static), Jim Rota ( Fireball Ministry), Eddie Veliz ( Kyng),
Gary Holt (Exodus, Slayer), and Rudy Sarzo ( Ozzy, Quiet Riot, Gunzo). I’m not sure who is more nervous, the fans meeting their idols or the Rock Stars meeting their fans.
I run over to Schecter Guitars ( www.schecterguitars.com) to see Jeff Loomins and Keith Merrow of Arch Enemy. Also, Nick Johnston and Wes Hauch signing for a long line of anxious fans.
Mad dash back downstairs stand in line at the EMG booth for David Ellefson of Megadeth and Stu Hamm. Signed posters and photo ops.
I headed toward the escalators. Another crowd trying to funnel onto the escalator to get upstairs where the big names are signing. Someone bumped me on my left said and a voice said “Sorry, we have to get up there quick” I was ready to say “We all are trying to get there quickly”, but as I looked up, I realized it was Nikki Sixx! His entourage pushed him through and they rode the escalator alone.
Next table of signings at ddrums/Dean Guitars was Carmine Appice. His new book, “Stick It! My Life of Sex, Drums, and Rock N Roll”, sat before him on the table. Pre-order your autographed copy on www.carmineappice.net
I’m sure there are some crazy interesting stories in this book!
Next to Appice was drummer, Tom Hane of In this Moment, guitarist, John Connolly of Sevendust, and Eric Peterson of Testament. All four of them were very personable and gracious. They took time to talk to every fan. Like they were the only one in line.
Robert Trujillo the current bassist for Metallica was at the Ampeg Booth (www.ampeg.com for latest bass gear, amplifiers, and accessories) signing posters. Trujillo has played with Suicidal Tendencies, Infectious Grooves, and Black Label Society.
Back over in Schecter Guitars was Avenged Sevenfold. Most of the tables had bottled waters for the artists. Synyster Gates, Johnny Christ, and Zacky Vengeance come out with beers and sunglasses.
Last one of the day, was Steve Stevens at Godin Guitars. (www.Godinguitars.com)Stevens shows up in true rock star fashion, dressed all in black, boots, black nail polish and sunglasses with beautiful woman by his side.
The line wrapped out of the suite and down the hall for autograph and photo op with Stevens.