THE BIGGEST EVENT in the Music Industry takes place every January at the Anaheim Convention Center in Orange County, California. Four days of Rock 'n' Roll Mayhem, Right? Er, Wrong. And one look at who attends this show would dispel all doubts immediately - a strange mix of Grey -haired, bespectacled ladies, smiling businessmen with firm handshakes, small children, Asian violin players, Goths, Rockers, Metalheads and scantily-clad girls. Thousands of invitation-only guests descend on Anaheim en-masse, and of course, this being the home of Disneyland (which, incidentally, has a whole month of Rock 'n' Roll to coincide with NAMM), all the chaos is very skillfully managed by the local police and security services. The day begins by parking in the Buzz Lightyear parking lot, and a short walk takes you past the John Lennon songwriting tour bus, then into the four floors and complete exhaustion that is NAMM. The (National Association of Music Merchants) trade show opened this year to the usual fanfare of innovative new products, exciting new inventions, and the unshakeable feeling of kid-in-a-candy-store mentality. Every major company was there showing off its wares - Fender, Gibson, Marshall, Peavey, Mesa-Boogie, Pearl, Zildjian, Pro-Tools, Roland, Yamaha - the list is endless. One of the exhibits getting a lot of attention was the original Keith Moon drum kit from The Who, and 40 years on, and a few feet away, Ricky Rocket from Poison was promoting his own Chop Shop line of drumware. Dimebag Darrell tributes were everywhere, which lent a feeling of sadness keenly felt amongst Pantera fans and guitarists in general, and on the Saturday evening an all-star tribute to Dimebag was held at the Hilton Hotel. Called the Black Tooth Bash, this was again an invitation - only NAMM event which had Lemmy from Motorhead along with members from Alice Cooper, Billy Idol, Black Label Society and Alice in Chains playing their versions of Pantera songs. On the same day at the same time there was another invite - only event at the House of Blues, a gig by Type O-Negative, and this was the one that I attended, along with other staff at CRYPT magazine. (including yours truly -Ed.) It was absolutely phenomenal - O-Negative Positively Rock!!! But NAMM isn't just about Rock 'n' Roll - it covers the complete spectrum of all the genres of music - and therein lies its charm. On the top floor Trent Reznor of NIN would have been in his glory at all the cool piano's - Steinways, Bechsteins, and my favorite, a piano playing all by itself to a T.V. screen that had Bugs Bunny as a concert pianist - absolutely hilarious! There were Angel Violins (cool name for a violin company), trumpets and trombones, and the little things, like guitar picks, coffin cases, and furry guitar stands (totally bizarre, but fun!) Of course, there were rock stars in abundance, signing pictures, looking at all the products, and having their photo's taken with fans (and each other!) A few of the big names that were there were Jim Marshall (now a little less spritely in his 80's and in a wheelchair, but still full of mischief!) Seymour Duncan, (thanks for the Humbuckers, Seymour!) both hailing from England, the guitar gods Joe Satriani, George Lynch and Rob Zombie's John 5, Heavy Metal Kings Kerry King from Slayer and Dave Mustaine from Megadeath, and 80's Metal/Hair bands Scorpions and Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx. There was even a visit from Duran Duran's John Taylor, who much to my surprise had one of the longest lines in the show! All power to Duran Duran (I love you guys!) I could go on and on about the cool stuff from France and Germany, and the Playboy Bunny signature guitar, (how come guitars never have nude GUYS on them?) but, after this LONG few days at NAMM, I'm exhausted! I'm off to bed!
The 2007 NAMM Show Part 2
Type O Negative: Peter Steele Gone Wild!
By Lexa Vonn
Photos by Lexa Vonn
Type O Negative photos courtesy of Schecter Guitar Research It was my first time attending the NAMM convention held at the Anaheim Convention Center over the weekend of Jan. 18th- 21st. The weekend ran like a Crypt family reunion, as staff members David Necro, Rhonda, Jezahell, Renee and I scattered about dominating all that came into our presence. Being at NAMM is like being at a gigantic VIP after-party that lasts for days! This convention has everything a true rock n’ roller could ever ask for- music gear galore, hot spokes models, beer kiosks and celebrities around every corner. Some favorites appearing this year were Earth, Wind & Fire, Dave Navarro, Mike Stone (Queensryche), Eric Singer and Bruce Kulick (KISS), Rudy Sarzo (Dio), Eddie Ojeda and JJ French (Twisted Sister), Gary Holt (Exodus), Jed Simms (Strapping Young Lad), John DeServio & Nick Catanese (Black Label Society), Richie Kotzen, Steve Stevens, Christian Wolbers (Fear Factory), Warrant, Matt Sorum (Velvet Revolver), Mick Fleetwood, Nikki Sixx and Mick Mars (Motley Crue), John 5 (Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie), Dan Spitz (Anthrax), Glenn Drover and Dave Mustaine (Megadeth), Kerry King (Slayer), Ed Mundell and Bob (Monster Magnet), Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains), Skid Row, John Taylor (Duran Duran), Doyle Von Frankenstein (Gorgeous Fankenstein, Danzig), Steve Zing (Danzig), Rikki Rockett and Bobby Dall (Poison), Ben Graves (Murderdolls), Stevie Branch (Spyder Baby), Munky (Korn), Lacey (Nocturne), Aaron North (NIN), Johnny Indovina (Human Drama), Grand Master Flash and Bono of U2! Keep in mind, those are just the ones we saw!! NAMM was truly a candy store for a musician/famous groupie such as myself and yes, I did run into a few ex-boyfriends from the list above but I’m not naming names!! Not today anyway…
So, our adventures began Friday afternoon when we stopped by the Halo guitar booth to drop off some Crypt fliers and say hi to theirs and ours spokes model, Jezahell. She was nowhere in sight, but we did run into local goth metal singer/actor/model Khhyrst (and his significant other, Halo Guitars spokesmodel Rachel,) who was happy to accommodate us with a CD. Our next stop was the Schecter guitar booth where we scoped out the new line of Universal Monster guitars complete with airbrushed images of Wolfman, Mummy, Frankenstein and Dracula, a must have for any guitar wielding Crypt reader! While milling around the booth, we also ran into David Necro’s old buddy from Samhain and Danzig, Steve Zing who was a blast to chat with and politely aided us in our score of passes for the VIP Type O Negative party. Thanks Steve!! We also heard that Glenn Danzig was suppose to show but we must’ve missed him. You still owe us an interview, Glenn! After a little more joking around with Steve, we proceeded to check out the rest of the guitar lines. My personal favorites were a fairly new company created for women and children called Luna Guitars. They had a beautiful line of acoustics that featured artwork from the Pre-Raphalite era. Being a female musician, I couldn’t resist sitting down for a few strums. We also enjoyed the Gibson line, which has always been my brand of choice and featured models of famous custom guitars including the Zakk Wylde guitar, the Joe Perry guitar and the Jimmy Page double neck guitar.
Other than the amazing display of guitars, bass, drums, mikes, mixing boards, orchestra instruments and accessories, NAMM offered several lectures, live performances and private parties. The two big ones of the weekend were Type O Negative at the House of Blues and the Black Tooth party at the Hilton Pacific Ballroom. The Black Tooth party was sponsored by Monster Energy Drink and Coffin Case and was a tribute to Pantera’s late great Dimebag Darrell. The Black Tooth band featured Lemmy Kilmister, Vinnie Paul Abbott, Scott Ian (Anthrax), Paul Gray (Slipknot), Jason Bittner (Shadows Fall), John Deservio (BLS), Nick Catanese (BLS), Brian Tichy (Billy Idol), Noah Robinson (Bleed the Sky), Eric Singer (KISS/Alice Cooper and Keri Kelly (Alice Cooper). The party also featured a fashion show displaying “the dime line”, a clothing line dedicated to Dimebag and modeled by the Coffin Case girls. Our colleagues tell us that it was a blast since we missed it due to the fact that we were sitting pretty VIP style at the Type O Negative party!
Hmmm…how can I describe what took place at the House of Blues Type O Negative party? Well, you take a party sponsored by Schecter Guitars, Seymour Duncan, Alfred Publishing, Pearl Drums, TonePros, Jagermeister, Arrogant Bastard Ale and Effen Vodka, add several dozen musicians and industry types and an open bar and what do you get? The funniest damn Type O Negative show I’ve ever seen! For starters, the audience wasn’t the only ones getting plastered. It was quite evident about two songs into Type O’s set that Peter Steele was packing a pretty solid buzz. Speaking of packing, he was also coveting several different fruits in his pants (including a giant banana, -Ed.) which he periodically tossed into the audience. Peter, who was definitely having a good time between swills of a giant Jager bottle (he drank the whole goddamn thing! -Ed.,) interrupted his set sporadically to launch into fabulous covers including “Monster Mash” (which at the end, Peter said, "I wish I could write lyrics like that!") and Blind Melon’s “No Rain”. They played for a good hour and a half busting out such favorites as “Christian Woman”, “Black no. 1” “Kill All The White People,” "World Coming Down," "Love You To Death," "Wolf Moon," and more. As the show progressed, it seemed as if Peter got more and more out of control. Suddenly, he snapped as if having a Viet-NAMM flashback and the audience became the target of his rage. Looking like a gothic Thor with dripping black hair and pulsating biceps, Mr. Steele began spiking water bottles at specific people in the audience while yelling obscenities! He squarely pegged a few people in the balcony including our own David Necro (after saying, "hey you with 3 testicles, go deep!," and actually he fuckin' missed me! -Ed.) Renee and I were laughing our asses off as a man behind us passed out in his own puke and some industry geek got escorted off the premises for moshing too violently (this is true -Ed.) The show finally came to an end with a finale involving a toilet paper and fruit war between Steele and the audience that would make the best Rocky Horror crowds duck under their seats. As we were leaving the rather trashed venue I noticed that my laminate said “drink responsibly”. Yeah, right!!
Technical note: Click on any photo for a closer view. Left and right arrows take you backward and forward respectively. To view outside the screen, click on the photo twice.