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It’s Raining NAMM

I’m sure that NAMM, at its essence, is a trade show like any other. The main reason people attend is to make deals and money. But since the trade in question is musical instruments, NAMM is much more exciting than, say, a paper expo. At NAMM you can drink beer and play guitars. You can spend an hour talking about your favorite albums with someone you hardly know. And there are famous musicians around every corner. When was the last time you almost tripped over guitarist Dick Dale or a member of Kiss–in full makeup?

That brings up the main problem with covering the event for a jazz magazine. Rock ‘n’ roll pretty much rules the roost at NAMM. If you’re an old-fashioned jazzbo, it’s in your best interest to pretend not to see the numerous greasy L.A. rocker-types who are continually ripping out technically great but artistically empty guitar solos. Ditto for the greasy L.A. hooker-types hired to play the crowd by classless guitar companies. Lucky for me, I’m the kind of jazz fan that also finds cock-rock and sexism quite entertaining.

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