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Nammland: The National Association of Music Merchants Winter 2001 Show

This year, after three interim years at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the delirious cavalcade of sound, fury, gear lust and deal-making that is the Winter NAMM show landed back home in its long-standing site at the Anaheim Convention Center. Across the boulevard, Disneyland is expanding into its old parking lot, with its new “California Adventure” sub-theme park. Some poetic logic exists in that hunk of Anaheim real estate, where amusement, engineering and upward mobility rule.

What does this connection mean for the National Association of Music Merchants, which also celebrates its 100th anniversary this year? It means, partly, that NAMM is a brand as synonymous with its culture as Disneyland is with its. What it also means is that, while the NAMM show presents itself as a showcase circus for the latest and greatest gear and upgrades of last year’s models, it’s also part of a long, timeless continuum. The evolution of musical instruments, after all, is an extension of one of man’s oldest pastimes, and however immediate the gadgetry and new wares at NAMM, it’s important to remember that the essence of music is its tools.

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