Well, NAMM was great. I thought I’d write a little blog about it.
First, I’m happy to report that the Anaheim Bass Bash Benefit Concert came off splendidly. After all of the on-again-off-again-changing-venue drama, the place was completely packed and we raised some good coin for event organizer Pete Decuir. I just spoke with Pete and he’s recovering nicely from his chemotherapy treatments. He’s also very grateful to everyone who came out and supported the event.
As for the show itself, Alex Al’s band open with a jam-oriented set of intense grooves. Norm Stockton’s band followed, and his composition-oriented fusion (and great bass tone and technical playing) was a treat to watch. Next up was Brian Bromberg, who dazzled everyone with his insane chops on both upright and electric while he played to tracks.
Then Guthrie Govan, Marco Minnemann and I took the stage…and I have to say, I was blown away by what happened. I had a feeling it was going to be good from the one rehearsal we had the night before, but MAN I had no idea what was coming in the show. Everything just clicked, and we were goading each other to take chances with the material. People who saw it really freaked. Afterwards, we were all so thrilled with how it went that we almost immediately started talking about how to do it again. Those talks are continuing, and if I have any news I’ll relay it as soon as I get it.
After we were done, Scott Ambush played an amazing set of funk/fusion (that guy is really sick) and closed out the night in style. Several beer pitchers were full of cash by the end of the night, and everyone left happy. Many thanks to Mike Lull and D’addario for helping to make the night happen, and special thanks to Mick Donner and Paul Tidwell for stepping in and organizing the event.
I also played with Doug Johns in the Music Garage booth, which was much fun (check out their amazing facility if you’re in the Chicago area), did a play-to-tracks set at the Mike Lull Booth, and I jammed with Zappa Plays Zappa bassist Pete Griffin at the Source Audio booth (fine pedals, they make ‘em!). Plus I did a signing at the Alfred Booth with Dethklok’s Brendon Small to help debut the Dethklok Bass Antholgy Music/Tab book, which hopefully metal bassists will find both informative and amusing.
Kira and I capped off the weekend by watching Mike Keneally play keys with Joe Satriani at the Orpheum in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday night. It’s always a special treat for me to watch Mike do his thing in other musical environments, and I’d never seen Satch before live. I really get his thing now – totally different from Vai, and rewarding in a different way as well. Mike, of course, played his ass off, and watching him trade solos with Satch was great fun.
Now I’m back home and working on finishing the live album, plus getting ready for a short GA/NC tour with Kira Small. But it was great to see everyone at NAMM, and it just reminded me that the “music business” is really a small, tightly-knit community filled with lots of cool and incredibly talented people. I’m just glad to be a small part of it.