1-24-13: I’m in Anaheim, California for the 2013 NAMM show. I thought I’d give a shot at posting live and updating for the next 4 days.

It’s never dull, always packed, and characters abound.

Posting from an iPhone is a neat trick, but I’ll upload photos a little later. If you’ve never been, it’s a zoo times ten…

Check back for more in a little while. I gotta give these feet a rest after 4 hours of wandering through the toy store!

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Okay, so here’s a few more pics for tonight.

MIke Belitz, owner of Ultimate Support stands, awesome guy and fellow airplane pilot. He got me into NAMM this year, and I am most grateful.
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And then there were the Sound Control Police, which cracked me up to no end…

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But what really surprised me today was watching Peter Erskine climb up on the Tama riser and play…

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Now exhausted hardly begins to describe Day 1, but the coolest highlight?

Being interviewed by Finale (the music notation software that I used to create The Elements of Rhythm, Vols. I & II). They video’d me for use on their website. I’ll let you know when it is up.

But the best part? I ordered a 6 ” meatball sandwich for dinner and they gave me a 12″ one instead. Awesome!

See ya tomorrow, and thanks for checking things out. Good night.

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1-25-13: Good morning from NAMM 2013, in Mickey Mouse’s backyard (Anaheim, CA).

Checked out Paiste, and then caught JoJo Mayer at Sonor doing a bass/drum jam. Better than coffee, actually…

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And then there’s the guys at Roc-n-Soc drum thrones, my favorite, sittin’ down in the job…

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Also kinda cool, Vinnie’s actual Ludwig recording kit over at the Paiste booth.

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Late afternoon: Alan White received a gold plated Ludwig snare drum from Kevin Packard, Artist Relations.

It was engraved by John Aldridge (shown here), no relation, but we used to both write for Drum! magazine.

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Look closely on the snare head. Those are the actual hand engraving tools, and he did it all in One Night!!

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Me and Alan White…

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And me and Lee Sklar, bass player on Billy Cobham’s classic Spectrum album.

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And here’s one of me and John Aldridge, my brother from another mother or something like that…

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In closing, here’s a picture of me and Aynsley Dunbar, one of Frank Zappa’s most famous drummers. Really nice guy, and we talked about Frank’s music a bit. Aynsley’s admiration for Zappa was quite evident as he spoke with great respect for his music. It was quite an honor to meet such drumming royalty today.

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Saturday promises to be completely insane, and I’ll see if I can get some truly classic shots. Blogging live is a challenge when umpteen thousand people are doing the same thing at the same time, jamming up the Internet, but I’ll get done what I can. Hope you faithful readers enjoy, and we’ll do all again in 12 hours. Good night.

1-26/27-13: I’d hoped to keep the daily log going, but honestly, Saturday blew me out of the water! So here we go to give you an update of Saturday and the closing on Sunday…

I visited the MakeMusic booth and got a great shot with the guys from Finale Music Notation Software. I cannot say enough about that product and how it helped me bring my book dream to life with The Elements of Rhythm, Vols. I & II. Here’s Tom Johnson, me, Scott Yoho, and Justin Phillips:

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A vist by the Remo booth let me get caught up with world percussionist Pete Lockett. He received a copy of the books a month ago and liked them. Unfortunately, he hurt his foot during the show and was on crutches when I saw him. You might want to drop by his website or Facebook page and send him some recovery wishes. His cast did not look like to much fun…

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I also ran into Jerry Zacarias at the Remo booth. Jerry helps run the show with Mike DeMenno over at the Remo Recreational Music Center in North Hollywood, California, and he is a very high energy drumming guy. We are talking about teaching a class on The Elements of Rhythm at the RMC in the near future, and I will keep you posted.

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Karen Stackpole, Paiste gong artist and one of my friends from the DRUM! magazine days, drove down from the Bay area for a single day of NAMM madness, and it was really great to get caught up. She is an extraordinary percussion explorer, and you should check her out if you want to see just how many ways a gong can be played and tinkered with. More than you might think, actually…

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I think my entertainment for Saturday was a toss-up between two guys. One was Rick Hubbard, from Kazoobie Kazoos. Here’s a pic of me and Rick along with a video clip that should make you laugh. He plays a kazoo through a Korg sound effects module…

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And then there’s Andy Graham and his Slapperoo. It’s a long pole with a band of metal that you play like a slap bass. Now run that through an effects box and hear what happens… awesome! Check out his website for cool samples…

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Of course no visit to NAMM would be complete without honoring the past, and so, here’s a shot to remind you what players used when men were men and sounds were LOUD…

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So there you have it, my attempt at a live blog. I think I’ll leave this work to the pros, but it sure was fun to give it a shot. If you ever get the chance to check out NAMM, do it, but bring really comfortable shoes! I’m gonna go finish soaking my feet and think about next year, and again, very special thanks to Mike Belitz from Ultimate Support stands for inviting me to the NAMM-pede!