The People at NAMM Are Weirder Than Most of the Instruments
|The gentlemen of Blue Felix|
Upon entry it seemed like all of the strange characters and miscreants who Hunter S. Thompson described in many of his books seemed to all convene at NAMM. Yes, it should be noticed that musicians, vendors and the like aren't exactly suit-wearing business types, but I don't think I was ready for the massive swarm of mullets, leather jackets and acid wash jeans that awaited me at the door. It was as if the hair metal era literally took a dump on the showroom floor. I had never seen so many Vince Neil/Stacee Jaxx look-alikes in my life, and if the dudes didn't look like him, they certainly looked stereotypically like they worked at the guitar store in Wayne's World.
I should have known better since a buddy of mine who owns a successful clothing company and had frequented the event as a vendor until this year warned me about the types of people who would be at the event. I shrugged his words off, figuring that he was just being cynical. Alas, per usual, his wisdom proved to be correct.
Truthfully, though the crowd was pretty weird, the real freaks seemed to gravitate toward the autograph booths filled with musicians I'd never heard of. As a music writer, I'd like to think that I have knowledge in who musicians are, however, judging by the signing schedule, I think I heard of maybe six (Mike Inez of Alice In Chains, Fieldy from Korn, Scott Ian from Anthrax, Zakk Wylde, the drummer from Iron Maiden and Victor Wooten) of the hundreds of people who fans waited in line for. After seeing one dude signing who I'd never heard of before, I asked someone who just got an autograph who that person was. He looked at me dumbfounded and shrugged his shoulders and kept moving.