NAMM NAMM NAMMITY NAMM...

Sean's NAMM Badge and Rabea Massad playing guitar at Chapman Guitars/Victory Amps Booth

Sean's NAMM Badge and Rabea Massad playing guitar at Chapman Guitars/Victory Amps Booth

I’ll never forget the first time I was told about the NAMM show. I was 14 and just started paying attention to the equipment I was using. I was fascinated by all the little boxes on the floor, the amps and speakers, and of course the guitars. And then my guitar teacher tells me about this crazy NAMM convention that takes place every year. He tells me to imagine Guitar Center and multiply it by 1,000 and how every year the companies come and debut their new products for the year. So every year between January and March I was entrenched in all manner of magazine and internet coverage of the show. And then one day I finally got invited to my first NAMM show. It was everything I wanted it to be! And then I went to another and then another. Before I knew it we had arrived at 2017 and I would be attending NAMM for the tenth time…but this time it was a little bit different.

NAMM has always been a big deal to me. I’ve met a lot of really great people, but this year I had the opportunity to work for Victory Amps and Chapman Guitars. As a YouTuber, Rob Chapman holds a bit of a legendary status and the prospect of working within his circle presented new relationships and opportunities. I couldn’t have asked to work with a better crew that weekend. From Martin and Aaron of Victory to Rabea, Matt, Hannah, and Johnny from Chapman we all buckled down to help each other and make sure everyone left NAMM happy! I really have to thank them for their efforts. I’ve worked many NAMM shows where I felt the burden lay solely on my shoulders and it was clear to me that they all cared about what they were doing. Thank you guys!

NAMM has also become a bit of a reunion for me as well. Because of what I do as a guitarist, songwriter, and YouTube demonstrator I’ve been able to befriend many people within the gear community. People like Robert Keeley, Josh Scott of JHS pedals, and Brian Wampler all have become colleagues and people who I enjoy seeing and talking to. And then you get to make new friends like Daniel Tyack of Salvage Custom pedalboards, Gabriel Tenorio of GTSCo. and more! And then your old college buddies come back into town! That can only mean one thing…a big party! 

                                                          Gabriel Tenorio winds all his guitar strings by hand, one at a time!

                                                          Gabriel Tenorio winds all his guitar strings by hand, one at a time!

Thanks to the kindness and generosity of Robert Keeley and Gabriel Tenorio we all headed to East LA to Gabriel’s shop for the “Secret Taco Hang”. I’m not certain if nearly 70 people in attendance counts as secret though…

We were treated to quite possibly the GREATEST TACOS EVER, coffee roasted and brewed by our friends at MadLab Coffee, and beer from our friends at Three Weavers not to mention a raffle with prizes provided by MORE of our friends.

Notice something though…all these people I count as friends. The entire weekend I was surrounded by people who are hard working, goal driven, and doing their best to be positive. I didn’t hear a single negative phrase all weekend and everyone I saw supported each other. We could all use that in our lives. Take it from me…2017 is going to be a lot better than you think. We Cockeyed Optimists all believe so.

                                                     Sean and Zach at the Secret Taco Hang with Robert Keeley and our friends from the rock band Co-Op. 

                                                     Sean and Zach at the Secret Taco Hang with Robert Keeley and our friends from the rock band Co-Op.