The New Year rocked in with a bang as always when NAMM 2017 opens its doors to the best rock experience of the year! And this year was no exception! What always makes NAMM so great is that it is not only jam-packed with incredible shows and performances, but it is where music lovers, rock stars, the best products available, and music technology bring people from all over the world together for four incredible days!
Excitement started immediately as I walked towards the doors with my roomie/BFF in tow aka Valerie Rosdahl. I ran into Pete Dee from the ADICTS saw Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) who I haven’t seen since he performed at my Vegas Rocks!
Magazine Music Awards 2013. Then Riley and Casey Macek from HOLES AND HEARTS told me they were performing at the PIONEER booth just inside the door so off we went! I interviewed Sales Manager David Sullivan about the latest PIONEER products. Then Valerie ran the camera while I jumped around like I was in high school dancing to HOLES AND HEARTS playing “Just Can’t Get Enough” by DEPECHE MODE. Then it was off to the KORG booth. All the excitement centered around the KORG booth last year and this year it rivaled all others for excitement and celebrity sightings once again. I was glad to see a friendly face again this year as Senior Marketing Communications & Events Manager Morgan Walker was again doing a great job coordinating things. She introduced me around and I interviewed Anthony Williams as he demonstrated KORG keyboards and the latest KORG technology. Rachel May had just joined me to assist me this year and Jason Green was with her and Jason said, “Hey Sally, there’s Billy Bob Thornton!” So I started up my video camera for a few words from the legendary movie star before snapping a photo with him. Billy Bob was there to promote his band THE BOXMASTERS and soon the trio took to the patiently waiting scores of fans and media for an appearance and autograph signing. I then ran into all my pals from STYRPER – (Robert, Oz and Michael) before saying hello to Matt Sorum who was racing throu
gh the aisles. Carmine Appice was near the Anvil booth promoting his book ‘Stick It!” and moved along to chat with Jennifer Batton (Michael Jackson) at the Amp 1 System booth. Dario Lorina was surrounded by fans and Tommy Thayer was upstairs checking out the latest in guitar equipment. Brad Gillis seemed happy to see me (he came to our after party for my Vegas Rocks! Hair Metal Awards last year) as we made our way towards the beginning of t
he night of shows, parties and catching up with friends and foes.
The Yost was the spot for all the events after NAMM which included The Bonzo Bash and RANDY RHOADES REMEMBERED shows. Brian Tichy made sure I was on the VIP list to witness a never ending list of awesome musicians and appearances. Chas West joined Brian onstage long with Rudy Sarzo, Carmine Appice. Simon Wright, Phil Demmel, Phil Soussan, Deen Castronovo and an appearace by Nicko McBrain, Mitch Malloy, Doug Aldrich and so many more! Brian Tichy never fails to blow me away on his drums. He is the most amazing player out there. Michael Sweet and Oz Fox from STRYPER joined Brian onstage for a version Ozzy Osbournes’ “Over The Mountain”. This amazing performance blew away Ozzy’s performance, hands down. Michael Sweet nailed the highest notes and Oz Fox drove those guitar chords to the brink of hysteria. This was by far one of the best treats of the NAMM performances. I told Valerie how impressed I was and she said it was because they had “God” on their side. Must have – because it worked! Then Val, Z and I headed over to see Graham Bonnet at a private show. It was great to meet the legend himself before the show and it was one memorable night – let me tell you!
Day two of NAMM I hit the ground running as “Dugie” took me back to speak to Michael Anthony before Michael went out to promote his newest in PEAVEY gear. Then I raced over to get in line at the YAMAHA suites to catch up with all the great musicians doing signings. Then I raced upstairs with Valerie to catch Al Ban
e at the ZEMAITIS Guitar booth where I interviewed Al and Dave Hagar, the sales rep from ZEMAITIS. LA GUNS members were also on hand for photo ops who Al Bane has also made guitar straps and accessories for. Then Alice Goldstein asked me to rush up to the GIBSON booth where Marq Torien was doing a reunion with the original BULLET BOYS. I was standing there looking at the cool display of GIBSON guitars where a long line of people were waiting for photos and I grabbed
Marq and made an announcement to the line of people waitng that I had to bring Marq Torien in for a media photo for Gibson. The guy I cut in front of just happened to know who I was and said: “It’s Okay, it’s Sally Steele, she’s legit!
” I guess my reputation precedes me after all LOL! I visited with Druzelle Atkins and then Alice Goldstein called me and said to come down to the KORG booth where Dj Ashba and Lita Ford were. It is always great to catch up with Lita Ford as she told me all about her ordeal in the rain to get checked into her hotel and get to her sound check for the “She Rock Awards” where she was being honored the night before. Lita then went out to do her autograph signing for all the many fans who were waiting for her. I love Lita and it seems we never have enough time to catch up and talk. Dave Ellefson from MEGADETH joined Lita for the signing as did Doyle from the MISFITS and many others. I also caught up with many other Vegas pals including Julie Pyle and Tyler Lawson. After awhile I told Julie that Mick Thomas was going to make an appearance at the SEYMOUR DUNCAN booth so Julie and I made our way over to check it out. I introduced us to the SEYMOUR DUNCAN booth staff and they couldn’t have been nicer making sure we were set up to capture Mick on video and snap some photos of his appearance.
By the time I got back to the hotel my roomie Val told me The HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES were doing a private show at a high school so all plans were redirected to see Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp, Joe Perry, Tommy Henriksen, Matt Sorum and all the amazing stars of a true rock band for a historic night.
This year definitely topped last year in the “fun” department and special thanks to my partners in crime, Valerie Rosdahl and Sandee Moore who traveled with me to the show.
Thank you so much to the Lippon Group and all the great NAMM staff for inviting us out to NAMM 2016! We can’t wait to see and hear all the excitement at NAMM 2018!
Be sure and catch all the video
excitement for NAMM 2017 that we captured on VEGASROCKTV.COM!