A Brief Introduction to NAMM: Beginner's Guide.
So last month was the National Association of Music Merchants, better known to most as NAMM, the Mecca of all things audio and the masturbatory lubricant for teenage musicians around the world. For those of you who don't know or refuse to know, it is basically the Star Trek Convention, except the people who attend aren't virgins. It is the only place in the world where you can stand at a booth and think to yourself “Holy shit $3000 for a Nord Wave keyboard!?” and the guy in the Hawaiian t shirt next to you is thinking “Holy shit, only $3000. I'll take 6!”.
If you have never attended NAMM, then let me sum it up for you: after leaving your hotel room you immediately see a line of suits and hipsters walking in the same direction with NAMM badges draped around their necks. You follow these people like a blind lemming, hoping they are going to and not from your destination. Eventually you will see the convention center, and you know it is the convention center because there will be a lot of people around it.
You and 90,000 others all stuff your selves into the Anaheim convention center and look at all of the new stuff you can't afford while numerous guest artists you don't like have seminars and offer signings you don't want. Some of the people attend are merely there to rub elbows, while others go to order new inventory for their stores. If you were, however given the task to breakdown the people who are there into categories, you will have a strong ratio of people who have no purpose of being there.
There are the necessities: food, water, and peeing. Any combination of the three is sure to cost you at least a month's rent, because my cold cut wrapped in a tortilla was apparently prepared by Wolfgang Puck and marketed by Steve Jobs. And don't even think about doing something absurd like sitting down while you eat. The Anaheim Convention Center has as many chairs as Ben Roethlisberger has dates with feminists. Water fountains are foreign concepts as well. Not the actual devices, mind you, just the concept of turning the fucking things on. And of course the bathrooms go without saying. All conventions, regardless of convention content, have terrible bathrooms. It could be a convention about bathroom cleanliness, and there will still be shit on the walls. Combine this with roadies and tired foreigners, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Naturally it is unbelievably crowded and everybody is in a hurry to get somewhere, so the difficulty of traversing from one side of the convention center to another is directly proportional to getting a damn t-shirt from a brand you actually recognize. I don't know what I have to do to get a shirt from you, Moog. I know you have them back there, just give me one. Sure, everyone tells you swag is dime a dozen at NAMM, but only if you suffer through the wall of face-rape cacophony that is the hall of drums. Walking, excuse me, fighting your way through that chaotic mess is sterilizing at the least. You are at a minor risk even being within arms length of a drummer because they are already mentally tuned to hit everything with sticks, plus you are then only getting drum swag, which is the retarded-cousin of the Moog t-shirt. Your only other option is to venture to the purgatory that is the bottom floor of the convention.
Compared to the basement, the main floor is Valhalla. As soon as you go down the escalator, you quickly realize that you are the only one descending and that everyone is fighting to get back upstairs. It like entering another dimension, except the dimension is riddled with midi-controlled didgeridoos, mint-flavored tuba mouthpieces , and guitar-viols. Its like seeing a child in the park covered in saliva. Sure its cute, but I don't want to touch it. You feel like Max Rockatansky in the thunderdome, except there’s no Tina turner. Instead you have a MILLION FREE GUITARPICKS, which would be nice except I can't even hold a guitar correctly, let alone play it.