We did IT!!
We presented ourselves to the world and the world took notice!
It was an exciting week all around… from the preparation to the long drive and setup, to all the great experiences and people we met during the show.
NAMM in Los Angeles is huge. Huge! There’s 5 big halls of everything from every kind of instrument you can imagine, to speakers, mixing boards, sheet music, children’s instruments, and every electrical (or otherwise) gadget you can think of that helps, in one way or another, to make a “sound” experience. We were thankful that our booth was located in hall E. It was a good mix of all kinds of things… some quiet. Phew! I say that because when I had a walk through hall D, it seemed like every exhibitor was either selling drums or horns, and it was insanely loud. (There’s a reason why people put the drum kit in the garage. Need I say more?) By then end of the tradeshow our voices were hoarse.
We shared a booth with Badazz Guitar Stands out of Illinois. Their guitar stands really are bad ass! And the owner/inventor, Rhawn, is the happiest, friendliest fellow you’ll ever meet. His whole crew was awesome and we shared some great laughs. We look forward to more partnerships with this dude.
Over the course of the 4day weekend, we met lots of other wonderful and influential people too. Too many to mention! First of all, it was really important for us to meet and shake hands with some of the biggest guitar builders in the business, and we did. It’s interesting when you get to talking with people in the same business, to see so many shared experiences, frustrations, learning curves, etc, that are similar, and how we can learn from each other. Mutual support and admiration was evident! We also met alot of our suppliers. It’s fun to talk “wood”. Hahaha. 😛 (BTW, we let them know we want their secret stash).
Business aside, we were excited to meet some amazing players who showed us how beautiful our guitars really are! They’re not just gorgeous on the outside… they sing too! The new California finger-picking champion is a big fan, and so are many of his friends that we happened to meet at a finger-style show featuring some of the greats, on Saturday night. From left: Connor McCloud (new California fingerstyle champion), Antoine Dufour, Trevor Gordon Hall, Reuben Forsland (me), Andy McKee. We also had Tony Coleman (BB King’s drummer) stop by our booth and introduce us to Christone “KingFish” Ingram, the next big star in Blues music. If you’re a fan of great guitar music, you must check all these guys out! Brilliant! And Tony, a heart of gold, he had nothing but amazing things to say about our guitars too. Check out this awesome endorsement he had for JOI Guitars:
Top left: JOI Guitars booth
Top right: main entrance to Anaheim Convention Center NAMM 2016
2nd left: (from left) Connor McCloud, Antoine Dufour, Trevor Gordon Hall, Reuben Forsland (me), Andy McKee.
2nd right: Brent Cole from Alaska Tonewoods & me
3rd left: Sandra Pehar (my wife), Rhawn Boesen from Badazz Guitar Stands, me
3rd right: me & KingFish
4th left: (from left) John, Lisa, Sandra, me, Dav Mikaels, Bridgette, Rhawn Boesen, Anette
4th right: Tony Coleman from the BB King band & Sandra Pehar
Center bottom: Larry Klenc from McPherson Guitars & me