Do you believe in music?

NAMM and Back Home Again in Indiana

Regular readers know that the NAMM Show has long been my favorite trade gathering, where music instrument and gear makers show off their new models to music stores, musicians and fans.

NAMM is the world’s greatest music store, something that has to be seen to be believed: rows and rows of guitars, drums, keyboards, horns, A/V gear, everything a tech + music nerd like myself would want to be up close and personal with. (No cameras, but I’ll live.)

This year, like so many other shows, NAMM had to bypass the 150,000 yearly attendees and ask them to visit online instead. They made it free, so anyone could attend, and did a pretty effective job of bringing NAMM to our living rooms.

The theme was “Believe in Music,” which can be looked at many ways. We believe in music and getting instruments into people’s hands to share the joy of making music from 12 notes. We believe in spreading the importance of music education. We believe in listening to great musicians play.

We believe in all forms of music, everything from classic rock, jazz, classical, country and the blues.

Shameless plug: Beyond the gear and instrument showcases, and demos on how to use them, NAMM also staged Zoom interviews with many musician greats. Everyone from Jackson Browne, Jane’s Addiction’s Dave Navarro and even comedy legend Mel Brooks about his Broadway scores were featured. I was asked by NAMM to interview jazz icon Corea, guitar master Martin Taylor and and the great bassist Nathan East. Thank you for that NAMM!

NAMM hasn’t made them embeddable, but they’re free to view. You’ll need to register first on the NAMM site. Just click the photos below to get there.

NAMM 21 was a video show, something I thought CES would have done a better job with a few weeks earlier. Instead, CES was primarily packaged videos with little interaction with the companies.

NAMM CEO Joe Lamond ran an anchor desk, and navigated us to interesting new products. There were many demos, which was great, because at NAMM, there are always product demos. The difference here is we didn’t have to huddle in a giant crowd, straining to see. And yes, the companies took and encouraged questions from the home crowd.

I’ll be the first to tell you that the main attraction of NAMM is seeing all those new instruments up close and not only getting to play them, but jamming with others on the floor of the show.

I can’t wait to do that again. In the meantime, I’d highly recommend NAMM, and other trade groups, consider bringing more demos, industry Q&As and the like online so more people can see them, in addition to the live and in-person element. More people can take part, and it’s frankly easier to see them online than struggling to beat the crowds at a heavily attended session.

Networking takes a back seat though. So let’s get the show floor open as soon as possible!

MEGA WAVES

Have you heard about those insane waves we’ve been getting in #SoCal lately?

I’ve been at this for quite some time, and can safely say, I’ve never seen them roar like this locally!

A Stormy Sunset

Twas’ a dark and stormy sunset Friday night in Manhattan Beach. Fun!

Back Home in Indiana

Because I believe so strongly in music, how could I not offer a new tune for today’s edition?

As many of you know, it all started for my family in Indiana. I was born there, as were my parents, and it’s the place my great-grandfather came to in 1906. He fled the old country and started a new life in Lafayette, in his 40s, without knowing a word of English. I’d love to know how he got from Ellis Island to Indiana with his limited language skills back then. But he’s not around to ask!

Peter Granowsky eventually settled in Indianapolis, where he ran a junk shop with his two boys. Now you know why I enjoy watching “Sanford & Son,” so much.

This week, as I was working on my latest Photowalk project and researching photographing Indianapolis, I was inspired to learn “(Back Home in) Indiana.”

The song was written by James Hanley and Ballard MacDonald in 1917 as a tribute to the Hoosier state.

SACHEEN

My friend Peter Spirer wrote and directed a documentary, Sacheen, Breaking the Silence, about the woman who accepted the Academy Award for Marlon Brando so many years ago.

Now, she tells her story, and the film is up for Oscar consideration in the short doc category.

“It’s important to recognize the profound message Sacheen gave to the world that night,” says Peter. “No other person of color had ever had the opportunity to address a billion people.  It has often been a misunderstood moment. This film allows viewer to get Sacheen’s unfiltered thoughts and feelings of that  memorable night.”

Sacheen is coming soon to a streaming platform near you. Check out the trailer below.

Tweet of the Week

That’s a wrap folks. Thanks for reading, watching and listening and don’t forget to give me your review with a reply or by clicking the heart tab. It’s raining in Los Angeles today. And you know what that means —a great day for a Photowalk!

Jeff