NAMM 2015
Bob Pletka 02/05/15 NAMM 2015 started out differently than all of the other shows we’ve attended since 1998. Instead of flying in the day the show starts my wife Carla and I left on January the 16th in the trusty ET van. We were hand delivering the “JJ One” amp from our studio to the JJ Electronic booth at NAMM. We ordered up a set of road cases from Roadie, put together a simple pedal board and hit the road! We have the “JJ One” prototype and the first production amp here so it was a lot closer for us to supply JJ Electronic with our amp than for them to fly another amp in from the Slovak Republic. It’s about 1200 miles from ET to NAMM so we took a few days to get there. We got the amp setup and ready to rock Thursday morning just in time for good friend Brian Hadley who was our demo player for the show to start rockin. Brian did get a break a few times when Eddie and Aaron stepped in to demo the amp. Chris from the Electro-harmonix booth was quite enamored with the amp! Deanna Passarella of “Guitar Riff Daily” stopped in a couple of times to play the amp. We caught a little video of a few who played the “JJ One” After leaving the JJ Electronic booth the first thing that caught my eye was the Silver Jubilee stacks neatly tucked in next to the JVM amps in the main Marshall display. I’ve always been a fan of the Silver Jubilee amps and I own a 2555 and cab so I was VERY curious to hear the 2555X reissue! I had to go back a couple of times to catch a demo and I was pretty impressed, I’d like to A/B one next to mine with the same tubes and bias, it sounded a little different to me but it’s very close! Fender had a new offering which was the Michael Landau signature Hot Rod Deville. More about this towards the bottom of the page. The Fender room did not have the huge display of custom shop guitars this year as in past years, but there were a few. Here are some random shots of the show and a few of the people and customers we met up with. A NAMM show tradition for the Eurotubes gang and friends is a night at the outdoor downtown Disney Uva Bar. This year was no exception! Casey Young who is a very dear and long time friend of ours usually works the NAMM show for companies like Lexicon, TC Electronics, Harmon and many others. We always try to spend as much time as we can with together. We first met in 1975 as band mates and Casey was my best man at my wedding when Carla and I were married. The three of us played in several bands together until Casey headed for L.A. in 1980. He quickly established himself in the local scene and went on to work with the likes of Michael Jackson, Manhattan Transfer, Tina Turner and YES to name a very few. Casey toured with YES as a synth programmer and second keyboardist and vocalist, he also spent a number of years touring and playing with Vangelis in the US and Europe. Along with working in most all the big studios in L.A. Casey spends a lot of time at Capital Records and Sony Records. You can see some of his credits here. A number of years ago Casey took me to a show at the Baked Potato in Hollywood to see the “Jazz Ministry” which is a VERY intimate venue that seats about fifty people. The band consists of Michael Landau on guitar, Abraham Laboriel on Bass, Greg Mathieson on Keys and Abraham Laboriel Jr on Drums. The show was one of the best I’ve seen and I always wished my wife Carla could have seen them... Lightning struck twice! Sunday Casey informed me that the Jazz Ministry was playing again that night at the Baked Potato and asked if we wanted go. Are you kidding?? Both shows were sold out but Casey having worked with the members of the band secured us a great table on the guest list! Here are a few shots of the evening. Thanks for everything Casey!! Michael Landau’s gear that evening. Thanks to Tomas Jurcho (left) the owner of JJ Electronic and Roman (right) for there hospitality and making great tubes and amps! Our trip would not have been complete without a trip to Hollywood for some entertainment! Only in Hollywood! (Read the sign) After all the Margaritas Carla said I was staring to look a little strange? I don’t see any difference....
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