NAMM 2010: Highlights from day 2

Here in no particular order are some highlights from NAMM day 2:

* The performance by Mike Keneally, Bryan Beller and Marco Minnemann in the Dean Markley booth. Crammed into a tiny performance space, MK and crew turned in monstrously cool versions of ‘Snowcow,’ ‘Beautiful,’ the ‘Dolphins’ medley, ‘Cause of Breakfast’ and a few that I missed because the room was so full that I couldn’t get in at first!

* Stumbling across Alex Skolnick doing a signing, saying hello and finding he recognised my blog logo. Alex said he wants to come back to Australia, this time with his jazz trio.

* Seeing Chris Jericho and Rich Ward of Fozzy. Can’t wait to check out the new Fozzy CD. They’re signed to Riot, who have been unfathomably cool to I Heart Guitar.

* Checking out the new MXR pedals, including the Micro Chorus, Micro Flanger and Jerry Cantrell wah.

* The 25th Anniversary Paul Reed Smith press conference, hosted by Tom Wheeler and featuring guest speakers Ted Nugent, Al DiMeola, Howard Leese, David Grissom and Carlos Santana.

* A special PRS event, again hosted by Tom Wheeler, where Grissom and a few other quite notable guitarists (including amp legend Ritchie Fliegler – nice to meet ya Ritchie!) compared five PRS McCartys (some with 57/08 pickups and some with 59/09s) to Paul’s own 1958 Gibson Les Paul goldtop. Paul said he bought the guitar in Japan after falling in love with it, claiming it’s the best Les Paul he’s ever played. He brought it back to America and used its nuances as inspiration for further PRS refinements. Cool!

I’m building up a huge backlog of NAMM stuff to write about when the actual NAMM-attending is completed, including breakdowns of new extended range guitars, reissues, signature models and more. Unfortunately my plan to live-blog from the NAMM floor has been quite hampered by the impossible-to-actually-access-cos-everyone’s-trying-to-use-it-at-once public Wi-Fi. :(