Here’s something super-cool for Ibanez geeks such as myself. Ibanez has announced it will run a contest to allow (what I assume will be) one lucky fan to design an Ibanez Jem model of their very own. RAD! More details will be announced soon. The contest will mark the 77,777th Jem guitar sold. This is in addition to the 20th anniversary Universe reissue, officially dubbed the UV77RE. Isn’t it pretty?
Today I trudged along for my very first NAMM and I think it’s safe to say my mind was utterly and stupefyingly blown. Below I’ll list some of my gear highlights, but first, here were a few incredibly cool things that happened today:
Geekboy alert: I saw both Michael Molenda and Brad Tolinski, two journalistic heroes of mine. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll work up the guts to say hello to them!
I had my photo taken with Nuno Bettencourt!
I met designer Rick Turner (and Seymour Duncan’s Evan Skopp)
I met probably the most friendly guy on earth, Vernon Reid. Seriously, I’ve heard stories about what a lovely guy he is and they’re all totally true. I just wanna hug him!
I saw Quincy Jones. QUINCY JONES!
I met Blake from the What’s That Dude Play website – awesome dude.
Finally met Pauline France in person. You may remember her from the awesome King of the Blues coverage she provided recently.
I interviewed Joe Knaggs, formerly of Paul Reed Smith and now with his own company, Knaggs. Can’t wait to get the interview transcribed and on the site – he was a very cool guy with lots of interesting stuff to say.
I met Brandon from Jim Dunlop, who has been great in supporting I Heart Guitar with info.
Checking out the new Martin gear. Look for a report soon.
Now for my day at NAMM. Apologies for the fuzzy iPhone shots – I took a camera but it’s having trouble interfacing with the computer, and I was clever enough to use my phone for some backups.
First off, here’s my view as I walked to NAMM. I literally got butterflies in my tummy like a little kid.
OK. Gear highlights.
The Ibanez UV77MC multicolour swirl 7-string reissue, painted by the artist who did the originals, Darren Johannsen.
Marshall‘s Dave Mustaine Megastack
Checking out the entire Blackstar amp range. Love that HT Club 40.
The new Randall Nuno Bettencourt mini combo amp.
The EVH Wolfgang Special! Yes, after a year of the EVH Wolfgang being totally freaking awesome on its own, it’s now going to be joined (in April) by a flat-topped version. You will also now be able to buy the Wolfgang neck and bridge pickups separately to add to your own guitar.
Seymour Duncan Slash signature pickup – designed to make Slash’s non-Derrick Les Pauls sound like his Derrick Les Paul!
G&L Rampage Jerry Cantrell signature models! In addition to the cream-coloured one everyone expected, there are a few other models with cool graphics.
Peavey Devin Townsend baritone V 7-string prototype. This axe is being displayed at NAMM to gauge the response, and if things go well it’ll make it to production. Devin’s latest CD, ‘Addicted,’ is so freaking awesome that I hope there’s huge support for the guitar. I checked it out and it was incredible – great attack and sustain.
More info on these items and others in the morning!