Summer NAMM 2004 -   Nashville, Tennessee

The GuitarAttack Crew traveled to Nashville, Tennessee for the final National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Show in this venue.  The NAMM Show is the annual meeting of manufacturers and retailers of all things relating to music -- especially guitars.  Everything musical could be found in the Nashville Convention Center and Arena. 

Once again, we attended the show with Mr. Ken Huddleston and Mr. Danny Freeman of KK's Music in Tennessee.

Warning:  Unlike some other sites, we are posting information on products that we liked, rather than a comprehensive look at everything.

Click on the photos with blue borders to see full-sized photos.

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The Nashville Convention Center, downtown Nashville.  This is the site for the final Summer NAMM in Nashville.  The 2005 Summer NAMM is Indianapolis, and the 2006 session is in Austin.

Why did Nashville lose the convention?  Walk through the hall and it is immediately clear -- the space is not big enough!

I truly felt sorry for some of the exhibitors.  They were literally shoved in every nook and cranny of the Convention Center!

Nashville has declined to upgrade the Convention Center, so NAMM voted with their feet.  We've talked enough about Nashville and their is yet another success story for the Music City.

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firebirds.jpg (53881 bytes) At least Gibson had a booth in the Convention Center this year coming off the O Gibson, Where Art Thou fiasco of 2002.  Starting at the far left, we see the staple '59 Reissue Flametop.  Next to it is a killer blue Les Paul with a flower pot inlay on the headstock.  The photo doesn't do it justice.  On the right is one of our favorites, the Firebird Studio.  Very killer guitar -- pretty much a Les Paul neck and electronics with a Firebird body.
airstream.jpg (49126 bytes) johnlp.jpg (107480 bytes) inlay.jpg (73331 bytes) On the left is the one-off Epi Airstream guitar.  Must be a niche market!  Here is a shot of John with a Justin Hawkins signature guitar...he's the guy with the falsetto and cat suit in The Darkness.  Check the detail of the fingerboard...very killer.  The silver finish was really very cool.

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Remember Ross Perot talking about the "giant sucking sound"?  Well it is, except these rigs are out of China, not Mexico.

These are some very killer set-neck Les Paul knockoffs, with a gig-bag, for $159 dealer cost.

When we first saw these we thought they were probably very tired, but we quickly changed our tune.  Very, very nice guitars.

So...who thinks America can compete?  We are ready to hear your perspective.


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The ESP booth was absolutely killer.   On the far left you can see our favorite Rat Pack SG along with some other outrageous graphics.  That SG is the standard!   Next to it is the CASH guitar.  You can't believe how cool this guitar was in person.  We're not worthy!

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Also at the ESP booth we found the George Lynch guitars.   We saw George in concert at a small club in Phoenix back in 1998, and he remains one of our all-time favorites.  John can be seen with one of the Lynch Mob guitars.  The finishes were completely flawless!  Great job, ESP.

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Back in the day, Schecter had all kinds of cool guitars at the NAMM show.  Now they are back with all kinds of cool imports.  We particularly liked the military-themed guitars.  The  Flying Tigers motif was kind of similar to the old Jacksons of the late-80's, but they are really very nice looking and playing guitars.

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Lace was trying to sell us some guitars with twisted necks (not bad, really), but we particularly liked their pickup display.  We really liked the way the humbuckers had coils placed in the covers sideways!

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You can have a twisted neck at about a completely twisted body?  We thought initially that we had walked into some type of bizarre time warp.  It turns out that the guy making these guitars was convinced they sounded and played great.  We had to make a quick getaway!


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