In nearly 30 years of playing live shows, I’ve witnessed a variety of uncontrollable circumstances that have prevented the band from making it to the stage. There’s been everything from overheated radiators to under-medicated ex wives – hell, I even had a chicken bone lodged in my throat once, but I have never encountered the unfortunate circumstances of the house band playing at our hotel in Anaheim for the NAMM show. As the band busted into a second set of classic Zeppelin covers on a poolside stage, “Misty Mountain Hop” was interrupted by a pistol packin’ cop who firmly arrested two members mid-set! Not a joke, folks; these guys were cuffed, stuffed and escorted stage right. Now we’ve all had to bail a drummer out of jail at one point or another, but I’ve never seen it done straight from the stage to the cage. It was simply unbelievable and unforgettable. Fortunately, this being a show for NAMM exhibitors, fill-in guitar players were plentiful. One way or another, the show must go on.

NAMM is certainly a show that must go on, and it will. As the industry gathered for the 106th rendition of the iconic event, the atmosphere seemed to be filled with cautious optimism and perceived ambivalence. NAMM serves as a virtual industry barometer, forecasting product and economic conditions for the coming year. At a press conference preceding the show, speaker Marty Albertson, CEO of Guitar Center, eluded to a cautious 2008 outlook for the M.I. industry due to a possible recession, an unpredictable election year, unstable exchange rate and most importantly, historic sales trends continuing from 2007.

I would certainly agree with Mr. Albertson’s outlook, but this definitely wasn’t the feeling at the close of the show for a majority of exhibitors. In fact, many would agree that this could be one of the most lucrative shows for manufacturers in the past five years. For Premier Guitar, it was undeniably a pinnacle show that will be the catalyst for our most impactful year to date. Keep an eye out for our accomplishments in the upcoming months. Everyone here at Premier Guitar is extremely humbled to gain the confidence of a supportive industry that endorses our multimedia vision. We promise we will not disappoint your expectations.

Life is short, play more guitar. Nuff sed.
Trent Salter, Publisher