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Let It Rock Let It Roll – Metal Sludge exclusive from the annual NAMM convention Anaheim California

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Jack Russell & Steven Adler @ NAMM 2013

LET IT ROCK, LET IT ROLL

Here’s a Metal Sludge exclusive from the annual NAMM convention

By Gerry Gittelson

Metal Sludge Editor at Large

ANAHEIM — Like a tornado of mascara, metal and mayhem, the annual NAMM convention blew its way through Southern California this past weekend, and SLUDGE was there to document all the details, to munch on free deli food backstage and of course to drink and party into oblivion as the days turned to nights once the real partying began.

It all starting Thursday, as merchandise folks set up their wares – everything from big bass drums and grand pianos to little chords and guitar pics – and among the first celebrity sightings were Poison’s Rikki Rockett and Warrant’s Joey Allen, neither of whom were playing in front of arena filled with crazed fans or even just walkin’ the aisles and being cool, like C.C. DeVille. Instead, they were selling shit, as Rockett was hosting his own booth for Rockett Drum Works and Allen was a floor rep selling Pearl drums of all things.

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George Lynch ripping on one of his custom axes for the masses.

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Robin McCauly looking good for being 60 years old.

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Terry Ilous of Great White (XYZ)

Later that night, among the biggest live rock events was a the Bonzo Bash at Observatory in Santa Ana (formerly the Galaxy), and every celebrity Rainbow regular in the free world was backstage, from Steven Adler to James Kottak and Athena Lee (not together but not fighting either) to Jack Russell to Simon Phillips to Sean McNabb to Brent Woods to Mike Portnoy to Robert Mason to Chas West and even to Living Colour vocalist Corey Glover, whom I had never met before.

The great Joe Sutton from Club Vodka was among the organizers, and the bearded promoter did a terrific job – in other words, a packed house at $25 per head, plus free beer backstage in addition to lots of silicone-enhanced groupies that did not cost a thing per head — and this went on until the morning hours.

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The bearded boys of NAMM! Joetown & Joe Sutton.

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Eddie Trunk & Doug Aldrich of Whitensnake (Ex. LION)

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Steven Adler & Alan Krigger (Giuffria, London)

On Friday, it was same shit/different day. The convention itself was packed, and at night the place went crazy with a huge concert right in front of Anaheim Convention Center on a stage flanked by the Marriott on one side and the Hilton on the other. As Sludge pulled up, former Paul Rodgers/Free drummer Jeff Kathan was bashing away to the sounds “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love,” and among the following performers were Yes’ Alan White, Robin McCauley, Great White’s Terry Ilous, Martha Davis and lots of others.



After, Sabian hosted a huge party at the Sheraton, headlined by George Lynch and friends including Ray Luzier, Billy Sheehan, Robert Mason, Keith St. John and others. The emcee was Eddie Trunk from That Metal Show, and in the VIP area were such luminaries as Stuart Smith from Sweet and now Heaven on Earth, Robert Sarzo and of course nightlife legend Krigger, who never misses a good party.

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A beauty and a beast at NAMM.

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A packed audience enjoys a show.

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A couple ladies on the prowl.

All this blurred into Saturday, as Nikki Sixx caused the biggest stir of the weekend simply by signing autographs as girls stampeded their way towards the great Motley Crue founder. Outside there was live rock including Three Dog Night, plus yet another big party at the Hilton, where Sludge ran into everyone from Neil Zlozower to Happenin’ Harry – who refused photos.

Sunday, we barely woke up in time for noon checkout despite never even making it to The Grove for a big metal extravaganza the previous night with Exodus, Prong and a few other harder-than-hard acts that play a little too fast for these precious ears.

Faces of NAMM – Anaheim California 2013

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In all, quite a weekend of rock. We just got home, and incredibly we’re ready to do it all over again.



Gerry Gittelson can be reached at [email protected]

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