NAMM Summer 2003 - Nashville

Nashville is never boring, especially when the NAMM show is going on. We had a great time, saw some great stuff and met some great people.

Melancon – Gerard set up his booth in his hotel room. What a great environment and a great break from the noise and hustle/bustle of the show floor. I got to meet Gerard and his Sales Manager Jim Wray. Both are great, salt of the earth type of people. We visited with them more than once and shared stories and guitar making tips. I was able to pick out 5 guitars from his NAMM show cream of the crop. I am exited to get the guitars in and play… I mean test them! I will have them on the site soon.

Brian Moore – Last year when went into the Brian Moore Guitar room I was really impressed with their work, especially the USA Custom Shop stuff. But last year I did not have the finances in place to take on another dealership. This year that changed. While I will not carry the full line I WILL carry the USA Custom Shop line. I was able to pick 4 of their NAMM show guitars and they are BEUATIFUL!

I found both Brian Moore and Melancon great to work with. Both have great people who obviously care about their products.

Melancon has built an incredible reputation building Fender-ish guitars. His turn around on custom orders is short compared to many. Less than 2 months in some cases. I can not say enough about the tone and vibrancy of his guitars. But I don’t have to, his reputation speaks for itself.

I met Ron Palmer who oversees the Custom Shop at Brian Moore. He is easy to work with and it is obvious he loves the products they are producing. They are very flexible. They will do custom colors and configurations. Custom colors as in – send me a picture of your baby and say match the color of her baby-blue eyes… They will do it! Heir turn around time is also very fast. Custom orders normally ship in less than 3 months.

As an added treat while I was in the Brian Moore booth Jay Roberts and Ben Lacy, both Brian Moore endorsers, came in and started to jam. I had seen both of these guys at the All-Star of Guitars show in the Ryman Auditorium from a far. Now I was sitting 4 feet from them soaking up ever note. It was INCREDIBLE!

I saw many interesting things coming out in the music industry. I came away from the NAMM show feeling really good. Besides picking up new deals and guitars and checking out the latest in hardware for our line of Rahan guitars I was able to see what others are doing.

I won’t name any names but let me tell you, I was appalled at some of the “custom” instruments I saw at the show. I like to think that when a builder brings guitars to the show they are the cream of his crop. That is why I am so excited to have 9 NAMM show guitars on the way. Some of these guitars I saw were not anything I would show in public. Horrible fit and finish, dead sounding acoustics, runs in the paint, fret edges that felt like a serrated knife. A couple of very high end makers had their BEAUTIFUL products displayed and when I picked them up they were quite unplayable. Not impossible to play but hey, if you are going to sell a $10,000 guitar I would think you would polish your frets smooth or not cover you neck in so much finish you can hardly find the frets. I am not trying to hold our guitars up in some angelic light, but I will say that coming away from the show I have more confidence than ever that our guitars will not disappoint anyone who gets one.

On a last note I would like to thank FENDER for having sponsored a show at the Wild Horse Saloon featuring Brian Setzer. It was fantastic!