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When I first realized I would be headed to NAMM 2013, I was overwhelmed with a sense of awe. The idea of being in such an environment was, and still is, a very exciting one to me. I had NO idea what we were in for. For the last 3+ years I have been a part of BleachBANGS radio, and in the recent past year also “The Hellion Rocks” and “Rock U-Night”. We have never looked at ourselves as “Big time” or anything along those lines. I have had many great opportunities to talk with and hang out with a lot of musicians that I grew up with over the years. I have been in many places that a guy like me should never be in. VIP spots, backstage with no pass, on tour buses  private parties etc… That is not me bragging, on the contrary, realizing how lucky and blessed I have been. It has been a lot of work. Anyway, that being said, you would think that I would have been completely prepared for the whole NAMM thing right? After breezing through check in with absolute ease, it all hit me like a ton of bricks. I was NOT prepared for the sheer magnitude of this. EVERYWHERE you look there is something for everyone. From towers of drums and cymbals, to rows of guitars and amps, and pianos, soundboards, and bongos, and something called The slaparoo… 3 full floors and a basement of anything you can imagine musically, and even some things you can’t.
  This being our first run at NAMM (the Hellion), I believe the first 4 hours we were just like deer in headlights, I know I was anyway. We started to get our groove on and jumped into a few quick interviews. Aria was our first stop, followed by a few others. First day just kind of getting our feet wet. The stop at The Aria booth was definitely the highlight of that working day. We got to check out the Cliff Burton signature bass. Only 100 of these made. I got to handle the prototype! I make no apologies for being geeked out by this stuff. I’m no big shot, certain things still make me feel like a teenager again. As you will see in the attempt at discussing said bass. Luckily the man behind the design and build of this instrument stepped in and saved the day by giving a complete run down of this beauty. Thank you James Chen!! . Both videos can be seen at
DSC09358There are two different sides to NAMM. The 8 a.m.-6 p.m. side. Mostly all business. Interviews. Making contacts. Selling. Buying. Sponsoring musicians. Getting sponsored by an endorser.  Trust me though this “job” is too much fun.

DSC00483I would like to talk a little more about the other side of NAMM. The not working but still kinda working side.
When the doors close at the Convention center a whole new atmosphere erupts every day. Exclusive parties, concerts, after parties, after after parties. The entire city is buzzing with the same idea in mind… Kick back, have a few drinks and mingle among people that have the same mindset. Now I put down my camera and let the work Charlie off. For me it was time to talk to people, drink those aforementioned drinks and let loose a bit. This is how I “work”. I don’t care much for the stuffiness of the other way. Friday night we headed over to Malone’s to catch a few bands and some dear friends of ours As you will see, or have seen, my co-hort James never let the camera go. James snapped about a billion pics between Heretic, Death Alley Motor Cult, and Phantom-X. I caught most of each set as I wandered to and fro. chatting with locals and out- of- towners alike. This is the fun way to make contacts and “work”. Shout out to Steve Wadleigh of Music Scene Magazine. Another one just supporting the scene any way he can. As you will see and read from a lot of what James will be putting out we did do as much as we could. Overwhelmed is an understatement. I think we did okay for 2 guys and a camera. My view of NAMM is the nightlife and the camaraderie of all these hundreds and thousands of people. What brought us all together for a week in Anaheim? Music. That is purely what it is all about. The hard work, the parties, the concerts, the after after parties. All revolving around the Music. I am not much of a writer. I am just typing what i am thinking. So I know this rambles, but I just want the reader to understand that the whole vibe at NAMM  is absolutely 100% insane. That good kind. The music and memories stay with us forever. Thank you to all that made our first trip completely unforgettable.
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Cheers, Charlie MF Owens
The Hellion Rocks