Many of the regulars, and always someone new.
A notable addition to the Gretsch crew this year is Adam Bowden Smith, a British bloke who has recently taken on the Joe Carducci job for Europe. Based in London, Adam is the first Gretsch Product Specialist for that region.
It’s a dream job for him, as he’s been a Gretsch fanatic since long before he took the job. He’s a Gretsch guy through and through, fully up to speed on the instruments and their specs, and engaged with customers and artists.
Joe told me Wednesday that his old friend Mitch Crane would be coming to the show. I know Mitch as a serial Tru-Arc user (up to at least seven bridges by now); GDPers know him as an active member of the forum. What I didn’t know was that he was the senior guitarist (by two years) in Joe’s first band, going back to when Joe was 11. Joe says Mitch was a monster player even at that age - that he taught Joe a lot - and that Mitch has just continued to improve.
The old bandmates hadn’t seen each other for over 30 years, and when Mitch came into the booth today … well, it was a pretty touching scene to see old friends re-connect, and to hear both of them muse about how music has directed their separate paths and now brought them full circle.
It was a pleasure to visit with Joao Erbetta, who has been in town this week for recording sessions at Pete Curry’s studio, but is flying back to Palo Alto tomorrow morning.
For those who haven’t heard Joao - you’re missing a unique talent, and one of the most interesting and innovative instrumental guitarists working today. And working *hard* today. A native of Sao Paolo, Brazil, Joao has lived mostly in the US since 2007, with stints in Washington DC, New York, and now the Bay area. He’s done solo projects, building up tracks himself in Pro Tools, and has collaborated with an ever-expanding array of artists both here and in Brazil. He never seems to repeat himself, and in the last several years has released solo albums (*LA Sessions,* from 2010, recorded live in the studio) and several collaborations. He’s currently finishing a guitar-dominated movie soundtrack and taking opera and jazz history classes at Stanford.
While Joao often plays Fendery guitars (luthier-built Zaganin Jazzmaster and Tele among them), he’s also a long-time Gretsch fan, a GDPer, and a friend of Gretsch Guitars. He played in the booth several years ago - and it’s worth looking up those performances. (He played a Billy Bo off the booth wall at that time; now he has his eye on the Dark Cherry Metallic doublecut Jet.)
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The NAMM Show is one of the largest music product trade shows in the world, founded in 1901. It is held every January in Anaheim, California, USA at the Anaheim Convention Center.
The NAMM Show is not open to the general public. Only members of the music trade and/or those who have been invited may attend.
Coverage by Proteus on the GDP is, as you might expect, strongly Gretsch-centric – though some coverage of related information can be expected.