This is part 2 of I don't know how many parts. I hope it gives you a pretty good insight into what goes on with me and the Rock House gang at NAMM. If you’re looking for part 1 of this series to get caught up check it out here The NAMM Experience As It Happened - Part 1
6:30 PM – With my trusty comfy old tennis shoes on and Karen at my side we head off with The Rock House Crew to eat dinner and have some laughs. Now Joe P. has rented one of those 11 passenger vans for us to get around in but there were 14 of us. No problem though, Frank and Rich or maybe it was Gordon volunteered to be stuffed in the luggage part of the van in the very back and Karina sat on the floor between the driver and front passenger seat. I’m sure if we would have had 20 people we could have figured something out, setting the mood of the night – nothing is impossible we squeeze everyone in. Some jokes about seeing what the world record was for stuffing people into an 11 passenger van started to circulate and the laughs began as everyone stuffed themselves in.
Along with the Rock House Crew for the night were Rusty and Susan Cooley and Kiko Loureiro with Maria.
With go to guy Brian at the wheel of the rockmobile we took off for some eats. Brian is obviously experienced at driving in traffic. Not just any traffic I mean down right busy bumper to bumper traffic. I’m looking out the window saying to myself “This is frickin’ wild, if he pulls out now we’re doomed”. Which is exactly what Brian did, I found out quickly that you have to just pull into traffic and hope everyone stops to let you in, which is what happens.
We go to Oggi's, a neat little Italian place. The weather was nice so they put us outside on their patio…... I think so we didn’t bother the “normal” people. The Crew pitched in and helped the waiter put about 8 tables together, then told the waiter we were wanting tips for helping out, hence setting the mood for the dinner.
We all sat down like the good little boys and girls that we are and ordered some micro brewed beer. They had about a dozen different ones on the menu. I ordered a light one and was informed by the guys that it was weenie beer and I needed to order one of the dark ones even though the waiter said “good choice sir” to me. Obviously looking to earn his tip back from helping him set up tables.
Once everyone settled in, I had fun just listening to the conversations people were having. The Crew was talking about micro brewed beer at one end of the table and Joe P. and John were engaged in conversation with Kiko and Rusty.
Kiko and Rusty are 2 down to earth guys. I think one thing we forget about is they have a life other than music. What I mean by that is music is their business and like everyone else when business is done it’s time to think about and talk about other things, laugh, tell stories and just relax. Don’t get me wrong there was business conversation that took place but the evening was not dominated by it.
Rusty and Susan are great people. I think one of the coolest things I could tell from looking at them is that they are just totally in love with each other. They do everything together and where one is the other is usually there too. I got the same impression from Kiko and Maria.
We were talking about guitars and gear. John never gets rid of anything and Joe ribbed him about not even getting rid of the $29.95 guitars that one company gave him. Rusty sells his gear to buy the newest stuff. Kind of blew me away when I heard this. I just figured he would have like 50 guitars, a couple dozen amps and a load of pedals. I personally sell what I don’t use.
Joe P. and John are hilarious. You can tell they have a great personal relationship and an awesome business one as well. Like 2 college pals they ignite each others stories by making them better and funnier in the right situation. Joe can make anyone laugh. I learned from “The Crew” that he did the stand up comic thing many years ago. They used to go and watch his act. He also has the ability to do goofy stuff with his eyebrows and make crazy facial expressions which gives him the ability to really animate his stories.
Speaking of people that like to have fun. As we were finishing our dinner, Doug Wimbish and his 2 daughters show up. After introductions Doug and his daughter sat down to eat.
Doug is such a personable guy. He likes talking about movies he’s seen and making people laugh, he’s a tremendous story teller. I think he could easily spend his day talking and telling stories. He was talking so much while trying to eat that I don’t think he took 6 bites from his dinner. He ended up getting a “to go” box for his food rather than not be involved in the conversation. Doug is a proud father, and enjoyed telling everyone about how his daughters have been doing in school as well as musically. The girls have a lot of their fathers’ traits and talent. They are definitely not shy when it comes to talking to people.
Day 2 at NAMM is another story so this as they say will be continued ……