Sunday, January 27, 2008

Faces of NAMM

Just got home. Whew. I think NAMM surpassed everyone's expectations re the Tommy Bolin guitar, and it was wonderful to see so many fans sharing memories of the mercurial and meteoric genius that brought us all together. Tommy was a talent of Mozartean proportion...and rather than mourn his early passing, we instead rejoice that he stopped off at this corner of the Milky Way long enough to change our lives forever. He is missed but will never be forgotten.

A huge thanks to Elliott Rubinson for believing in this project, and to Johnnie for believing in us. I had always wanted to do something to help preserve Tommy's legacy, but was never sure what. I avoided covering his music because it just didn't feel right to go there, despite the huge temptation. Coming up with the guitar idea was cool, but I am lucky things developed over the years so as to put me in the postion of being able to bring Dean Guitars and Johnnie together. Let's hope the numbers add up to another series and another Tommy model....and another reason to do Frankfurt and NAMM!

I'm sorry that Barb, Rich, and Pudge are not here to see this, but trust they would be proud of the job done. I'm also sorry that Cleo was not able to hang on another six monthes, I'm sure she would have loved to be part of the excitement.

Thanks to so many others who helped in the background and at the show: Andrea Troiano, Chris Mackie, Craig Erickson, David Graw, David Hare, Derek Jubach, Evil D, Greg Hampton, Henry Howard, Joe Reagoso, John Bentzinger, John Herdt, John Puhl, Josh Maloney, Pat Baker, Rick Starczewski, Sean Vennett, Steve Czaplicki, Tamy Morgan (sign that guestbook!), Trace Keane, and many others I'm forgetting.

Great to meet Jeff Ocheltree!!!...who not only knew and was with Tommy and his family at some critical times, but has a reliable memory and was able to pin down a lot of facts that have been the subject of much speculation for over 30 years. (and he did gong work for my other big hero, James Coburn!).

Also great to meet the infamous Tony, manager of the Rainbow, who has known every major rock star of the past four decades and counts Tommy as his favorite. He made us feel at home there, and then we went off to the Whisky and closed it down. Life on the Strip!

Some favorite faces from NAMM 2008:


William K. Moore said...

How do you you come down off a trip like this? A bit different blue hair crowd than the one you'll be facing in Fl.. eh? Went to the FADA Gallery show here in Santa Monica. I was underwhelmed as it cost more and had less attendee perks. 1st year they charged for parking. This was my 6th year going to this show and perhaps my last. Saw some remarkable work.. but very little new.. pretty much the same menu with no dessert.

Tamy said...

What a great job! Your the man! From a vision to reality, designing the tribute guitar! I'm glad I met you and got to hang out w/ you and Johnnie! Hearing all the stories of how the guitar came to be!!! Thanks for letting me be a part of the unveiling!! It's an experience that will live in my heart forever!
Rock on

Billie Crain said...

Nick, this journey you undertook to honor Tommy and his work is certainly admirable. what a high you must be on!

man, i'm so out of touch. the only face i recognize is Slash!


Nick said...

Bill - so many of those shows, and sorry to have missed the LA one last week, just not enough time. Whatever, this year is looking up for us, some big positive changes...looking forward to 08 with the Hef!

Tamy - you really helped to make those four days a success, thanks for your hard work and enthusiam. Just heard from a highly reliable source that a Sioux City store ordered 7 Teasers...better put in your order for #8 now!

Foz - hey there, thanks for stopping by. Out of touch - well, it's impossible to keep up with the music biz these days. You're lucky to just maintain. I didn't get a chance to hang with ol' Slash this time, not like the old days when you could actually have a beer with the guy:

perugina said...

Some pretty wild hair about!
You know me it's all about the hair!
Yours in comparison is quite tame!

Hi Bill!
Do we get the prize for commenting on each NNG BLOG?


Great Nick, cool, designing a guitar.,,

Sam Spade said...

I just wanted to write an commend Nick and Dean for producing this Bolin guitar. I was at the last show in Dec. of 1976, and what a show it was. Tommy was a star and he left with way too much to complete. It's gone around that Tommy was just another rock casualty with a death wish; I differ with that opinion and feel he was doing the same sort of things that we all were in those days. I just wish that he could have turned the corner...I listen to Tommy in my car often. The ride to work is 33 miles. His music doesn't make the travel shorter; it does, however, make it easier. I miss him; we all miss him.

Nick said...

PG - yes, sorry to say hair isn't quite as wild as it used to least I still have it all! It should probably be longer from the artist/musician credibility standpoint...will get to work on that. This is probably about the longest it ever was:

Jim - thanks for stopping by, hope you're jamming these days

Joseph - I've really enjoyed receiving your messages re Tommy, and you are to be envied having seen that last incredible show in Miami. Jeff Ocheltree was there of course, and told me last week how Beck was watching Tommy in "I'm not worthy" mode, awestruck. Then tragedy. We're lucky he was around as long as he was, a comet flashing across the firmament.

Dawn said...

do I see a painting or two in the crowd?
Hey I recognized Slash and Stevie, do I get a prize?

Anonymous said...

it boggles my mind what an amazing time you have been having.

thanks for letting us in by sharing this experience.

talk to you soon.

Nick said...

Dawn - you can see them anytime, I'm on the lookout for's a good omen, right?

Chris - would have been better if you were in attendance. We're (bringing Olga and Larissa) looking forward to seeing next week, hard to believe a year has gone by. Should get you a voucher for the Lear (Dean/Armadillo has two of them, naturally) so you can whiz up here when the mood strikes - not in January though!

Sandy said...

I am in absolute awe at the amount of energy, enthusiasm and hard work that you have put into this magnificent production /promotion.
It has obviously been a huge success ....congratulations Nick!!
I enjoyed reading the article from the Sioux City Weekender too.

Nick said...

Sandy - it's been hard work, but lots of fun too. I never knew Tommy, and never even saw him play live... but I feel some connection after this and hope wherever he is, he's smiling!

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Now that's a photo album. My favorite? The mohawks.

Anonymous said...

Super awesome read! Honestly.

you tube movies