NAMM Show 2020 Wrap

NAMM Show 2020 Wrap

This was my third NAMM, second with Old Guys Still Rockin. I can honestly say this was, by far, the best. 

One reason is that I knew what to expect and how to pace myself. 

Media Day was great. Two hours for media only to see and touch new products. Instead of the tens of thousands of people walking around during the official show days, there were a couple hundred. Very manageable. 

The next thing that made the experience so productive was the NAMM Media Center, Powered by JBL. Sometimes it can be hard to hear on the floor, because of all the people and the sounds of hundreds of instruments being demonstrated. And even harder to interview people.. The NAMM Media Center provided a trailer where the noise almost disappeared and everyone could be heard. Calm in the center of the storm. It also was a place where we could literally and figuratively recharge (our phones and ourselves). Finally, the people at the NAMM Media Center, particularly Carrie and Roslyn, were great. They made us feel welcome and helped us juggle our appointments. 

As usual, the Godin, Fender and Gibson rooms made us feel like kids in giant candy stores. So many guitars…so little time. 

Gibson at the Anaheim Grove was definitely a highlight. Don Felder and Slash playing the famous duel solo on “Hotel California”? You kidding me? And Billy Gibbons and Slash trading blues licks? A night for the ages and we were there. 

The hardware and software for people with home studios get better every year and we did our best to share some of those new choices with our OGSR readers and members. . 

Gibson NAMM VIP Party @ The Anaheim Grove

Gibson NAMM VIP Party @ The Anaheim Grove

Billy Gibbons (L) and Slash (R) Photo Credit for Photo Above: Gibson. Gibson Live At The Grove, Getty Images (Phil Farone)


By Randy Winters

It’s January and that means it’s time for The NAMM show in Anaheim, California. As usual it is crammed to the walls with excited buyers and musicians all wanting to see, touch, and feel the latest equipment that drives the music industry.

As a Contributing Editor to the Old Guys Still Rockin I do my best to provide interesting stories and reviews for guitar players who have passed the 50-year mark. When I found that I was on the VIP list for Gibson’s private party at The Anaheim Grove, I was excited at the opportunity to hang out with, and listen to, music industry royalty.

The word was that Gibson was throwing the party to announce changes aimed at driving them forward after a few years of financial setbacks.

The Anaheim Grove is a high-end, theater-style restaurant with VIP parking—which I appreciated after negotiating the parking quagmire that always surrounds NAMM.

Don Felder (L) and Slash (R) Photo Credit: Gibson. Gibson Live At The Grove, Getty Images (Phil Farone)

To my delight I discovered that dinner was included. I followed the crowd into the dining area where five different buffets offered everything from salads to lobster to prime rib. I settled on the salmon and started making some new acquaintances. We were all talking about Gibson guitars, of course. After all, I’m an Old Guy Still Rockin, and I play a Les Paul. The rumor was that after dinner we were going to be treated to some music by Gibson guitar celebrities including Slash, one of my favorite guitar players.

The concert began with a couple hours of great music from a variety of Gibson guitar players. It was expected that Slash would probably be the last performer, so we were all surprised when the announcer introduced Eagles’ guitarist Don Felder, winner of four Grammy awards, including one as the co-writer of “Hotel California.” Felder often performs with a Gibson Les Paul and his famous Gibson EDS-1275 (double-neck 6 and 12 string) electric guitars. Gibson named two re-issues after him in 2010: the “Don Felder Hotel California 1959 Les Paul” and the “Don Felder Hotel California EDS-1275”. Felder is an avid guitar collector, and owns several hundred models .

The former Eagles guitarist opened with “Pride and Joy,” a song made famous by Stevie Ray Vaughan. While I was impressed at what a great blues Felder is, like everyone else, I was thinking one thing: Is he going to play “Hotel California”?

As he announced the second song he brought out that famous white 12-string Gibson he used on so many Eagle songs. When he announced “Hotel California” the energy in the room jumped about 20 DB. We were getting a lot more than what we expected.

But wait a minute. What about that legendary dual solo at the end of “Hotel California” played by Felder and Joe Walsh? Who’s going to play Joe’s part? Then Felder stepped to the microphone and said, ”I’m going to need some help with this one. Here is my friend Slash.” The crowd went nuts. Hundreds of iPhones shot up into the air and locked on to the stage.

The first thing I noticed as the song began was how articulate and clean Felder plays guitar. The man is truly is a master of the instrument. It sounded so much like the record. I was to another time. I was at the LA forum years ago when the Eagles were on tour introducing the “Hotel California” album.

When the famous dual solo began, Slash ripped the night open with his aggressive style. We all shot up a dose of history being made right here, right now. To me the song never sounded better or more powerful. Felder and Slash took it to the limit. 

One more time. 

We were still energized by what we had just heard but Gibson had one more surprise: ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons! When “The Bearded One” took the stage, the crowd erupted again. I don’t think anyone else could have shown up that would excite me more than Billy. He is quite simply my favorite guitar player. I love his style of playing: How he expresses so many melodic phrases and gets so much out of his homegrown style.

Billy and Slash were only few notes into ZZ Top’s “Waiting for the Bus,” when the iPhones came out again. Even the waiters stopped to watch this magical musical moment.

When it ended I was left thinking of Les Paul and how he would have enjoyed this show. To see what he started and how the Gibson Les Paul guitar, in the hands of great players like Fielder, Slash and Billy, have kept the sound and power of the Les Paul guitar driving the music industry.

So, to all you Old Guys and Gals out there, tune up your Les Paul and get playing.

It’s not over yet.




Acoustasonic Stratocaster

Acoustasonic Stratocaster

Last year Fender introduced the Acoustasonic (electric/acoustic) guitar based on its classic Telecaster. 

This year the Acoustasonic is based on Fender’s iconic Stratocaster. 

New colors include Transparent Sonic Blue, Dakota Red, Black, Natural and 3-Color Sunburst. 

Lots of interest in this guitar at Wednesday’s Media Day reveal. 


Mahogany Stratocaster neck.

Patented Stringed Instrument Resonance System (SIRS), inlaid top and modern electronics were created expressly for this instrument.

Crafted in Corona, CA, at the same factory as Fender’s other iconic electric instruments.

Slash – Gibson

Slash – Gibson

NASHVILLE, TN (January 9, 2020) By leveraging its iconic past and leaning into an innovative future, Gibson has set the stage for the next era of shaping sound for present and future generations. The new Gibson celebrates the iconic models of Gibson’s Golden Era while leaning into the future with instruments that nurture new players across generations , genders and genres of music. A partnership that crosses over three decades, Gibson  and Slash announced today, January 9, the release of the first-ever Slash Collection . In a history-making move for the brand, the Slash Collection will feature multiple acoustic and electric guitars. The new Slash Collection will officially premiere at the Gibson experience space, 3 rd Floor, Ballroom A , during Winter NAMM2020 in Anaheim, CA (January 15-19).
Slash and Gibson’s Luthiers worked in close collaboration with attention to the fine details at Gibson’s headquarters in Nashville, TN . The Gibson Slash Collection features four Les Paul Standard electric guitars and two J-45 Standard acoustic guitars. Inspiring multiple generations of players around the world, the Slash Collection is comprised of the most influential Gibson guitars Slash has used throughout his career and can be seen live onstage with Slash today.
E ach Slash Collection Les Paul Standard features a AAA maple top , a solid Mahogany body and Slash’s personal touches including a C-shape neck profile, signature Gibson “SlashBucker” pickups , color coordinated hardware appointments, hand-wired electronics with orange drop capacitors and a vintage style brown hardshell case. Exclusive to the Slash Collection are Slash’s “Scully” signature drawing on the back of the headstock, Slash’s signature on the truss rod cover, a blank truss rod cover in the case, Slash’s new Ernie Ball strings , and four Slash Jim Dunlop Tortex® picks.The Slash Collection Les Paul Standard is available in November Burst, Appetite Burst, Vermillion Burst and Anaconda Burst.
Slash Collection Les Paul Standards in Anaconda Burst, November Burst, Appetite Burst and Vermillion Burst.
Each Slash Collection Gibson J-45 Standard features a blend of traditional appointments and modern features including a custom Slash rounded C-neck profile, a fatter and more modern 16” fingerboard radius and a versatile LR Baggs TM VTC pickup for natural acoustic sound. Exclusive to the Slash Collection are Slash’s “Scully” signature drawing on the back of the headstock, Slash’s signature on the truss rod cover with a blank truss rod cover in the case and four Slash Jim Dunlop Tortex® picks . The Slash Collection J-45 Standard is available in November Burst and Vermillion Burst.
“Developing my new Collection with the new team at Gibson has been really exciting,” says Slash . “The quality and attention to detail is next level, and these guitars truly reflect what I play live and in the studio. I think guitarists will be inspired by what we’ve put together.”
“Working with Slash is an honor and to develop his new Gibson Collection was an incredible journey; Slash is a perfectionist and a guitar nerd like me, and the new Slash Collection is a true reflection of him” says Cesar Gueikian , Chief Merchant Officer ofGibson .
Slash will hit the road with the newly released Gibson Slash Collection this summer as he re-joins his Guns N’ Roses bandmates for the next leg of their Not In This Lifetimetour .
Slash Collection J-45 Standard November Burst and Vermillion Burst.
Slash with the Les Paul Standard in Appetite Burst.
For more information on Slash , visit:
For all things Gibson , visit:
About Slash:
Slash –the iconic, GRAMMY-winning , American rock guitarist , songwriter and film producer –has amassed album sales of over 100 million copies , garnered a GRAMMY Award and seven GRAMMY nominations and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame . Slash landed on the top of the charts with his first solo album , Slash (2010)which featured Ozzy Osbourne, Fergie , Myles Kennedy and more. Shortly after, he formed his current band Slash Ft. Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators –whichfeatures Myles Kennedy (lead vocals), Brent Fitz (drums), Todd Kerns (bass/vocals) and Frank Sidoris (rhythm guitar)–who’ve been touring worldwide and making music for over five years. The group released the critically acclaimed Apocalyptic Love (2012) which stormed the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart debuting at #4 as the top rock album and spawned Slash’s first-ever #1 solo radio hits “You’re A Lie” and “Standing In The Sun.” Slash released Nothing Left To Fear (2013) the soundtrack to the first theatrical film co-produced with SLASHfiction , his film/TV production company specializing in the horror genre. The band’s second album, World On Fire debuted to global praise and the album’s title track, “World On Fire” ascended to #1 at U.S. Rock Radio . In 2016, Guns N’ Roses re-united and Slash joined Axl Rose and Duff McKagan for the ongoing “ Not In This Lifetime Tour” which Billboard now ranks as the third highest grossing tour of all time . Slash and his band’s most recent release is their critically-acclaimed third album Living The Dream (2018) which Rolling Stonedeclared “ a biting blues filigree at the end of a riff, weeping solos full of long notes and boogie-woogie riffs” and the Los Angeles Times added is full of “unexpected funk, boogie, blues and garage rock influences.” Fueled by the  Top 5 song “ Driving Rain , ”and the single “Mind Your Manners ” as well as,  the best critical praise of their career,Living The Dream debuted with  10, Top 10 chart placements worldwide and by the end of their world tour in 2019, the group had achieved seven consecutive, Top 10 Hit singles at radio.
About Gibson:
Gibson Brands , the world’s most iconic guitar brand, has shaped the sounds of generations of musicians and music lovers across genres for more than 100 years. Founded in 1894 and headquartered in Nashville, TN , Gibson Brands has a legacy of world-class craftsmanship, legendary music partnerships and progressive product evolution that is unrivaled among musical instrument companies. The Gibson Brandsportfolio includes Gibson , the number one guitar brand , as well as many of the most beloved and recognizable music brands, including Epiphone, Kramer, Steinberger and the Gibson Pro Audio division KRK Systems . Gibson is dedicated to quality, innovation and sound excellence so that music lovers for generations to come will continue to experience music shaped by Gibson Brands . Learn more at and follow us on Twitter , Facebook , and Instagram .
For press interviews and reviews regarding Gibson , contact:
Libby Coffey
+1 626-676-4993
Legendary Guitarist Peter Frampton to Receive Les Paul Innovation Award at 34th Annual NAMM TEC Awards

Legendary Guitarist Peter Frampton to Receive Les Paul Innovation Award at 34th Annual NAMM TEC Awards

December 6, 2018

GRAMMY® award-winning guitarist, singer, songwriter, and innovator Peter Frampton will receive the prestigious Les Paul Innovation Award at the 34th Annual NAMM Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards (NAMM TEC Awards), being held Saturday, January 26, 2019, in Anaheim, CA. The award is given to those individuals who personify the innovative thinking of Les Paul, the Father of Modern of Music. The Les Paul Foundation partners with NAMM each year to honor the individuals that have set the highest standards of excellence in the creative application of recording technology, which also celebrates the legacy of the late, great Les Paul.

Frampton notes, “It is a distinct honor to receive the Les Paul Innovation Award. I would say that many of my career highlights occurred while holding an instrument in my hands that bears Les Paul’s name. I was lucky enough to know him personally, and I owe him so much. He was a wonderful character as well as a genius! An incredible guitar player as well as the inventor of so much music technology. Les changed the way we record forever. I can only hope that I’ve been able to make a fraction of the positive impact that Les Paul made in his iconic career.”

Frampton is one of music’s renaissance men, having begun a career in his early teens, and still making his mark today in the areas of recording and touring. A multi-platinum-selling artist, he recently celebrated the 42nd anniversary of his fifth solo album, Frampton Comes Alive!, an album that remains one of the top-selling live records of all time with over 17 million copies sold worldwide. In 2007 he won the GRAMMY award for “Best Pop Instrumental Album” for Fingerprintsand in 2014 was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame.

“Peter Frampton remains one of the most skillful and celebrated artists in rock history. He also was a friend of Les Paul’s and has played a pivotal role in helping the Foundation keep Les’s legacy alive,” shared Michael Braunstein, Executive Director, The Les Paul Foundation. “Like Les, he is an undeniable master of his instrument and in many ways ahead of his time. We are honored to have Peter join the impressive list of Les Paul Innovation Award recipients.”

Frampton’s storied career began at 16 as the lead singer and guitarist for the British band The Herd. By 18, he co-founded one of the first supergroups – the seminal rock act Humble Pie. His touring years have included work with a whos-who of the top names in music, such as David Bowie, Stevie Nicks, Gregg Allman, Ringo Starr, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Cheap Trick, Steve Miller Band, Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings, and many others. Additionally, he took his eponymous Peter Frampton’s Guitar Circus on the road for two years with special guests B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Vince Gill, Larry Carlton, Robert Randolph, Don Felder (formerly of The Eagles), Dean DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots), Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Sonny Landreth, Robert Cray, and Roger McGuinn (The Byrds).

His session work includes collaborations with artists who have made their mark on the industry including George Harrison, Harry Nilsson, Jerry Lee Lewis, John Entwistle, Mike McCready, and Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam), among many others.

Frampton’s talent has also stretched beyond music and into the realm of television and film. He was called upon by Oscar-winning writer/director Cameron Crowe to serve as technical advisor for the film Almost Famous (2000) and even appeared in the film and composed several songs for the soundtrack. Frampton has appeared as himself in The Simpsons and Family Guy.

Les Paul invented the solid body electric guitar, multi-track recording, overdubbing, echo, reverb and numerous other recording techniques. Without Les Paul, the music industry would not be what it is today. He is often called the “Father of Modern Music,” “The Wizard of Waukesha” and even the “Thomas Edison of Music.” Les founded the Foundation prior to his passing and wanted to inspire young people to invent, create, innovate, and get involved in music while exploring their own creative ideas. Today, The Les Paul Foundation works with organizations throughout the country in support of music education, engineering, and medical research. The Les Paul Innovation Award at NAMM and the Les Paul Spirit Award are two of the most prestigious awards celebrated by the Foundation.

With the honor, Frampton joins Jackson Browne, Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Don Was, Slash, Todd Rundgren, Pete Townshend, Steve Vai, and others, who have received the Les Paul Innovation Award since it began in 1991.

Announced early this year, Leslie Ann Jones, the Grammy-winning groundbreaking engineer, producer, and Director of Music and Scoring for Skywalker Sound, will be inducted into the NAMM TEC Hall of Fame that same night. Jones joins luminaries Rose Mann Cherney, Skunk Baxter, Hal Blaine, Jack Douglas, Nathan East, Geoff Emerick, and others with her induction, the industry’s highest honor for pioneers of audio technology and the music industry’s most accomplished producers and audio technicians.

The NAMM TEC Awards are held during The NAMM Show, the global gathering of music, sound and event technology industries, in Anaheim, California, January 24-27, 2019. They are bestowed annually in honor of the many individuals, companies and technical innovations used in sound recordings, films, broadcast television and video games. Nominees were announced earlier this year. Purchase tickets on site or in advance here for $65 (General Admission) or $195 (VIP). The show begins with a VIP-only reception at 6PM, followed by the awards ceremony at 7PM, held in the Hilton Anaheim Hotel’s Pacific Ballroom. Stand-up comedian and entertainer Demetri Martin will host the ceremony.


Presented annually by the NAMM Foundation during The NAMM Show, The NAMM TEC Awards recognizes the individuals, companies and technical innovations behind the sound of recordings, live performances, films, television, video games and other media in 23 Technical and 8 Creative Achievement Categories. The Les Paul Innovation Award is given at the event in tribute to musical artists and others whose work has exemplified the creative application of audio technology. Through its Hall of Fame, The TEC Awards also honors the pioneers of audio technology and the music industry’s most accomplished producers and audio technicians. The NAMM Foundation’s TECnology Hall of Fame celebrates innovations and groundbreaking technical achievements of the past. For more information, visit


Les Paul formed his foundation to encourage young people to pursue their curiosity and innovation about music, sound and engineering. Recent grants from the Les Paul Foundation include funding to multiple music education programs and to museums that tell the Les Paul story. The foundation’s comprehensive website at connects viewers to numerous resources. The mission of the Les Paul Foundation is to honor and share the life, spirit and legacy of Les Paul by supporting music education, engineering and innovation as well as medical research. The foundation is based in New York. Follow the Les Paul Foundation at,, or click on

About NAMM

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry. NAMM is comprised of approximately 10,300 members located in 104 countries and regions. NAMM events and members fund The NAMM Foundation‘s efforts to promote the pleasures and benefits of music, and advance active participation in music making across the lifespan. For more information about NAMM, please visit, call 800.767.NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.