Monday, February 16, 2009


I am just back from NAMM, which, despite warnings of doom and gloom, was still very busy. NAMM is a great event because it provides you with the opportunity to see old friends and make new ones, peruse new gear and innovations, discover new companies and admire the longevity of others. This year marked the celebration for the 100th year of Ludwig. This is truly a remarkable achievement in an industry which could be characterized as “here today, gone late today.” Congratulations to Bill Ludwig and to the fine drummers who keep this legacy going. It was great to see John “Bermuda” Schwarz, one of the nicest guys in the business and someone still carrying the Ludwig torch.

While Ludwig are firmly established as the old man of the business, the new upstarts are clearly DDRUM! With an acoustic line which is still barely four years old, they consistently dominate at NAMM. DDRUM’s booth was one of the busiest at NAMM, and, as ever, showed innovation side by side with impressive design and sound. The folks at DDRUM are good people and they deserve all the success they can get. DDRUM also did a great job with making its artists accessible to those folks attending NAMM. Vinnie Paul, Carmine Appice, Mike Marsh, Carlos McSwain, Shawn Drover, Ray Luzier, Tim Yeung and others could often be found at the DDRUM booth. Congratulations also to DDRUM for bringing in Poogie Bell as one of its artists. I also want to thank DDRUM for contributing to the community of drummers: the DDRUM booth was the home base for as well as for the Dutch company DP Drumplates. If you are unfamiliar with Drummerconnection, go check it out. These are good folks trying to give back to the drum community and they do a great job. They also have the great Billy Ashbaugh working closely with them and providing free lessons on the site. Eric, Damian, Keith and Billy deserve our support.

As far as Drumplates go: wow!! A great product with unlimited potential. Everyone who saw this unique system wanted one! It is a system which helps with sound, stops sliding and allows your kit to be set up identically every time. Once on the market, everyone will want one!

Another new product which took NAMM by storm was the Kickport. This rubber, acoustic subwoofer system which fits into the 5” hole in your bass drum takes a great sound and makes it better. Everyone who tried it was blown away! TAMA, my good friends at Zildjian, Pearl, Pro-Mark, Yamaha, Sonor and DW also did a great job at NAMM this year. Brady, OJC and Ronn Dunnett also proved that the small companies can compete because of their skill, design and pure artistry.

So thanks to my friends and clients including John Blackwell, Casey Grillo, Stanton Moore, Derek Roddy and others for contributing to a great NAMM. It was great to see old friends and to meet new ones (check the pictures). So, until Frankfurt

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