Absolutely kicked ass! I have had one of the best times ever and met even more of my favorite rockers.
I arrived at Long Beach airport Wednesday January 14th right before the big freeze here in Chicago and went to my hotel and to meet up with the Nady systems people. Mike Perez, who is the coolest guy ever and my main contact for all things Nady, was already partying and having a good time. They had just finished building the booth and having dinner so everyone was ready to let loose a little bit.
I settled in with a beverage of my own and began planning out the next few days. I am scheduled to play everyday demoing the new Nady Guitar Half stacks and some other outboard gear and film some info-merciless for Nady and EMG pickups. We quickly get everything squared away and start shooting the crap about everything that has gone on since I last saw everyone and Nady HQ this past summer.
Thursday morning I get up unfortunately at the crack of dawn because my roommate, Red, had to go to an early sales meeting. So I decide to go for a walk in downtown Disney which is directly across from my hotel. I get a call from home telling me how freezing cold it is and all I can do is just look at the Sun in the 75 degree weather and be thankful. I head over to the Nady Booth at about 11 and start setting up my gear and getting my backing tracks ready. This year I brought some not yet released stuff to play over and wanted to make sure the levels were good and such. I did my first set for about an hour and then proceeded to record a bunch of mini film clips talking about the latest Nady gear. I felt like saying after each one if you act now I will throw in not 1 not 2 not 3 but 4 super Shammies LOL it was hilarious. I did 3 more sets that day and got to meet one of my heroes, Brad Gillis, who was going to jam the next day with co-guitarist Joel Hoekstra from Night Ranger. That night I went to dinner with the Nady folks and to a few parties.
Friday morning came early yet again LOL as Red had more early meetings. I went for a walk in Downtown Disney, I just love that place, and then to the booth. I did my first set and it was a long one from 11:30 to 1. Took a break for about an hour then started playing again. By this time a considerable crowd had gathered to get autographs from Brad and Joel.. When I finished Joel, who was a Chicago guy, came up to me and said really cool things about my playing. He said he had heard about me on the circuit when he was here in Chicago. I was blown away...totally blown away. Joel is a MONSTER guitar player and the compliments were amazing! We talked for a while and have since mailed about getting together here in Chicago. He then asked me to join him and Brad and the Night Ranger crew for a drink in the Hilton bar later. Brad and Joel then proceeded to blow up the booth with an instrumental version of "Don't tell me you love me" and a blues type jam after that had the crowd going ape! Totally cool.
That night we went to the Hilton to see the band Hot for Teacher, which is the number 1 Van Halen tribute in the country. I am normally not a tribute band fan however these guys I have known for years and they really kick ass! They are Nady endorsees and Rockin’ Randy the singer has David Lee Roth down perfect. The hotel lobby is huge and has multiple stages set up and bands play all night. I ran into Mark Tremonti, from Creed/Alterbridge fame Sam and Henri from Dragonforce. Just a ton of folks. Hot for Teacher rocked (Jude Gold on guitar has Eddie nailed as well) and Brad and Joel joined the boys for a few tunes and really tore down the house! More to follow!