Retro Look and Sound Meet New Technology at NAMM Show
Manufacturers create guitar, bass, amp and drum lines to meet recent demand for vintage looks and sounds in unique gear with a boutique feel
Carlsbad, Calif. (December 27, 2012) – A blast from the past will ring out at the 2013 NAMM Show as manufacturers responding to consumer demand introduce new products with a vintage look and sound. Retailers, having heard the growing demand for vintage-inspired musical instruments and equipment will be looking for new products that meet the demand of customers clamoring for unique pieces. The NAMM Show returns to Anaheim, CA from January 24-27, 2013.
“Over the last few years, gear that looks, feels and sounds vintage has taken off,” said George Coutretsis, GM of Chicago Music Exchange. “The trend in indie-rock is toward using vintage gear, which is building demand in a younger adult audience for these pieces. We’re looking for products at the NAMM Show that make the player feel unique and inspire them to start bands, make music and play more.”
Coutretsis uses the term “reliced” to describe instruments and equipment that have been manually distressed, as one would handle a pair of jeans for a worn-in, loved look. Boutique instruments sometimes incorporate such design elements, while others are constructed to showcase the luthier’s artistry. Retro items made in the United States or by hand are also in demand, as the call for unique and distinguished pieces increases.
“The major brands and as well as our smaller, boutique craftsmen are boosting this trend with some truly unique instruments, many of which will be unveiled or highlighted at this year’s NAMM Show,” said Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM. “Artists around the globe are constantly looking for music and sound products that help them express their creativity and NAMM members will continue to look forward as well as to legacy designs to serve them.”
Nostalgia for what Neil Young called the “old, folky days” seems to be the inspiration for the retro collections soon to be offered by Bedell Guitars. Designed after the guitars of the early ‘60s, the Coffeehouse series and the 1964 series feature all solid woods, dovetail neck-joints, classic comfortable neck profiles and other details designed to recall the look and sounds of acoustic guitars produced 50 years ago. The company plans to unveil the series at the NAMM Show 2013.
“The music industry is naturally vintage minded. We value things with a history,” said Ryan Bouslaugh of Bedell’s artist relations department. “A 2012 Toyota Camry drives just great, but really, everyone wants that classic ’57 Chevy.”
The trend is particularly evident among electric guitars, basses and amplifiers, with many major brands releasing or adding to nostalgia-inspired collections. Retro shapes, colors and components that help re-create the sound of a vintage piece are hallmarks of these instruments.
“We’re coming out of a hi-tech, industrial design era,” said Richard McDonald, senior vice president of marketing for Fender Guitars. “We turn toward vintage because it is more approachable, whimsical. People respond warmly to that vibe.”
Some of these new additions will be seen for the first time at NAMM 2013. Fender Guitars, the roots of which reach back to the very era many are resurrecting, plans to debut guitar and bass additions to its already-popular Pawnshop series. Also at the show, the Excelsior, Fender’s distinctive tube-combo amplifier will be re-issued in a limited edition. Gibson honors one of the godfathers of guitar with its collection of tribute Les Paul guitars, made in the style of the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s and beyond. The series, which is dubbed “The Year of Les Paul” collection, will be introduced at NAMM Show 2013.
C.F. Martin & Co.’s four-piece Retro Series that debuted at NAMM in Nashville will be featured prominently by the brand at the show. The Retro Series is based on C.F. Martin & Co.’s guitars from the 1930s and ‘40s, melding traditional models with state-of-the-art technology.
Retailer Gary Forkum of Fork’s Drum Closet in Nashville attributes the trend to a new generation of musicians discovering classic bands such as The Rolling Stones. This younger consumer is behind the success of some of Forkum’s best sellers. “Items such as the Ludwig Classic Maple three-piece kits in vintage colors, sparkles – these types of items are a big focus for us,” he said. “The trend has been coming on for a little while now, but this year it has been very big.”
Aficionados and musicians are also turning to vintage-styled components to alter the sounds of their equipment to replicate the sounds of the bygone days. “Numerous areas of the MI market have experienced a resurgence of classic designs and products,” said Fred Gretsch, president of The Gretsch Company. “Walk in to any music shop, and you’ll see all sorts of ‘vintage inspired’ products. Sales of Bigsby products have been very strong in recent years which is partially due to new manufacturer OEM models, but also as consumers are trying to recreate classic instruments of yesteryear, modify their beloved main guitar, or simply add value to the guitar under the bed.”
The retro trend is in full swing and will be on vibrant display for retailers and buyers to see, hear and demo at NAMM Show 2013. Registration is now open for qualified members of the music instrument, product and pro-light and sound industries. Exhibit space is still available for the 2013 event. Learn more about the 2013 NAMM Show at http://www.namm.org/thenammshow/2013.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM ALL OF US HERE AT THE HELLION ROCKS!
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I have been fortunate in my life. I have a solid family, am gainfully employed, and in relatively (there have been some issues) good health, and I have my extended music family. We are a community and we need to stand strong for those in our community. In the last few years I have met some great bands and some great fans. The only way the music community can succeed is by the support given by EVERYONE. We need to remember this every day. We also need to take the time and try to get to know each other and help each other through our various hard times. Sometimes a crisis can be averted by someone just listening to someone else. There have been many times that a simple phone call has made a difference in my life when I’m feeling down. The world used to seem such vast place when I was a child, not so anymore. As of this post, we are at 121 countries actively reading the blog, 121 countries! Music lovers from around the globe, FAMILY from the four corners of the earth. What does this mean? To me it gives me the ability to share bands that I know and the music they make with people who might not have ever had the chance to hear them. I also get to find and hear bands that I would not necessarily have heard as well. One of the things I am passionate about is helping these various bands break out from their respective “local” areas and bring their music and live shows to the world. Remember: KISS, Motley Crue, Metallica, etc. are ALL local bands somewhere. Do me a couple of favors today in your travels: 1. take the time to stop and tell someone that you care for them, and LISTEN to what they have to say. 2. Share a piece of music or a band with someone that might not have heard it/them. Let us as musicians/fans make a difference and show people the strength of our music community.
I just learned of the school shooting and we here at the Hellion Rocks, Bleach Bangs Radio, Music U-Night, Rock U-Night, send out our deepest sympathy. Hold your family close and show them love. Let us, the music community, stand strong for those in need.
John Winston Lennon October 9th 1940 – December 8th 1980
John Lennon will always be a part of my life. As a small child I loved his music, as a young man I learned to appreciate his style of writing, as an adult I learned to appreciate the man and his craft. Thank you John for sharing with us and giving up so much for the world. I will do my best to keep your music in the ears of those I can reach.
Darrell Lance Abbott August 20th, 1966 – December 8th, 2004
Dime gave me new hope in Rock N’ Roll. He cam and kicked our asses and made us feel good about it. The people who were fortunate to be close to him spoke of his kindness and willingness to give. His guitar playing was innovative and carried on (and, dare I say, improved upon somewhat) the legacy of his mentors before him. His life was short but impacted the music world and he was taken from us doing what he loved. I will always miss you Dime.
We remember John, Dime, and all of the fallen people who have given up their lives doing what they love or in protecting others. We humbly thank, and respect you all.
I’ve remained relatively quiet on the whole Randy Blythe/Lamb Of God issue up until now. I have been doing a lot of thinking about this recently. First off, I wasn’t there so everything I read and see is from the other persons point of view, so I can only speak as to how I feel. This whole incident is a great tragedy for everyone involved. I do not think the fan went to the show with the outcome that occurred in mind. Nor do I think Randy took the stage with the intent to cause any one harm. I believe an unfortunate sequence of events led to this tragedy. When Dimebag Darrell was murdered in cold blood on stage it got real for performers. It is unfortunate that now an artist has to fear for his/her life when performing so I can see reacting to someone “invading” your work space (yes the stage is a performers work space). Venues hire security to try and help prevent madness like this from occurring. As fans we need to act responsible as well, I know we are to have a good time, but let’s not ruin it for others by acting a fool. I have witnessed up close fear in the eyes of the performers when a crowd gets to unruly. All in all, an unfortunate sequence of events indeed. Should Randy be punished? In my opinion no, I believe he is punishing himself enough. These are just my thoughts and I do not expect everyone or any one to agree with them.
As we wind down 2012, (which was a great year) we also start looking forward to 2013. We had some new doors open for us this year, we got to cover the 2012 Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar tour, we got to cover the great Skeletonwitch show, we reconfigured Music U-Night into Rock U-Night, and I started this Blog. Bleach Bangs Radio interviewed some great bands, and we saw the CD releases of local NM bands Beard, and Rusty Tramp. I also am going to be attending the dedication of the West Mesa Performing Arts Center to Randy Castillo this December. I also made a lot of new friends and met and heard a lot of new bands. I love you all.
2013 promises to start off on an equally great note. We have been fortunate enough to have obtained media access tot he 2013 NAMM show in Anaheim California in January. We plan on interviewing various instrument/gear companies and bring it to you first hand. We plan on continuing to bring you new bands, new interviews, new CD reviews, and new show reviews. If there is anything you want to see let us know. We are fan driven and here for you, the music lovers.
yours in Rock