As we prepare ourselves for another noisy weekend of NAMM, let’s not forget the second most important reason to visit this massive, music industry convention—the people watching. We know that most musicians are a strange breed to begin with, but throw almost 100,000 of them in one place over the course of several days and they’re bound to give you a show whether or not they’re on stage. Every year, the nomenclature of NAMM’s registered attendees gets a little more diverse. But this ain’t our first rodeo, and we know there’s more than a few types of gear heads, rockstars and showbiz types who find their way to the Anaheim Convention Center for the big show, which starts tomorrow. Here are a handful of people you’re bound to see at NAMM this year.
Devil Horns Guy
The devil horns/Gene Simmons tongue combo is this guy’s default way of telling you he’s psyched to be here. And sometimes this look doubles as an excuse to locate the last bite of churro that fell into his beard.
Mr. Man Chest
Not every older man can still rock the open shirt ’70s look with such je ne sais quoi. It’s a bold move for sure. The pay off: the number to your hotel room. If you find yourself in the crosshairs (er, chest hairs?) of this NAMM attendee, be prepared to shield yourself hurricane of lady-killing pheromones. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself locked into a 30-minute conversation about Steely Dan and how molly still ain’t got shit on Quaaludes.
Purple Mohawks Majesty
If you’re a music lover, the loudest battle cry of non-conformity usually it involves hair and tattoos that will make you virtually un-hireable anywhere else but the entertainment industry. There’s no way to tell exactly what kind of music this woman is into, but it’s probably something very loud.
Able to pull off some epic hair flips that remind you of the salesman at Guitar Center who sold you that bum instrument cable in 2007. Bastard!
Rock ‘n’ Roll Caveman
A true OG in the world of NAMM. Probably been coming for decades and remembers the good ‘ol days…before they let all these damn DJs in here.
Watch as disgustingly talented members the fairer sex destroy their instruments the minute they start wailing. Whether they’re turning heads on the showroom floor or on stage at events like the She Rocks Awards, there’s no shortage of ladies showing off their skills at NAMM.
Show me to the synthesizer section, please!
The Local Eccentric
It takes a different kind of person to think differently about the music equipment we’ve taken for granted for decades. The kind of person who wears hats like these. In this case, it’s Weekly cover boy Pat Quilter, the founder of Quilter Labs, who can build and modify your favorite gear like nobody’s business. Sometimes he chooses to modify his signature Davy Crockett outfit with a little pharaoh flair. That is also nobody’s business.
See a guy who looks like Bootsy Collins (or IS Bootsy Collins)? It’s probably because you noticed those funky threads that scream “my outfit is the loudest thing at NAMM.”
Walker, Hair Metal Ranger
This guy rocking his sheriffs badge and cowboy hat is basically the Sunset Strip equivalent of Chuck Norris.
Sorry if we made it seem like we were interested in this random piece of bullshit music equipment. We were just staring at you.
Follow the untz untz sound to the guy turning his corner of NAMM into a mini EDC and he’ll be glad to show you how its done with the help of this giant screen.
You’re sipping a bottled water over by the Shure microphone booth when all of the sudden you notice Rob Halford of Judas Priest standing there. Without warning, the universe is forcing you to make contact and cross this very important handshake off your bucket list. Try not to spit Evian all over yourself before you run over to grovel at his feet and take that awkward pic where you’re both looking different directions.
Your Old Music Teacher
Dude. Your hair hasn’t changed a bit since my last guitar lesson in 1992.
The Colorful Character
What the…Why?! Because…NAMM.