Report from the 2008 NAMM Show
2006 saw the introduction of the DG acoustic-electric line (Viridis Guitar and 4-string Long Trail Bass Guitars) and 2007 witnessed the addition of the 5-string Long Trail and the nylon-stringed Viridis, so what could the 2008 NAMM Show possibly hold for DeMars Guitars?
This year’s NAMM was the showcase for the introduction of our new chambered solid-body electric guitars and basses; the Equinox Guitar and Long Trail Mag basses were unveiled at 10:22am on the first morning of NAMM to an expectant audience at our booth. We brought two Equinox Guitars: an H model (two humbuckers and 3-way selector), with chrome/nickel hardware on a stunning translucent sunburst top over flame maple, and an S model (three active EMG single coils and 5-way selector) within a white pearloid pickguard, with gold hardware on a black body. These guitars were played at the booth through a fantastic Vox DA15 amplifier. We also exhibited two fretted Long Trail Mags, both sporting gold hardware: a 4-string with a passive EMG pickup in a dark greenburst over flame maple, and a white 5-string with a passive Bartolini. We also showed our new XLQ Preamp and Direct Box, through which we ran all our basses and our acoustic/electric Viridis Guitar; its output fed an amazing Bose L1 PA system that graced our booth.
The review of our Long Trail Bass guitars in the November 2007 issue of Bass Player magazine surely contributed to the constant traffic at our booth from numerous bassists curious to try this innovative instrument. As for booth visitors and performers, we were fortunate to have some old and new faces grace our booth, including our dear friend Leland Sklar (legendary bassist for James Taylor, Phil Collins, Hall & Oates and countless others), as well as new friends Dave Pomeroy (Nashville studio bass icon) and Buck Dharma (guitarist for Blue Oyster Cult). Booth performances featured the multi-talented LA-area songstress Danielle Egnew (Pope Jane, solo work), Orange Country smooth funk/jazz duo Reza Saleh & Michael Wirasto, and the rock/soul music of bassist Lawrence Royal with guitarist Michael Clark.
Others who visited the DG booth and checked out our goods included Seattle’s Lawrence (“The Professor of Bassology”) Hightower; John Montalbano (Run-DMC); bassist Quintin Berry and guitarists Eric Erdman and Dale Drinkard of the Muscle Shoals group The UgliStick; bassist Ian Martin (Barry Manilow); smooth jazz guitarist Darlene “Twilite” Moreno (Gerald Albright, Wyclef Jean, Billy Preston, Barry White); and countless others. Our Long Trail basses were also demoed extensively at the EBS and AccuGroove bass amp booths, drawing a crowd to check out both the basses and the amps.
The highlight of the demonstration of our instruments was on Saturday night on the main stage of the Anaheim Hilton, played where guitarists Dale Drinkard and Eric Erdman of The Uglistick played our Equinox S and Viridis guitars, respectively, for the bulk of their performance in front of a large (>1000), captive and animated audience. The Uglistick was joined onstage by famed drummer John Blackwell (Prince, Justin Timberlake) and even though he wasn’t playing a DG, our dear friend Uglistick bassist Quintin (“Q”) Berry rocked the house with his killer Spector bass.