Day One:
 My day starts off really early when I demo at trade shows even though I’m way not a morning person by a long shot…since I have to be at my first demo at 10am on Thursday( the first day of the show..). My first demo was at my sponsor’s Floyd Rose’s booth… Well we got up and going pretty quickly and even squeezed in some complimentary breakfast at our hotel (Something that rarely happens..) ok here’s where the challenging part begins…. yes we left our hotel on time (Our hotel is a block from the convention center and an easy walk..) the thing is you are likely to run into friends and fans in between the hotel and the convention center than more often than not will make you late…..lol… well lo and behold that’s exactly what happens and I am stopped several times by friends and fans to chat and to take pics with them (which is always fun..) then there’s getting into the actual venue with the pseudo security/TSA guys at the doors checking your badges and your gear before you get in the venue…that’s a whole other adventure….. we managed to get in un-scathed and made a dash through the lobby into the convention center for the booth with my assistant Karen being our navigator to get us there.. after weaving in and out of all the people we manage to get to the booth only a few minutes late…. we quickly check in and get me set up and I’m to tearing it up at the Floyd Rose booth……when I do my demos at trade shows and clinics I play to backing tracks which are my music off my CD’s without the main guitar…. always fun and quick and easy to do and it sounds like I’m playing with my band….this year we were running the tracks off our I-Phones…On that note, I-Phone’s really go through charges quickly pretty much everywhere and especially at trade shows (I don’t have an extended battery..) the trick is to have a portable charger with you and to sneak in charges at the booths you’re doing the demos at….surprisingly playing the tracks on the phone doesn’t really take up that much power…texting and checking emails through out the day is what seems to kill off a charge quickly…..unfortunately when you’re at a trade show everyone is always texting to see where you are and what’s going on that night at the show….Well after we finished my first demo we were off to my next demo for my sponsor Essential Sound Products. We arrived on time and I got set up in nothing flat and decided just to sit at the booth and play a little without my tracks and chat with peeps and dealers about the product. it was a good hang and befoe you knew it my time was up… Karen and I decided to try to grab some quick lunch before my next demo so we made a quick dash to the Hilton (It’s right next the convention center and has a small food court with a few cool places to eat ) well every time you leave the convention center and you have gear you have to fill out a special form and show your special NAMM badge for security then they go though your stuff to make sure it matches what you put on the form….once again very TSA like…Well we got through easily and dashed to the food court to get some Baja Fresh (We live on that at NAMM..) … it’s quick easy, affordable and good.. they also have a cool refillable coke sipper that is great for trade shows since you can refill it as many times as you need during the show for a couple bucks….We do this a lot ….of course at lunch we saw several friends and chatted with everyone while we powered through lunch before we rushed back into the convention center for my next demo back at Floyd Rose.. I tore through the demo at the booth and then we raced across the Convention Center to my sponsor Pick Grip’s booth… We arrived on time set me up and I played for a bit and had fun hanging with the Pick Grip crew….well the day was almost over so after my demo I checked in with a few of my sponsors and found out my sponsor Graphtech was having their annual NAMM bowling party (always so much fun..) well we popped by the booth said hello to the Graphtech crew and got some passes for the party.. unfortunately we also noticed we were starting to feel a little sick (So not a good thing on the first day of a 4 day trade show..) well we managed to get some cold medicine and got back to our hotel room just in time to take a deep breathe change and get to the Bowling party. Graphtech always throws a great NAMM party and this year was no exception.. we had so much fun hanging with everyone and getting our bowl on….It was a fun party and after Karen and I decided to go hang in the Hilton lobby for a few to see what was happening.. for those of you who have never attended the Winter NAMM show this is the center of all NAMM nighttime activity.. they have bands playing on the two NAMM stages and the place is packed for all the NAMM attendees…we even ran into my good friend legendary rock photographer Neal Zlozower ..It was great catching up with him and we even got a quick picture together. The Hilton was totally going off and we hung for a bit and chatted with friends while we checked out the music…it was fun… we decided to call it an early night (It was 1am..) and then realized we forgot dinner and decided to hit the Del Taco drive through after we ate dinner on our beds in the hotel room at 2am while watching TV we also took some of the cold medicine I soaked my hands in the hotel sink and then crashed.
Day 2:
 As luck would have it on top of doing my demos on Friday I also was performing on the NAMM stage in the Hilton at noon.  We both woke up sick…. We got through breakfast, got ready and off we went into NAMM….after racing through the crowd sniffling and sneezing we got to the door of the convention center we were in line waiting to get in when I heard someone shout my name….well it turned out to be my good friend Wayne from Tone Guard…..The security weren’t letting him in because he had the wrong badge to get in even though he was showing at the event….he was arguing with the security guy and Wayne asked me for help.. I quickly told the security that if he was with me would they let him in?? The security said yes but we needed to get Wayne the correct badge.. I said we would and they let Wayne in with me and we got him the right badge..We quickly said bye to Wayne and dashed off to my first demo at the Floyd Rose booth.. it went well and Neal Zlozower even came by my demo to say hello…We quickly went to my next demo at the Essential Sound Products booth. Well the Kahler booth that was next to them had a lot going on and had guys playing at their booth which was conflicting with what we were doing. The Kahler guys are good friends of mine and these things happen at trade shows so I basically sat and chatted with everyone since its not good form to play over someone else’s demo…..after that we had to rush to my performance at the Hilton. I had a few press peeps covering my performance and wanting to do interviews after.. well we arrived on time checked in with the stage manager at the Hilton got me set up and I played to the lunch time crowd who seemed to really dig it even though at first they weren’t really sure what to think of me since I was performing electric and all the other performers were acoustic acts.As soon as I got off stage I talked with the press peeps next to the stage and did the interviews including one with the LA Times Paper… we then raced to grab some quick lunch (at Baja Fresh..) before going back into the show to do demos for Floyd
Rose and Pick Grips…. after the Pick Grips demo we walked around and saw a few more of my sponsors before leaving the show…The Pick Grip peeps offered to take us to dinner after the show that night so we went back to the hotel to take a quick breather before we rushed off to dinner.. We had a great dinner at a restaurant away from the convention center and it’s always fun hanging with the Pick Grip crew…. After dinner we decided to go back and check out the Hilton and Sheraton scenes (Both hotels are next to the convention center and host most of the after show events and both have lobbies that are packed with show attendees and have bands performing..) .We dropped off the car at our hotel ,changed and took some cold medicine before headed back to the Hilton. I saw tons of friends and then ran into my some friends that told me that George Lynch was playing with Billy Sheehan at a hotel next store at some party.. well I was all over that and sure enough when we arrived George Lynch was indeed on stage playing with Ray Luzier,Doug Pinnick and Billy Sheehan (Awesome!!) it was pretty cool…..of course I ran into several fellow guitarist friends at the show…..after the show we ran into some friends and all wandered back together to the Hilton for a bit before calling it an early night (We left after 1am….) ….of course we took lots of cold medicine before bed….our hotel sink looked like a pharmacy….
Day 3:
 I met a cool guy at our hotel breakfast and we chatted about guitar pedals while I was eating my frosted flakes (He was from a pedal company and told me to pop by their booth, which I’m bummed I never did because we were so busy at the show..) the thing is at these shows is that everyone is all staying at the same hotels so you are basically among fellow industry peeps when your staying at the hotels around the convention center….I’m sure I scared plenty of them because I definitely wasn’t dressed up for breakfast and basically just rolled out of bed for it rocking my parka… Did I mention that we woke up to pouring rain on Saturday morning??? So much fun when you’re feeling sick….Anyway’s we had a big day in store for us since I had to do all my demos and then perform with my band at 6pm on the main NAMM stage in the Hilton Lobby….well the day flew by like nothing and before you knew it was time to perform on the NAMM stage..we left the show early to make sure we had plenty of time to move the gear to the stage and get ready.when I have played the NAMM stage several times over the years but this was a little earlier than I had ever done it on a weekend. Well I was concerned that we would miss a lot of the crowd since the show lets out at 6pm…well moving gear around near the convention center at NAMM is a major adventure..I managed to do it without going too nuts and we were ready to go at 6pm to a packed house… it was also nice to see my guys especially my drummer Charles who had been sick in bed all week. We hit the stage on time and tore it up… the crowd was great and I gave out a bunch of Cd’s and cool RN Pick Grips …So much fun….I decided at the end of our set to call up my good friend Neil Turbin (Who was standing at the side of the stage…) to come up to play Ace Frehley’s song “Rocket Ride” with us as an encore….well this could have went way wrong since we had never played the song with him before even though we did record the song with Neil for a thing I did for a Charity CD for the Hurricane Sandy victims a few months previous….well my drummer counted it off and we dove in not knowing what would happen.. Well the crowd went nuts and we actually got through it in tact…It was fun and not to mention Ace was my first guitar hero and KISS is the sole reason I play guitar… it was a fun performance for sure and one of my favorites from all the years performing in the Hilton for NAMM….After we got off stage cleared all our gear off the stage , I took a deep breathe and chatted with everyone for a bit before we loaded the gear into my car to get it out of there. after I dumped off the gear I changed clothes and had my first drink at NAMM since I was starting to feel better.. on the way walking back to Hilton after dumping my car off at our Hotel I ran into my good friend Mike Hansen (former drummer for Steve Vai and many others) .. he told me that the Baby’s were playing at a party next store to the Hilton later that night… well we both went back to the Hilton had a few drinks with everyone and then all walked next store and yes the Baby’s were in fact playing but started earlier than we were told so we only saw the end of the performance… They were so good and were always one of my favorite bands back in the day…of course I saw lots of friends at the party and when we were leaving I ran into my good friend Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich who was with Radio DJ / That Metal Show Host Eddie Trunk…it was great chatting with Doug and we got a quick picture together before they had to take off (Eddie was getting mobbed..) ..We headed back to the Hilton and the Sheraton to check out all the happenings in both lobbies… it was definitely a fun night….after closing down the Hilton Karen and I decided we were hungry and walked to the I-Hop on the corner for a late dinner (It was after 2am..) well the place was packed with NAMM attendees and we saw several friends there including my good friend Phil from the band Filter….We chatted with Phil for a few in front of the restaurant while he waiting for his cab. then headed back to our hotel across the street to take more cold medicine and calling it a night…
Day 4: 
Well day 4 started out with us having breakfast ,getting ready and packing the car up.Did I mention we both felt way better and it seemed we both beat our colds??? Sunday is always a wind down day at NAMM.After checking in with all my sponsors they all decided that there was no reason to demo on Sunday.. I was totally ok with that and Karen and I decided to take in the show (Our first chance we had the entire weekend..) We powered through most of the show in a few hours talked with a few companies and saw some cool new gear before we said our good byes.Our last stop was the Essential Sound Products booth. When we were there chatting the peeps at the booth next to them called me over and gave me some cool stuff… How cool is that?? They had saw me perform at the booth the day before and decided they wanted to hook me up….A very cool gesture on their part and I was very flattered….We managed to get out of the show with little trouble and quickly made a dash to our hotel to get the car.My NAMM was over.. another one for the books… as we were sitting at dinner that night at a Mexican restaurant near my house Karen and I were both exhausted but glad we survived another NAMM… next stop Summer NAMM in Nashville in July……
– Ronny North