I’m going to the NAMM show this year, for the first time in almost 20 years. I’ve been saying 12 (when I last moved from Carpinteria, and its comfortable, less-than-8-hour drive to Anaheim), but doing the math it’s been 20, as I didn’t attend NAMM any of the years I lived here last, either. Craziness. In case you’re confused, NAMM stands for “National Association of Music Merchants”, and is *the* biggest music conference of each year. To be looking back at 2 decades of avoiding NAMM as a constantly-working musician is, frankly, a bit strange to me. Maybe even a bit embarrassing, honestly.
The best part about making the trip to Anaheim again after such a long hiatus is how I’m starting to feel old pathways, potential and avenues untravelled revealing themselves again. The opportunity to work comfortably with the ‘business side’ of the music industry is exciting at this point in my life, instead of the endless series of horrible compromises and indignities it offered a younger and more recklessly-ambitious musician so many years ago. The life lessons and experience I’ve gained in the last 20 years, if nothing else, will serve as a rather endless reserve of material going forward as I reconnect with a far, far more creative side of myself. And let go of some of the career baggage that I’ve apparently held onto for so long. I have no regrets spending the last 20 years in high-tech, not in the least. But clearly my compass is correcting itself now, and I’m more of a passenger on the voyage than a fully-active participant at the moment.
Moving onto a more appropriate path with one’s life is, I’m sure, a natural and comfortable transition for most, but apparently I’ll still fight it with every fiber of my soul despite knowing it’s the better choice – like not eating my vegetables or putting off exercise until tomorrow. But sometimes your intuition has to lead you away from old habits with force. And just the thought of going to this trade show again as an older, wiser adult, has urgently rekindled some form of childish (in the good way) spark in me that I’m quite anxious to throw some fuel on. It’s like discovering an old wireless transmission you recall from your youth, crackling to life from a thin ham radio monitor and slowly resolving into beautiful, glorious high-definition 6.1 surround sound before me.
Connection re-established…. but what’s next, who knows.
I’m cool with that.