I'm quickly going deaf but it's been mostly worth it so far.
I spent some time today in the C.F. Martin booth taking with their rep and checking out some of their guitars. I was particularly taken with the one to the right. Really well balanced, played fantastically and of course is beautiful.
While I was there I ran into Joel Hoekstra, guitar player for Night Ranger, Trans Siberian Orchestra and Rock of Ages on Broadway. Such a killer player and a nice guy too.
Later in the day I spent some time at the Santa Cruz guitars booth and got some quality time with one of their reps and about six of their acoustics. The one below—I got a shot of both the guitar and a closeup of the headstock—a custom orchestra was a standout. Absolutely beautiful and it played like a dream. The bird inlay on the headstock was one of the most beautiful inlay jobs I've ever seen on a guitar. Sometimes these things can be too over the top for me but I felt like the maker really balanced the look of the instrument just right.
Just like high school kids, we got our picture taken with him. How could you not? Frank Zappa, Sting, Jeff Beck -- the guy has defined what it means to be the consummate sideman.
I still feel goofy getting my picture taken with these guys when I haven't played with them but what the hell. It's fun to be a fan every now and then.