On Friday my sister's boyfriend Atom Ellis and I went to the NAMM Show at the Anaheim City Convention Center.
NAMM is the annual International Music Products Association gathering where music product manufacturers get to connect with buyers and artists from all over the world and show off their latest gear.
I attended the show as a guest of Gallien-Kreuger amplifiers. My family has had a long association with Gallien-Krueger; my father through his feedback has helped design the G-K acoustic bass amp into the best in the world.
The two biggest posters at the G-K booth were for my dad and Flea, side by side.
Although my dad helped create the Gallien-Krueger acoustic bass amplifier, their electric bass amps are equally incredible. I've used Gallien-Krueger amps exclusively since I was a teenager. Here I am with a whole stack of G-K amps at the NAMM show G-K booth.
Here I am with Gallien-Krueger founder & president Bob Gallien, a nicer guy you couldn't meet.
Also at the NAMM show I visited my friends at the Dana B. Goods booth. Dana B. Goods are the exlusive distributors of Warwick basses in America. I am very proud to endorse Warwick basses, their sound and design have inspired me to no end. Watch for me playing Warwick basses in my upcoming Dead Sea Scrolls gigs.
In addition, while I was at the NAMM show I bumped into my old friend and fellow bassist Eva Gardner. It was great to see Eva, she is an amazing bass player and an incredibly nice person too. She was getting ready to go to Israel where she has a gig playing for Pink.
All in all, I had a great time at the 2008 NAMM Show.
The next day was a typically beautiful Los Angeles day and I took Lisa to a few of my favorite L.A. places.
Our first stop was the Mission San Fernando.
The Mission San Fernando was one of several Missions founded by Spanish Catholic devotees in the 1700s.
The devastation to Native American people and culture by the arrival of European settlers was (and continues to be) immeasurable. The problem of the destruction of life in the name of religion and spirituality by those who purport to be believers in God is not adequately addressed at the Mission San Fernando, and if it was, I didn't see it.
I will say, however, that the Mission San Fernando is an important part of Los Angeles history, and much spirituality and redemption can be found here, even out of the ashes of death and despair.
The Mission grounds itself are breathtaking. In the late 1800s the grounds had fallen into disrepair, and an earthquake further damaged many of the buildings which still stood. The Mission as it is today has been mostly reconstructed but is a faithful recreation of the original edifices, right down to the use of original furniture and wall ornamentation.
Here's the original Church organ.
Every room of the Mission has been recreated using original furniture, including kitchens, workrooms, dining areas, bedrooms, etc... This bed is from the Bishop's room, check out that headboard!
The real attraction to me of Mission San Fernando is the "Madonna Room", a room filled with trinkets, ephemera, novelty items, statuettes, statues, pictures, and paintings both old and new all relating to the holy mother of Jesus. The light in the room and soft music start automatically before even reaching the threshold and it is a sight to behold!
The Mission Church is incredible. There had been a wedding in the church minutes before I took this photo.
The Mission is also home to the final resting place of entertainer Bob Hope! This definitely sets this Mission apart from all the other California Missions. Very Hollywood, but also very charming, serene, thought-provoking, and kitschy in a good way.
After leaving the Mission I took Lisa to the nearby Historical Landmark known as "The Cascades". This is the exact spot, where, in 1913, William Mulholland, after who-knows-how-many crooked dealings it took to bring water from the Owens Valley to Los Angeles, stood in front of a gathering of hundreds of people and stated, "There it is, Mr. Mayor. Take it.", turning the valve which brought water down this slope and into the L.A. water distribution system forever, or at least until global warming dries it up.
After leaving the Cascades we drove five minutes to the historical Pioneer Cemetery. Originally called Morningside cemetery, it was established in 1870 (last burial there was in 1939) and is reportedly the second-oldest cemetery in the San Fernando Valley. When I last visited here in 2003 I was able to enter the grounds itself and walk around but now it's all but closed to the public, due to vandalism no doubt. I'm glad the San Fernando Historical Society is helping to preserve it.
Our historical mini-tour finished for the day, we were famished. Where else could we go but our favorite lunch-time Mexican food eatery, Yuca's in Los Feliz.
Yuca's is only open during the day, and is not much of a sit-down place although there are a few tables and chairs outside the front counter, but they have some of most delicious and unique Mexican food in L.A. Their menu is limited because of the size of the kitchen (tiny) but what they do serve is amazing, my favorite is the bean and cheese burrito. Don't forget to ask for chiles!
Thus concludes another fascinating couple of days in Los Angeles. Stay tuned for more incredibly interesting idiosyncratic events in my life!