Ultimate NAMM Night - California Ballroom, Hotel Anaheim,
Anaheim California, USA Saturday 27/01/18
Well it was getting to the end of the time at NAMM. I missed the Ultimate Jam Night celebration this year so I am glad I got the chance to check this out. The 1st ever Ultimate Namm Night actually.
With quite a few other events happening at the Hilton itself as well as other kick ass stuff not too far away, this gig had a lot to live up to. Now could Paulie Z, Chuck, Walter Ino, Matt Starr and all the rest of the house band pull this off? You bet they could.....
When you pack in 2.5 hour show with artists of this standard they may just have topped many of the others happening. Highlights included Ritchie Kotzen's new outfit on a couple of numbers, Paulie Z with a to die for line-up rocking up some Van Halen / David Lee Roth with none other than Billy Sheehan on Bass or Debby Holiday cracking up some sassy 'Stay With Me' with Phil Chen (of Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart & later Doors fame) on Bass that totally made many folks night - Mitch Perry especially!
Then what about George Lynch cooking up some Dokken with none other than Don himself, not to mention coming on stage to shred it up alongside Cory Glover (of Living Colour); Dug Pinnick and Jerry Gaskell (both of Kings X) for some Jimi Hendrix brilliance.
Throw in the likes of Damon Fox of The Cult for a Beatle Gem with Stu Hamm on bass and add in appearances from Headcat & Slunt and you've got something special going down or Jeff Scott Soto coming on for a number. Plus we can't forget outstanding axemen in the form of Testament's Alex Skolnick; Alex Kane (of CJ Ramone / Anti-Product) & Phil X (of Bon Jovi).
We received some good ole Metal from the likes of Nick Bowcott, Ira Black, Jerry Montano as well as Ministry's John Bechdel and numerous more, not to mention some funk and smoking rock from BulletBoy frontman, Marq Torein. What about birthday boy 'Jaime St. James' of Black 'n' Blue partying it up for all it was worth? This was marvellous stuff indeed!
Not to mention a pair of Gold Sessions headphones going to the loudest, craziest m*th*rf*ck*r in the ballroom tonight and numerous t-shirts launched out to the crowd too by compere and overall supremely talented, Paulie Z who brought the night to a close with a fitting bit of Queen if my memory serves me right.
Everyone just about used up all their energy in the 150 mins extravaganza on both stage and in the maxed to full capacity ballroom but there was time for banter and general chatter for those who stuck around for a while... then more drinking commence downstairs 'til the early hours of the morning before they wheeled the mobile bars away..... I dare say that this was a complete success and no doubt the Ultimate NAMM Jam will return next year... be sure to arrive at the venue early though as many couldn't get in... it really is that popular.... and rightly so too.
Big thanks to RCF and a host of other sponsors and of course the Ultimate Jam Family for putting this mindblowing event together!
By Glenn Milligan