The first day of the 2012 Fender Showcase at NAMM was a bustling affair, with Fender taking over a sizeable portion of the Anaheim, Calif., Convention Center.
From the innovative Custom Shop to the classic American Vintage series to the stunning new Fender Select series, all Fender guitars and basses were represented, while heads and cabinets also received prominent positions.
From fans plugging in to try their hand at some of their favorite riffs with Fender products to artists mingling on the Fender floor, Thursday was a solid start at the massive music trade show.
Some of Thursday’s highlights included:
- Arizona bluesman Chuck Hall was the first live act of the day in the Fender Showcase, opening the proceedings with a few rootsy tunes.
- Finger-style guitar legend Doyle Dykes picked up a Telecaster midway through his set following Hall. As fans entered the doors, Dykes’ picking wizardry had toes tapping and heads nodding.
- Country rocker Hayley took the stage to perform after Dykes. She had just received a brand new Telecaster the previous night, and brought her bubbly energy to the show.
- Bassist extraordinaire Tony Franklin, master of the fretless bass, made his rounds. The longtime Fender representative had been touring with Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and KWS himself joined his bandmate as they perused the Fender Select series.
- Hollywood Yates – musician, former professional wrestler, actor and even Armerican Gladiator (known as “Wolf”) – stalked the floor with his 6-foot-4, 235-pound frame juxtaposed with a big smile. Yates picked up a new Elvis Kingman acoustic guitar for a photo shoot. “Me Likey!” he tweeted.
- Nashville-by-way-of-Florida guitarist Guthrie Trapp joined Shawn Camp on stage and romped through some country-rock stompers, working his way up and down the frets on a Telecaster.
- On Wednesday during setup, guitar virtuoso John Mayer perused the sharp Custom Shop collection donning a full-brimmed hat, shoulder-length hair and a denim jacket.
Photo credit: Matt York