Guitar Geek Festival 2012 this weekend in Anaheim
The NAMM Show is officially under way in Anaheim, the annual event put on by the National Assn. of Music Merchants that’s part equipment and accessories exhibition, part new-product unveiling, part deal-making frenzy between manufacturers and retailers, and possibly the most cacophonous musical assemblage on the planet.
While the bulk of NAMM events are private -- accessible only to registered, badge-carrying members of the trade, some evening performances by musicians who descend on Anaheim to promote products for companies that endorse them are open to the public.
One of the liveliest and most colorful is roots-guitar whiz Deke Dickerson’s Guitar Geek Festival, which the veteran fretboard maniac is expanding to two nights this year, Friday and Saturday at the Anaheim Plaza Hotel Ballroom.
In previous years he has brought in such guitar heroes as Duane Eddy, Junior Brown, blues great David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Ventures lead guitrist Nokie Edwards, Buddy Holly’s Original Crickets, Teisco Del Rey and Paul Johnson, Bill Kirchen, and usually, Dickerson himself.
This year he’s brought Edwards back to celebrate his reverb-drenched surf-guitar work for shows that also will offer up a reunion of the Hellecasters (a supergroup of guitarists’ guitarists with John Jorgenson, Jerry Donahue and Will Ray), Paul Gilbert, Los Straitjackets, blues steel guitarist Freddie Roulette and Lady Bo, the woman who once played alongside Bo Diddley.
Jorgenson notes that the Hellecasters show Saturday will be the group’s first in 11 years. It’s one of three different settings he’ll be doing for NAMM, including his country gig tonight with the original lineup of the Desert Rose Band (the 1980s and '90s group he formed with Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen) and a Friday night performance by his Django Reinhardt–inspired Gypsy jazz group.
Tickets for the Guitar Geek Fest are $50 in advance and $55 at the door for Friday’s bill, and $60 and $65 for Saturday’s lineup, or $100 for a weekend pass, which are sold only in advance.
-- Randy Lewis
Photo: Deke Dickerson is shown at the 2011 Guitar Geek Festival. Credit: Guitar Geek Festival