This year at NAMM, Gibson enlisted its own YouTube army to barrage artists and celebrities with questions and bring a real insider scoop to our coverage. You can see their reports in our NAMM coverage here.
Back in the safe confines of YouTube land, our intrepid reporters have been in touch, recounting their experiences at the rockin’est place on earth.
YouTube personality and musician, Meghan Tonjes has gained a cult following with her weekly videos and infectious music. Her series, Request Tuesday, has brought in millions of views while her vlogs and social endeavors have brought her national acclaim. She has recently been featured on Seventeen.com, Jezebel.com and The Ellen Degeneres Show. Meghan started her NAMM coverage on the third day, Saturday and loved every minute.
Meghan’s highlight was meeting celebrities and trying out her interview skills. She said: “The best part of being at NAMM was definitely meeting all of the celebrities and musicians that stopped by the Gibson booth. It was great to meet people I knew of and have them be so nice and excited about being interviewed.”
Undoubtedly, it was Meghan’s down home warmth to her subjects that won over so many of the artists she interviewed. “I think one of the things I became known for was my 'midwest hugs'. I'm not big into shaking hands, just by virtue of being in the YouTube space. We hug. We touch. I wasn't sure how well that would go over with some of the people stopping by the booth, but it actually became a big icebreaker. I'm pretty sure every time I saw Eddie Cahill from CSI, there was an immediate hug.”
Appearing on camera was no biggie for Lana McKissack who reported on Gibson’s second day at NAMM. Lana has a degree in musical theater from UCLA, and is a former recording artist with Sony Records, Japan. She thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of the talented artists at NAMM.
“The best part of being at NAMM was getting to interact with people who genuinely have a passion for all aspects of the music industry,” she explained. “I got to speak with artists from all different genres of music, which was especially exciting for me since my daily playlist generally consists of Disney, musical theater, and Mariah Carey. Don't judge me!”
Interviewing a heavy metal legend was an obvious highlight. “I thought it was really neat that Zakk Wylde was such a cool, chill guy who answered all of my silly questions with honesty. I enjoyed hearing his thoughts on Beyoncé’s lip-syncing ordeal, as well as learning that he enjoys and respects Mariah Carey as an artist.”
Overall, for Lana, NAMM’s gathering of musicians and artists was all about a shared passion. “The main thing that I took away from NAMM (besides the awesome t-shirt and guitar),” she joked, “was that no matter where an artist comes from, no matter what instrument he/she plays, and no matter what style of music he/she prefers, we are all bonded by our love of, and passion for, music. As simple as that sounds, it was actually quite powerful to see that passion in the eyes of not just the Gibson performers, but also the fans.”
The unassuming Jon D., who kicked off Gibson’s NAMM coverage on the first day of NAMM 2013, and who goes by SimplySpoons, on his YouTube channel, was more reticent than Lana about his interviewing skills. He explained: “I'm a filmmaker who happened to stumble into the world of music... Now I sing and make music & comedy videos for a living. Doing interviews for Gibson allowed me to step out of my shell a lot & try something I had never tried before. Getting out of your comfort zone is one of the hardest things to do, but it allows you to really grow as a person.”
Jon D. wanted a few snapshots for posterity and scored quite a scoop. “I was hoping to take a picture with Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, but they were not doing interviews & rushed him outside. However, I managed to sneak a quick pic in there before he left. The picture shows me holding a thumbs-up while Brian is visibly heading for the door behind me.”
Sent to report from the red carpet at Dee Snider’s roast, Jon D. was able to ask some of rock’s biggest names what it takes to be “metal.” I learned that to be metal, sometimes you just need a cool beard. But it really just comes down to the music.”
Sunday’s YouTuber Alex G, who says she "loves music, Carol Burnett, and food,” opted, quite logically for a YouTuber, to record her NAMM memories in a video with another YouTube star Tyler Ward:
Check out Alex G, Meghan, John D. and Lana jamming NAMM here.