October 15, 2010
VOLUME 27, NO.10


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ConventionTV@NAMM 2011
Music & Sound Awards

Table of Contents
Digital Issue Download

Class is in Session
We feature many of the new, hot companies that exhibited at NAMM in January.

Indictments Likely

Gibson Guitar is expected to face charges due to alleged illegal wood imports.

NRF Talks Jobs,
Jobs and More Jobs

The key to retailers' success for 2011 is, you guessed it, jobs. But a lot more was discussed at the 100th NRF Annual Convention.

It’s a Record!
We give you a huge review of last month’s NAMM show. Were retailers and manufacturers optimistic for the rest of this year?
MSR Exclusive Interview
Zildjian and Vic Firth have teamed up to form a percussion powerhouse. We met with Craigie Zildjian and Vic Firth at NAMM to give you all of the details about the merger.
Music Group's Master Plan
We get an exclusive look at the future of The Music Group, parent of Behringer, Bugera and more. We get an exclusive look at product launches, as well!

Knock it Off With the Knockoffs!
Counterfeit products are killing the MI industry. But one company is fighting back big time. We’ll tell you how badly knockoffs could affect the industry if left unchecked.

Music & Sound Award Nominees
We release the full list of nominees for Music & Sound Awards. See if your favorite product, person or company is nominated.

Taylor-Made For Europe
Taylor Guitars will sell all of its products directly to dealers in Europe beginning on Jan. 1. Find out why the big change was made and where Taylor’s European headquarters will be. We interview Brian Swerdfeger about it first.

We Cover it All!
For the second time, we honor instruments that get zero or little press...

A ‘Super’ Party on Kent Island
Experience PRS loaded up on celebrities, new products and much more. Get the full scoop...

‘Father of RMM’ Passes
Karl Bruhn, a tireless music industry devotee, mentored many and made awareness of health and wellness together a lifelong initiative.
Don’t ‘Skip’ this Story!
Skip’s Music Celebrates 30th Anniversary of its Special Event

I Just Wanna Bang
on the Drums All Day

Your One-Stop Shop For The Holidays!
Heathcare Provision Could
Be a Nightmare

America the Beautiful

Not Doubting Thomas
Mendello Retires, Thomas Named Fender CEO

Music City Myster

-The Latest, Industry, Dealers, People and Product Buzz and Showcases.

NAMM in Photos
A lot happened at NAMM in January to say the least. We capture plenty of it within our three-page NAMM photo collage.
The Music & Sound
Independent Retailer

We cover the sad passing of two prominent retailers and another named the "Citizen of the Year."
Music & Sound Award
Dealer Winners

Our list of dealer winners for the 25th Music & Sound Awards.
Music & Sound Award Manufacturer Winners
Our list of manufacturer winners. And, this time, we got them to provide comments on the victories.
Five Minutes With
Learn tons about Yamaha with Takuya (Tak) Nakata, president of the company's USA division.
MI Spy
Spy took a long flight from the cold of New York to the less cold, but quite windy, San Francisco.
Appraisal Scene Investigation
Rebecca Apodaca takes another look at the legendary guitar builder R.C. Allen.
Sales Guru
Unfortunately, Gene Fresco couldn't attend NAMM for health reasons. But he does have great information about a topic he hasn't covered before. He will help you get into your own head and make you believe. Believe what? Gene will tell you.
Business & Marketing
Carl Mandelbaum will present tips on how to develop your Web site.
Dan Vedda did attend NAMM. He has a lot of thoughts to share about the show.


Sharon Hennessey: Loves our industry, you will find out. She'll also tell you why she ultimately decided to join The Music People! And yes, she will definitely fill you in on her goals as a new NAMM board member.
Carla Alger: Being in the music industry is definitely the most exciting opportunity Carla Alger, chief financial officer at Two Old Hippies, has ever had. Find out why.
Dawn Werk
:Dawn Werk, Alpha Books’ director of marketing, heads a group that is responsible for 450 non-fiction books. Now that’s a lot! Music is a small, but very important, part of that catalog.
Sonia Vallis: Sonia Vallis might be an only child, but she grew up with a sibling that has now become like another child to her.-
Catherine Polk

Cyndi Fritz
Janet Deering
Kathy How
Sarah Heil
Sue Avant

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Don’t ‘Skip’ this Story!
Skip’s Music Celebrates 30th Anniversary of its Special Event
[October 2010 - Page 1]

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of your store being in business is an impressive feat. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of an idea you had at your store is utterly amazing. Skip’s Music did just that when it hosted its 30th Stairway to Stardom on Aug. 15 and 16.
The first day of the event featured 20 up-and-coming bands. They were mostly comprised of teenagers, but participants were as young as 7.
Whether any of the 20 bands etch a place in local, national or international music history is a mystery. But the program, the brainchild of Skip Maggiora, provides a lot for the musicians. First, the bands had the opportunity to perform live in front of an audience at Sacramento, Calif.’s Crest Theatre. This is no amateur production. Engineers were working to ensure the sound quality was optimal. Lighting was altered based on each band’s desires. A professional photo of the band was plastered on a large screen once the musicians completed a song. A local radio personality emceed the event. A professional program was printed and distributed. Bands hung out backstage before and after their performances and were able to receive lunches from behind a counter you’d often see at a movie theater.
The realism of the event went well beyond that, however. Once a group completed its act, it descended to the lowest level of the theater to conduct television interviews for Access Sacramento. And yes, after everything was completed, the musicians traveled back upstairs to the Crest Theatre lobby where they actually signed autographs. “They really feel like rock stars,” said Maggiora. “I’m sure they are nervous when they are about to perform. But once it’s over, they get to relax and enjoy signing autographs. In their mind, they are on their way to stardom, or have already made it.”
Even if the musicians never become recording stars—and statistics say few ever will—they can bank a lifelong memory in their minds. There’s no question it was a memorable experience. Confidence is also a big factor. If one can perform flawlessly before a live studio audience, one’s confidence is sure to rise dramatically. Confidence goes a long way, whether it’s for completing a test, applying for a job or seeking the affection of a member of the opposite sex.
If kids didn’t have enough to like about the Stairway to Stardom program, here’s one more incentive for them to become involved. Musicians receive high-school credit (assuming they are current high-school students as opposed to middle-school students) for successful participation in the program. “They get credit for being in a high school band. That’s sure not a bad thing,” said Maggiora.
The bands that competed in August during Stairway to Stardom all played three original songs. The bands were: A.R.A., Angels Need Oxygen, Angel’s Ruin, Angst Over Easy, Back in Your System, Conquest, Don’t Look Down, Gridlok, Momentum, Mutalisk, Myth Machine, Now Is Forever, OC/DC, Odysus, Pandemic, Prefect Imbalance, Phat Traffic, Roulette, The Minorities and Yellow Chain of Chinchillas. Detention, which featured a 7-year-old lead singer, was a special guest band that joined the event. “We’re starting them out younger and we need them to be customers for a lot longer,” Maggiora said. “It really was a great concert.”
Stairway to Stardom originated in 1981, although on a different scale. “Back then, I noticed kids weren’t getting involved with bands the way I did when I was a kid,” said Maggiora. “I grew up at a time when everyone would be practicing out of their garages. Many times, kids learn to play instruments in school and, once school is over, they have nothing to do with the instrument. That’s sad.”
Maggiora added that kids were learning to play guitars in their bedrooms, but he wanted to get them involved with the “enjoyment of playing with others as soon as possible. We came up with the Stairway to Stardom idea because so many kids were playing guitars then and we wanted them to be able to go somewhere with the knowledge. We wanted to introduce them to putting a band together and the opportunities for a career in music. Our first Stairway had three bands and it took place in the parking lot of the store. It has grown to become a great event because the community supports it and the kids support it. We don’t even need to advertise the event to promote it. We even have longtime coaches who help the kids out. The bands rehearse once a week with their coach, they go to clinics on song writing and arrangement, they learn the business of music and more. For example, the kids learn the importance of a three-minute song and the need for a ‘hook.’ They learn the importance of writing a song for the general public, and not just themselves. They are also taught how to continue to pursue their dreams after the eight-week Stairway program is over. Community members offer their garages for kids to rehearse.”
The second day of the event shifted dramatically. Manufacturers, VIPs and Skip’s Music employees attempted to translate their talents to success on the golf course. The “best-ball” tournament, which began at 8 a.m., culminated with lunch and award ceremonies after everyone had completed the 18-hole course in Lincoln, Calif. Awards ranged from “Needs Most Improvement” to “Most Lost Golf Balls.” Many manufacturers sponsored both days of the event. “We used to have the golf event on a separate date from Stairway to Stardom,” said Maggiora. “But it was difficult to get people to come to two different events during the year. Some people like seeing Stairway and some like golf.”
After Stairway to Stardom concluded, each band went into the recording studio the following week. The best original song was recorded and a CD was cut. The winning band recorded all three original songs, which subsequently went on sale at local music stores. That band also gets to be an opening act for an area concert and appears on a television special.
The Music & Sound Retailer presented Maggiora with a plaque commemorating the 30th anniversary during the bands’ performances.

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