The first time I ever went to the NAMM show (the big music trade show here in California) was in January 2002. Doesn’t seem that long ago, but it was. I somehow wrangled a pass from my buddy Clay who worked for Fender, and I went there on Sunday afternoon because that’s the only time I could get away (I think I was playing the night before somewhere out of town). It was pretty dead, and I was getting ready to leave when I saw the Mosrite booth in the (mostly deserted) basement section where they put the smaller names of guitar and amp making. I noticed a sign on the Mosrite table: MEET JOHNNY RAMONE, SUNDAY JANUARY 20TH, 2:00 PM!
I looked at my phone and it was 1:59 pm, and there was only one person working the Mosrite booth. Then, right on cue, like something out of a movie, I heard a big noise to my right, and 200 feet away I saw Johnny Ramone coming down the aisle with a bodyguard and about fifteen fans following him. I happened to be standing at the Mosrite table, so I accidentally became first in line. Johnny sat down and I grabbed a flyer for the new Johnny Ramone model that Mosrite Fillmore (the Japanese company who owned the Mosrite name) had recently started making. “To Deke, Johnny Ramone,” then…NEXT! I watched as a rabid group of punk rock girls fought over who was going to get the next autograph. That was a really weird scene. It was like something out of a movie, and I stumbled right in, all by accident.
Today Johnny Ramone’s famous white Mosrite guitar sold at auction for $750,000. It’s a funny world, sometimes, ain’t it?
Gabba Gabba Hey!