Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Dave Carlock - A Day In The Life
NAMM 2014 PT. 1--BACK IN LA
Originally Posted: 01-24-2014 2:29 PM
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Whenever I get into LA in January, it's such a sigh of relief. 10 years living in California turned me into a hopeless weather wimp, I won't even pretend otherwise. One of my Michigan friends grew up in Alaska and she loves to chastise me when I moan about the winters now, but Los Angeles winters filled with everbearing citrus and weather forecasts of "62 and overcast" are easy to acclimate to.

With a day to settle in and prepare for the NAMM show, I picked up my rental car at Fox Rent-A-Car and skipped the 405, heading up the back way to Hollywood by taking La Tijera to Clauson to La Brea. Yes, I realize that this IS exactly how "The Californian's" from SNL talk, and I guess it betrays that I'm back in the swing of things again.

After arriving in Hollywood, I noticed something on La Brea Blvd. that I may have never seen before. It really freaked me out! Pink's had no line! Not a single person in line! It was so shocking, I had to pull a u-turn and go back. I thought they had to be closed, but they'd been open more than a half hour, so I parked and grabbed a dog.

Anyone in LA would understand this reaction because at any time day or night, Pink's usually has a line of 30-40 people. It's unbelievable. The business has been there for 75 years, started as a hot dog cart by Paul and Betty Pink, and last July was named the top hot dog stand in the country by FOX News. Finally something FOX News and I can agree upon!

The first day back, I always appreciate the plentiful services available in LA. I made my rounds, dropping off fluff and fold laundry and having shirts pressed. I had the Michigan winter washed off my tennis shoes, then had touch up cosmetic work done on my shoes at a cobbler's shop following the wash. They look brand new again with his work and some new laces, and their comfort will be paramount during the four days of constant walking on the convention floor.

Stepping back out onto Fountain, I found myself surrounded by actors filling the sidewalk and whisper-drilling their lines for a workshop or audition in the actor's studio next door. NOTE: In Hollywood, both homeless people and actors pace and talk to themselves on the sidewalk, but it's the actors that hold a script in hand.

After changing into shorts, I searched out a healthy meal with a million choices around. As small as they seem, the convenience with which I can accomplish these details set the mood for the rest of my trip. I'm back in civilization again, made complete with temps of 77 degrees.

After spending the day in Hollywood, I headed down to Orange County to meet up with my friend Ron Cambra, owner of Cambra's Speed Shop. He lives just a few miles from the Convention Center and it's been a tradition to visit him and his family for a couple years now. Unfortunately, Ron is always up to his ears finishing some cars last minute for the Grand National Championships in Pomona. It always seems to land on the same weekend as NAMM so he's in high stress mode. But the good part is, I get to check out his newest works.

I have no knowledge of funny car or classic car restorations, but I do know that Cambra Speed Shop does some unbelievable work. He's been working on a few '55 Bel Airs, which to a novice like me was a kick to realize that they were the same model that Bob Falfa drove in George Lucas' homage to 60s era California car culture, "American Graffiti". Even simply backing one out of the garage, the black beast roared like a killer on rampage and was aesthetically perfect. For the second year in a row, Cambra Speed Shop won their category in the Grand Nationals. I'm really proud of my friend. His work is passionate and accomplished in the eyes of his peers, and even for a pedestrian like myself, it's mind blowing and somewhat magical.

Dave Medd, keyboardist/vocalist for The Tubes came down as well and we ended up rooming together, so we had a chance to have some breakfasts and catch up. His new band December People was beginning to get a lot of holiday bookings as an alternative to Trans-Siberian Orchestra, featuring Christmas songs in Classic Rock style. Still going strong after nearly 20 years with the Tubes, Dave and I have remained friends since I co-produced Tubes World Tour 2001, with Greg Ladanyi and David Foster.

Dave's also recently acquired Kryptonite Cases and has been providing touring cases to industry heavyweights such as SIR, Train, and Boz Skaggs, as well as focusing on a niche but growing equestrian market. So, after a quick repaint at my favorite Orange County nail salon, Dave and I headed out together to descend into the belly of the beast known as NAMM 2014.

NEXT WEEK: "Being the Planchett" at work...

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Dave Carlock
DAVE CARLOCK -
A DAY IN THE LIFE
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