National Association of Music Merchants

January 17, 2003, Anaheim

I went to NAMM in Anaheim, California today, 01-17-03. When I walked into the convention center at 830am, I heard I Love it Loud playing and saw Paul in his Alive costume on a big screen, talking about the new guitars. The screen was flashing the number of the booth he would be at, at 2pm. The doors opened at 10am, and I went to the Silvertone/Samick display. They had all the guitars on display, including a cracked mirror one. They had postcards, brochures, and guitar pick keychains for the Paul Stanley line. The line started forming early, with the buzz that would he be in costume. Prior to 2pm, I saw Eric Singer in the Pearl drum area. He was chatting with a few fans, signing autographs and taking pictures. A sign at the ESP booth said Bruce would be signing Saturday at 1pm.

As 2pm rolled around, the Paul Stanley line was huge. At about 2:10pm, Tommy Thayer was hanging around, directing the show. Workers were wearing laminates with the Paul guitar on them. They said they were bringing him in the back, blocking off all access.

Paul Stanley came in shortly after 2:30p.m., wearing the Alive costume. He looked great, and it was great to see the costume from 3 feet away. I took 5 rolls of film, with great close ups as he posed with various execs/guests. I was lucky that 2 friends (non-KISS fans) joined me in line and with their help I got 5 things signed- an old 1974 ad, a drumhead (that Eric Singer signed plus Peter Criss in Philly), 2 pick guards from my PS-10 IIs, and a program from his recent NYC Broadway benefit. Paul posed with fans for pics, from behind a little table he was standing at.

My friends and I spoke to Tommy about what was going on. He told us about the 3-16 show in Las Vegas (I hadn't heard about it at this point). He said he is in the Alive era outfit, and will have guitars pics with his name. He wouldn't say if the summer tour was official, but he hinted at it- saying he isn't the spokesman so can't officially say.

After a long signing session, Paul and Tommy left out the back door, and were whisked away. Tommy had also said that Gene Simmons would be there on Sat and/or Sunday.