The Rolling Stones loved their gear. And they were passionate endorsers.

Who plays what still matters in the music business.

It’s Superbowl Sunday and I’m expecting a glut of celebrity endorsed commercials to hit me like a tidal wave of Doritos this evening stating around 6:30.

So….let’s talk about NAMM for a minute.

What’s NAMM you say?

NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), commonly called NAMM in reference to the organization’s popular NAMM trade shows, is the not-for-profit association that promotes the pleasures and benefits of making music and strengthens the $17 billion global music products industry. Our association—and our trade shows—serve as a hub for people wanting to seek out the newest innovations in musical products, recording technology, sound and lighting. NAMM’s activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages.

NAMM wrapped up its 2014 show just last week in Anaheim. There was no shortage of stars signing at booths and artists pushing products for all the major and minor brands last week.

If you want to know who’s playing what, you go to NAMM.

It prompted me to think about how still important artist endorsements are in music marketing today.

In fact, it’s how many brands are surviving. This isn’t just any recent revelation or gimmick used by music marketers. It’s been going on for, hmmmmm let’s say awhile…..Check this bad boy out.

1893+First+(and+only)+JW+Pepper+Sousaphone+-+from+Pepper+Journal+of+1898+-+CopyYou get the picture…..

I went through my collection and did a little digging and realized The Stones did their fair share of hocking various brands early in their careers.

Here’s a sample of how music brands like Vox, Shure, Gibson and Framus used the Stones celebrity status to push their stuff.

Below are a handful of ads and poster using Mick to promote Ampeg and Vox amps, and Shure Microphones. The last few for Shure dated 1981.

Next, are a few of Brian Jones’ endorsements for Vox with his beloved teardrop guitar.

Bill Wyman also got in on the action endorsing Framus Bass Guitars.

Keith and his love affair with Gibson and Les Paul.

Charlie endorsed Gretsch drums for many years and still plays them today.

Ending with a killer Vox ad. “Vox: sound of long hairs.”


Gary Rocks.

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The official release date for the Rolling Stones Gear book is Tuesday February 4th, 2014. It’s taken 9 years to finish this mammoth 672-page book and I thank The Rolling Stones as well as the hundreds of people who helped make this historic document possible.

ROLLING STONES GEAR is the first book to historically document all of the Rolling Stones’ musical equipment. It’s also the story of The Rolling Stones, but with a new twist: their history as told through the instruments they used. The book covers not only the group’s personal background, but also every tour and studio session from their inception in 1962 to date, with detailed documentation illustrating what instruments and equipment were used during these periods. Every song recorded by the band, including demos and out-takes are also documented, with input from within the Stones’ ranks as well as from people who were involved with the band. The lavishly illustrated book contains hundreds of photographs and rare images, many of which have never been published, including The Rolling Stones’ actual guitars and equipment, which were specially photographed for this book and are seen for the first time. Whether you are a musician, a Stones fan or just the casual reader, you will learn many new facts about the band from their monumental fifty-year existence.

Check out this incredible new book by Andy Babiuk, Rolling Stones Gear!


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