By Ricky Richardson
Anaheim- The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus (Lennon bus) made a return trip to the 2014 NAMM Show on January 22nd-26th, at the Anaheim Convention Center. The Lennon Bus was stationed in a new highly visible location on the centralized Grand Plaza next to the NAMM GoPro Stage.
The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is a non-profit 501(c) (3) state-of-the-art mobile audio and HD video recording and production facility. In its seventeenth year, the bus is equipped with the very newest technology and gear. The Bus continues to be dedicated to providing young people with tours of the studio and participation in free songwriting and multimedia production workshops. Under the guidance of three on-board engineers, students get a hands on lesson on how to write, perform, record and produce original songs, produce and shoot music videos and documentaries and complete a broad quality music video-all in one day!
On that note, Wednesday, January 22nd, Art Alexakis, lead singer for the band, Everclear, was on hand as a guest songwriting mentor to work with students from LACM- Los Angeles College of Music. Art Alexakis was recently named the head of the College's new songwriting program. Alexakis worked with students in creating an original song and video, that was premiered on Friday, January 24th, part of the Lennon Bus's annual Imagine Party.
The finished product of the students from LACM was shown to officially kick-off the Lennon Bus Tour 2014. The crowd and I looked on in amazement at the original song and video shown on the huge flat-screen monitor that was composed and produced in one day. The song performed was "Free." The talented group of students consisted of Theresa Young - vocals, Allessandro Cavazza - vocals, Cody Perrin - guitar, Giovanno Reinaldo - bass and Till Richter - drums.
Art Alexakis performed a special acoustic tune "Santa Monica" part of the Imagine Party, brought to the party by the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, and the NAMM Foundation at the NAMM GoPro Stage, hosted by LACM and Neutrik USA.
Sheila E was the featured performer for the 2014 Lennon Bus Imagine Party. It didn't take much effort for NAMM Show attendees to get in a party mode. An argument could be made that Grand Plaza was simmering in anticipation of Sheila E taking the stage. Sheila E and her tight band entertained the crowd with a spicy set of solid in the pocket grooves that dares you to stay immobile. The unofficial motto of the evening was "If you feet the groove; MOVE! As in dance. The crowd danced throughout their hour and half long set to the tunes "Holly rock," "Lovely Day," "Koo-Koo," "A Love Bizarre," "Leader of the Band," "Glamorous Life," and a fantastic arrangement of "When the Saints Go Marching In," to name a few. I didn't stay to the end to see if NAMM Show attendees formed a Conga line back to the Convention Center.