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News :: It All Happens at...NAMM 2003

In mid-January Ronzilla headed back out west to make an appearance for Randall May International (the drum miking company who endorses Zilla) at the Winter Session of NAMM in Anaheim. Arriving a day early as usual, Ron went up to Chino, CA to hook up with friends Al Lopez (Six-Four Entertainment), Lonnie Lopez and Elliot Gilbert (Blvd. Magazine). “It was a blast...they were shooting the new cover for their fourth issue...which is a hot car that belongs to a member of the ‘Uniques’ car club from Orange County. It was cool...midway through the shoot we ate some awesome authentic ‘hand-made’ burritos and had some time to catch up with each other since we had last connected in Vegas. It was cool to find out that Elliot had a huge commercial Photography career prior to getting into the lowriding scene...which included much of the early Van Halen album photos as well as a Who’s-Who of even bigger legendary rock artists. That night Ron got back to Anaheim and headed over to the Convention Center where set-up for NAMM was well in progress. “I got a chance to rap with pal John Good (co-owner of DW Drums and the guy who built Ron’s Monsterus kit) and ran into Ben Cole of GHS Strings who endorses Mars and Don. The next day would prove to be pretty cool...Check out Ron’s photo diary below...

While hanging out with John and Don (Owners of DW) Ron caught up with pal Rikki Rockett (Poison) who’s art exhibition Ron had just attended in Hollywood a few weeks earlier and who Ron is currently discussing working together on a project with. Also at DW Ron met up with former Megadeth drummer, Nick Menza, who gave Ron a pair of his new ‘Menzanator’ drumsticks to try out. “As I was leaving DW I bumped into former KISS drummer, Eric Singer which was wild...because I had just got done talking with former KISS guitar player, Bruce Kulick over at ESP, and had even seen Paul Stanley in full KISS makeup and costume.”

Ronzilla also stopped by to pay a visit and make an appearance at the NAMM booth of another one of his Monsterus endorser’s, Vic Firth Drumsticks who makes Zilla’s custom signature sticks. After catching up with Marco who handles his Vic Firth Artist Relations Worldwide, Marco rallied Ronzilla into a photo with other Vic Firth Artists, Roy “Rata” Mayorgo (Soulfly) and Danny Carey (Tool).

While waiting to see Edward Van Halen perform at the Peavey booth Ron caught up with a friend who’s one of his major influences and inspirations, Mr. Robert Sweet (Stryper), who just got done cutting 2 new tracks with all the original members of Stryper for a greatest hits album due out in the spring on Hollywood Records. In case you hadn’t heard yet, Robert passed on to Ron a couple years back his most famous drum of his career...the “To Hell with the Devil” World Tour Timpani Drum...which Ron used on Zealot! Ron also got to hang out with bassist Dave Ellefson (Megadeth) who is now head of Artist Relations at Peavey. Also while at Peavey, Ron was anxious to see former Extreme/VH Frontman Gary Cherone’s new Christian outfit ‘Tribe of Judah’ (TOJ)...whose album ‘Exit Elvis’ Ron loves! However, even though the TOJ show was cancelled due to the throngs of people that came to see Eddie, Ron was still able to catch up with Tribe of Judah drummer Mike Magini who filled him in on the bands progress. Before you knew it people were snapping pix of Zilla, Mike and Steve Vai...Way Cool!

Ron was most excited about running into some old friends and the new ones he was making. He first ran into very good friend and amazing Christian guitar player, Michael Tyrell, who just finished a new album “The Burning Man.” Ron also ran into 2 very old friends Andy Timmons who used to play in Danger Danger and Ron’s former publicist, Rick Rosen from when he was endorsed by Rogers Drums when he was in the band ArchAngel. However, the biggest shock was as I was leaving the show for good I saw a guy coming in who looked very familiar. I looked at his name badge and couldn’t believe that it was a very good friend of mine...another great multi-talented Christian guitar player, Phil Accardi from Long Island, New York. We used to talk several times a month via the phone but lost contact several years ago...this was our first ‘face-to-face’ meeting...it was awesome! Phil currently has a ministry in public schools nationwide helping point kids in in the right direction. His website is www.takecontrolusa.org...he’s always looking for open doors to present his “Take Control” program as well as talented musicians to go out on tour with him. In fact, before Ron could tell him about Monsterus he had already asked if Zilla was available to tour. Another great meeting was when Ron met up with one of his all time favorite drummers, Blas Elias (Slaughter) who invited him out to Vegas to hang out...which Ron’s going to take him up on...very cool!!


“All-in-all this was by far one of the coolest NAMM shows I’ve ever been to...some of the other people I got to meet for the first time was Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, Rod Stewart), Jesse Camp (former MTV VJ), Phil Collin (Def Leppard), Timothy B. Schmit (Eagles, POCO), Michael Wilton (Queensryche), and Mark Wood (Trans Siberian Orchestra) who were all very cool!!!”

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