You know the feeling when you buy a CD with 12 tracks, and all of them are great? That’s how I feel about 2012. All 12 months in 2012 (with a few minor exceptions) were absolutely stellar. As with recording any good CD, it wasn’t easy work.
Here’s a look back at all the happenings that took place in what has been one of the best years of my career. Thanks to everyone who shared special moments with me, and thanks to everyone who made those moments special!
I got to kick off the year by gathering with my music industry peers at NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants trade show, in Anaheim, Calif. This was my fourth NAMM show all together, but the first with the “Big F” (Fender). Special highlights include hanging with my favorite friends and journalists, plus some of my favorite musicians like Sergio Vallín from Maná.
Another high note was that my awesome former guitar student Josh Vasquez’ band Jazz Avenue was named Best Teen Band in the USA in NAMM’s Third Annual SchoolJam USA Competition. The kiddo scored a bunch of free gear plus a trip to Germany! Read more about that here.
I invited KTLA’s Allie MacKay to stop by the Fender factory in Corona, Calif., and she did just that. She reported live from our factory and Visitor Center, and gave Orange County, Los Angeles and Inland Empire audiences and action-packed morning segment filled with fun and excitement, which is her signature style. It’s hard not to love her and everything she does.
I stopped at the Fullerton Museum and took a stroll down the street where Leo Fender’s first digs were. It was totally awesome to see the humble beginnings of Fender’s whereabouts.
Later on in February I got to meet David Davidson from Revocation, who was named the Top Modern Metal Guitarist by MetalSucks.com. If you haven’t heard of him, you should definitely check him out.
In March I landed my first magazine cover ever (the first of six to come later). I worked diligently with the editor-in-chief of Músico Pro Fernando Curiel (who is now a good friend) to secure a cover for Fender artist and Latin American rock icon/guitarist Sergio Vallín. After several e-mails, phone calls and exchange of ideas, the seed in my head came true in the print version of one of my favorite magazines. As an added cool factor, I grew up reading Músico Pro, so being part of a project with them was beyond awesome.
April took me to Miami for the first time ever, where I attended the Hispanic PR industry’s most important event, Hispanicize.
The fact that the event took place in Miami was epic to begin with, but the fact that I got to meet Emilio Estefan, Steven Bauer (Manny Ribera in Scarface), and many prominent Hispanic journalists in the U.S. made the whole experience memorable in so many levels.
I learned lots during the conference and connected with accomplished professionals in yachts, stunning beachfront properties and South Beach venues. After all, it IS Miami, where everything has extra flavor.
Toward the end of the month I made a quick stop in San Diego to attend the Mission Federal ArtWalk in Little Italy, where I completed a PR internship prior to graduating from SDSU. Always fond memories!
I kicked off another action-packed month by securing and overseeing another segment with KTLA. Crowds couldn’t get enough, so Allie MacKay visited Fender’s factory again for yet more Fender bonanza.
After visiting our Corona, Calif., factory, I headed down to Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico to visit our facility there. It was fantastic visiting Mexico and going back to familiar territories.
More fun awaited back in Arizona as I prepped to welcome Maná’s Sergio Vallín and team to the Fender headquarters in Scottsdale. I gave him the tour, introduced him to coworkers, and headed down to the US Airways Center later that day to witness Maná live in concert (which you must experience at least once in your lifetime). A huge highlight of the night was when I got to go backstage to play classical guitar for Vallín (his very own guitar).
But wait, there’s more! Univision San Diego reached out for an interview where the topic in question was managing a successful Twitter account and garnering more followers. Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m infatuated by Twitter, so I was more than happy to accede.
Lastly, Mexican rockers Belanova visited the Fender headquarters toward the end of the month, and I got to see them live in concert as well.
A much needed mini-break took place in June, but there was still some travel and excitement involved.
I flew out to Burbank to manage a shoot at Fender’s Artist Showroom with Premier Guitar magazine. We had Nate Shiflett from the Foo Fighters show up, and it was all fine and dandy.
Since I was in L.A., I couldn’t help but visit L.A.’s Fashion District downtown. I always love great bargains!
July was mammoth! The Fender factory in Ensenada, Mexico, celebrated its 25th anniversary in July, and I was tasked with inviting media from both the United States and Mexico, preparing their itineraries, scheduling interviews, coordinating tours, and making sure they had the time of their lives. I was in my element!
Tons of local media and a dozen U.S. journalists from the industry’s most important trade and consumer magazines attended the anniversary party. The anniversary event was wildly successful and it garnered lots of attention by the media.
No breaks for this girl. August took me all over the place, including Rosarito, Mexico, for my college friend’s beautiful and lavish beachfront wedding; my beloved San Francisco, where my dream of watching Metallica play live came true while attending Outside Lands; and good ‘ole Corona, Calif., to record a segment with NBC which would forever change my career (more on that in Sept.)!
I was traveling and working like a madwoman in August, but it all paid off tenfold in September. Sometime in May I reached out to NBC Latino to pitch a story on Fender that would be a perfect fit for their audience. They loved the idea, and I worked very closely with their L.A. correspondent in August to record an entire day’s worth of video and interviews in our Corona factory.
The final clip (seen below) aired not only on NBC Latino, but in dozens of television stations nationwide and hundreds of NBC affiliates throughout the world, including MSNBC. That equates to around 23 million viewers total. That is approximately the entire population of Australia (!). As you can imagine, I was thrilled to know that so many people learned about Fender’s story. Watch the clip here.
Toward the end of the month I made a stop at my hometown of San Diego to visit the NAMM headquarters, where I met with the wonderful communications department staff. Never a dull moment in San Diego!
Things slowed down a bit in October. Early on in the month I received an invitation to attend a private and intimate Alice Cooper concert in Phoenix. I got to see my co-workers jam out with the venerable rocker, and it was a totally fun and humbling experience.
On Oct. 31 Fender held its annual employee Halloween party, where I dressed up and scored a pair of movie tickets!
At some point this year (don’t remember exactly when), David Ellefson from Megadeth and James Burton stopped by our headquarters. I got to meet them, and it was cool to see two music giants at the same time in one spot.
I recharged in October only to go back to full throttle in November. On Nov. 3 I got to see the awesome Collie Buddz in concert, and it was one giant, happy love fest. It was my first reggae concert ever, and I gotta say it was a lot of fun.
On Nov. 15, a major bucket list moment occurred in my life. I got to attend the 13th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards at the grandiose Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. I saw performances of super star after super star, including a duet by two of my ultimate favorite artists Santana and Juanes. It was a star-studded night with lots of glamour and excitement, and I had goose bumps throughout the entire event!
The excitement continued in Arizona when I got to see and meet Deftones on Nov. 17. They’ve been one of my favorite bands for over a decade, plus I have the ultimate crush on Chino Moreno, so to witness the band live was the sweetest of treats. I got to enjoy the show from the stage, and afterwards I hopped backstage to hang and meet the band. You can find images and more details here.
A few days after, i headed down to StandUP Live for a comedy show by one of my favorite comedians, Pablo Francisco. He’s absolutely hysterical, and I nearly split a rib from laughing every time I see him live.
I wrapped up the month on a high note by enjoying Falling in Reverse in on Nov. 27 with my peer from the U.K.
December took me once again to California to host a Girl Rock Nation workshop with Fender at the House of Rock in Santa Monica. On Dec. 4 we invited 30 girls from the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Boyle Heights for an unforgettable music workshop. At the end of the event, the girls took home a brand new guitar! Watch a cool video recap and look at pictures of the stunning mansion here.
All in all, 2012 was a banner year. The bar is high, but there’s no doubt in my heart that 2013 will be just as amazing as 2012, if not more.
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Here’s to a fantastic new year, everybody! Let’s make it count.