Laptops For All

Laptops For All (LFA) is a store in NYC with an online store as well. LFA does very well with male executives and students, as well as small to mid-sized business, but is lagging in their female clientele base. This video is an attempt to help LFA increase that base, while (hopefully) injecting a bit of humor into it.

 

 

To Pee Or Not To Pee

I have watched a number of viral videos recently, and I ran across one that was supposed to be funny, but really pisses me off (pun intended.) It involves guys pretending to urinate in public, and the reactions of cops around them.

I have a lot of respect for cops, especially big city cops, and I don’t find it amusing for people to pretend to commit crimes and waste cop’s times. I think it should be made illegal. Decide for yourself:

http://viralvideochart.unrulymedia.com/youtube/Cops_Get_Owned%21%21%21_-_Epic_Pee_Prank?id=N7TzPEYci_w

Facebook API Helps My Band Get New Followers!

The Facebook Graph API is the backbone of Facebook Platform. It gives developers the ability to read from and write data into Facebook. The Graph API presents a very simple view of Facebook’s socil graph, which ties people, photos, events and pages together, using the connections between them to do so. Those connections include friend relationships, shared content and photo tags. Being that Facebook is the world’s largest “community” site, this tool can be utilized by businesses for a variety of things. First and foremost, it gives businesses the ability to target market their potential clients, utilizing the likes and dislikes represented in the data.

It can also be used to simply increase the amount of fans one might have on their page. For example, I play in a Guns ‘N Roses tribute band, and we ran Facebook ads, using the data chooses, to find people that are within 100 miles of us who like Guns ‘N Roses. We were able to add 100 fans to our page in a week for about $50. That amounts to 50 cents a person, in terms of cost to us, and that is very hard to beat using any other form of advertising.

It is also has other social uses, like gaming. Pictured here is the Ztag page for Zunga.com. By using this tag, you can play games and connect with other Facebook users who like the same games you are playing. These gaming networks are becoming more and more popular, and Zunga is one of the biggest out there.

The Huffington Post has also gained many new viewers to their site by utilizing different features of the Graph API, including polls about various topics; as well running current news feed streams. Because they increased their interaction amongst their users, and used Facebook to do it, they were practically a lock to get more viewers.

Many people have had reservations about such Facebook sharing this information. Even though they have some safeguards built in, it is still easy for marketing gurus to ascertain all the data from the Graph API. This leads us back to the whole argument regarding invasion of privacy versus Freedom of Information. To me, if you put something about yourself online today, you have to know there is always going to be a risk of someone acquiring your info that you don’t want to have it. All in all, the API is a very useful tool and the benefits outweigh the risks.

Fancy Looking Ludwig Pictures

So I have come across a jQuery script that allows me to upload pictures into Flickr and then have the pictures available to be “stacked” on top of one another and then spread again. This is accomplished by you, the viewer, with just a click of your mouse. Don’t believe me? Click on this link and see for yourself!

http://jsfiddle.net/butchf6/rRtAq/5340/embedded/result/

This can be very cool for sites that have a lot of pictures to show, but limited space on the site itself. Plus, people love this kind of stuff, as it makes your site feel interactive. So click away and check back soon, as I will be adding new pics to this cool tool!

I recently listened to a podcast called Think Vitamin Radio, and the Episode was #29, from 7-14-11, about Google Plus.

This bi-weekly podcast has a trio of hosts that discuss web design, development and applications. The discussion about Google Plus was as much speculation as it was factual, as Google Plus had just been released.

Google Vs. FaceBook

To put it simply, Google Plus is Google’s answer to the “Like” button on Facebook. As Facebook has grown in strength and numbers, Google has been looking for a way to compete in the social media venue. Google is going to integrate the Plus button into its Gmail, Calendar, Chrome, and Apps venues in order to give it as much traction as possible. The hosts compared this situation to “The Cold War”, meaning that Google is feeling like it needs to go to war with Facebook or face the danger of becoming irrelevant.

Google Plus Button

The Google Plus homepage is formatted very much like Facebook’s, so you can add various media to your page, as well as start “circles” of your own or even make your posts public.There are 2 parts of life the Plus button will come into play: personal and professional. There was little discussion on the personal side, but one interesting use is the “hangouts” function in Plus. This allows you to choose a circle of other Plus people to join and actually have a group video chat.

The professional ramifications may (or may not) wind up being much more drastic. It is rumored, though not yet confirmed by Google, that the Plus button is going to be integrated into their Page Rank algorithm. This means that having more Plus hits may eventually become more important than actual SEO work itself, as Google will give more credence to actual users than to a site that happens to be optimized properly. Can you imagine what this could potentially do to all companies providing SEO?

So is Google Plus going to be the Facebook Killer? It remains to be seen, as the full integration of this button hasn’t taken place yet. For a tour of the whole Plus Project, visit https://plus.google.com/up/start/?et=sw&type=st

So what does this have to do with Ludwig Drums, you ask? Simple. I will be adding a Plus Button to this blog in the immediate future, so the more of you that give me a Plus, the better the chances this blog gets seen by more people. So share the love of Ludwig Drums and Plus Me!

John Bonham…John Henry Bonham!

“Drumming was the only thing I was ever good at.” – John Bonham

Anyone who knows anything about drumming has at least heard the name John Bonham. John Bonham was the drummer for the mighty Led Zeppelin. He is considered by most drummers and drumming aficionados alike to be the greatest rock drummer of all time.

Bonham was born in England in 1948. He got his first drum kit from his dad at the age of 14, and it was a Ludwig kit. He was invited to join Zeppelin by Jimmy Page, who had just left The Yardbirds and was putting together a new band. Page saw Bonham performing at a pub and was convinced John was the only man for the job. He was right.

Led Zeppelin, of course, grew to ginormous proportions, and the band itself is considered by many to be the greatest rock band of all time. This was largely due to all 4 members having world class talent. Bonham became very well known for his amazingly quick foot on the bass drum pedal, and his mammoth solos, some which lasted 30 minutes or more. During his solos, Bonham would often play with his bare hands, which created new and exciting tones from the kit, and also incorporated the use of tympani. John Bonham’s famous drum solo was called “Moby Dick” and he played it in various formats. I have included 2 videos here. The top one is from a 1970 performance at the Royal Albert Hall. The bottom one is from the 1976 movie, The Song Remains The Same. The concerts filmed for the movie were actually from the 1973 world tour. The movie showcased each member on their “signature” song, and they added their own fantasy sequence to it. Bonham loved racing cars, as you will see.

Bonham is most well known for using the Ludwig VistaLite set, pictured below. He used an unusually big bass drum, 26″ in diameter. Most drummers, even today, use 22″ or 24″. (I use 24″.)

Ludwig - VistaLite Orange

Bonham played with ferocity and precision, two traits that very few drummers have ever managed to merge, and no one has ever done it quite like Bonham did. Unfortunately, Bonham’s story ends like far too many rock stories. Bonham enjoyed drinking more than the usual gentleman, and while rehearsing for the band’s upcoming world tour in 1980, he drank so much vodka that he passed out and choked on his own vomit. He was 32.

John Bonham

I personally remember this happening, and how devastated I was at the time. I was 12 years old at the time. My Uncle Harold had purchased tickets for us to see Zeppelin at Madison Square Garden on their upcoming tour. This was never to be, as the band released a statement soon after Bonham passed…Led Zeppelin would be no more.

John Bonham’s legacy lives on through Jason Bonham, his son. A great drummer in his own right, Jason now plays for Foreigner, and has played with many great artists during his career. There was a rumor that Zeppelin was going to do a reunion tour with Jason handling his dad’s chair, but it never came to fruition.

I still hear Robert Plant’s voice, in my own head from time to time, at the end of “Moby Dick”. He is calling out the name that needs no introduction to rock drummers everywhere:  “John Bonham…John Henry Bonham!”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bonham

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Led_Zeppelin

http://www.ledzeppelin.com/

Some Ludwig History

So let’s talk about some of the rich history that Ludwig Drums has. The company has been around since 1909, which is pretty impressive in of itself.  Ludwig was started in Chicago, Illinois by 2 brothers. Ludwig’s initial claim to fame revolved around 3 innovations: their bass drum pedal, their tympani and the Black Beauty snare drum. The Black Beauty was unique as it used a black colored plating instead of the standard silver color. The tympani was designed with a spring mechanism that allowed the player to use his foot to change the tightness of the skin while playing, thus changing its tone. The bass drum pedal went through a number of changes until the 30’s, when it became the Speed King pedal, which is still in production 80 years later. (I used the Speed King for many years and it is a great pedal!)

So few drums, so much sound

Ludwig was world renown in the 60’s and 70’s because of the all star roster of rock drummers using their sets. Just a few names: Ringo Starr-The Beatles, Bill Ward-Black Sabbath, John Bonham-Led Zeppelin, Carl Palmer-ELP, Ian Paice-Deep Purple, Mitch Mitchell-Jimi Hendrix, Ginger Baker-Cream, Alex Van Halen-Van Halen, and Charlie Watts-The Rolling Stones. The drums were the best in the world and the best drummers in the world wanted to play them. It was a good time.

Playing the famous clear Vistalite set...

Like all good things, this time came to an abrupt end, due mainly to Ludwig Drums being acquired by Selmer in 1981. Selmer was a percussion company known for their marching band instruments. During this time, drums were being made in Japan, by companies such as Pearl and Tama, that were less expensive and better quality. (This was the same issue American car makers were going through at this time.)

Ludwig Drums were almost nowhere to be found for many years. All the top drummers were now using Tama, Pearl and Yamaha. Thankfully, the focus has returned to making great drum sets again, and the world class drummers returned as well. Again, just a few names: Joey Kramer-Aerosmith, Bun E. Carlos-Cheap Trick, Roger Taylor-Queen, Tre Cool-Green Day and Jason Bonham-Foreigner.

Back where he belongs…

If you want to get a deeper history of Ludwig, allow me to give you a couple of links:
http://www.ludwig-drums.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig-Musser
http://www.theludwigdrumexperts.com

Hope you enjoyed my little stroll down Ludwig Lane! Keep Rockin!

Ludwig Drums Rule!

I want to share my love of Ludwig Drums. I want to talk about their rich history, share pics and videos of me playing my Ludwigs in various bands over the years, and even offer this space for people that are looking to buy and/or sell Ludwig Drums.

While they don’t have the same reputation as they used to, Ludwigs still rule!