1/2″ BLACK ABS, STACKING CUPS, LABEL PLATE, CUSTOM FORMED INTERIOR, 3.5″ HEAVY DUTY GRAY COLSON CASTERS.
3/8″ PLY, BLACK ABS, STACKING CUPS, LABEL PLATE, CUSTOM FORMED INTERIOR, 3.5″ HEAVY DUTY GRAY COLSON CASTERS.
3/8″ HEX BOARD BLACK, STACKING CUPS, LABEL PLATE, CUSTOM FORMED INTERIOR, 3.5″ HEAVY DUTY GRAY COLSON CASTERS.
3/8″ PLY, BLACK HEX BIRCH, STACKING CUPS, LABEL PLATE, CUSTOM FORMED INTERIOR, 3.5″ HEAVY DUTY GRAY COLSON CASTERS.
3/8″ PLY, BLACK ABS, STACKING CUPS, LABEL PLATE, CUSTOM FORMED INTERIOR, 3.5″ HEAVY DUTY GRAY COLSON CASTERS.
3/8″ PLY, BLACK ABS, STACK, LABEL PLATE, CUSTOM FORMED INTERIOR, 3.5″ HEAVY DUTY RED COLSON CASTERS.
1/4″ PLY, BLACK ABS, STACKING CUPS, LABEL PLATE, CUSTOM FORMED INTERIOR, 3.5″ HEAVY DUTY CASTERS.
1/2″ PLY, BLACK ABS, STACKING CUPS, LABEL PLATE, CUSTOM FORMED INTERIOR, 3.5″ HEAVY DUTY GRAY COLSON CASTERS.
1/2″ PLY, BLACK DIAMOND BIRCH, RETRACTABLE POCKET DOORS, STACKING CUPS, LABEL PLATE, EXCLUSIVE X FRAME INTERIOR, 3.5″ HEAVY DUTY GRAY COLSON CASTERS.
3/8″ PLY, BLACK ABS, STACKING CUPS, LABEL PLATE, CUSTOM FORMED INTERIOR, 3.5″ HEAVY DUTY GRAY COLSON CASTERS.
3/8″ PLY, BLACK ABS, STACKING CUPS, LABEL PLATE, CUSTOM FORMED INTERIOR, 3.5″ HEAVY DUTY CASTERS.
1/2″ PLY, BLACK ABS, LABEL PLATE, STACKING CUPS, CUSTOM FOAM INTERIOR, 4″ SUPER DUTY CASTERS.
3/8″ Ply, Black ABS, Label plate, Custom foam/ carpet interior, 3.5″ heavy duty Colson casters.
1/2″ painted exterior, stacking cups, label plate, lockable hinged drop down cable door, 4″ super duty casters
3/8″ Ply, Black Abs, stacking cups, hinged lid, label plate and 3.5″ heavy duty Colson casters, custom tray and foam interior.
3/8″ Ply, Black Abs, stacking cups, hinged lid, label plate and 3.5″ heavy duty Colson casters, Custom interior.
3/4″ Birch, Custom exterior paint, 270 Degree hinged lid, stacking cups, label plate, custom cable access port and 4″ x 4″ super duty casters.
1/2″ Black ABS, stacking cups, Label Plate, drop down cable trap door, custom interior and 4″ x 2″ Gray Colson casters.
3/8″ Black ABS, Stacking cups, Label Plate, 3.5″ gray Colson casters.
Approx O.D: 34.5″ x 21.5″ 29.5″
3/8″ Black ABS, Stacking cups, Label plate, Custom interior design, and 3.5″ gray Colson casters.
Approx O.D: 44″ x 26″ x 34.5″
Rev #: ZCS3HA1W
3/8″ Black ABS, stacking cups, label plate, custom foamed interior with 3.5″ gray Colson casters.
Approx O.D: 39″ x 23″ x 14″
REV #: ZCHD20KJ
1/2″ ply, Black ABS, Pull off lid, 4″ super duty casters, Custom foamed interior w/ partitions.
Approx O.D. 49″ x 23″ x 33″
Description: 3/8″ Ply, Black ABS, Split hinged, 4 drawers, 2 trays, each tray holds 12 items. 1 tray holds an accessory compartment.
O.D: 45″ x 23″ x 33″
How many times do we all read those words “Face Time”, and automatically we think of a very popular handheld device that easily connects us in with the other person, also on a handheld device, who then talks to us on a little video screen. That’s a real easy way to communicate, isn’t it? Well…
Recently I had a new client in the aerospace industry who was desperately needing advice on how to transport a military Government Issued antenna inside a Anvil Case across the world into foreign lands. The engineer and I went through our initial telephone qualifications together, but we reached a point where I had to actually see the product in order to accurately produce a estimate for a custom build. I asked the client if he could send me photos and drawings of the device. His answer was that they could not show me any parts of this product electronically over e-mail, then he asked ‘what about FaceTime on video’ ?
I offered a better Face Time solution; I scheduled a time to go see the client, measure the product, meet his engineering team, network with the procurement people and establish a real ‘Face Time’ relationship with people working in the U.S Government. Sometimes in sales we choose an effective, simple path for communicating with clients, but there’s really no replacement for actually going to see a client and have that real ‘Face Time’ connection.
Because of that two hour drive to see this very important customer, Anvil Cases now has a new facility for Dr. Anvil to service new engineering teams within the government who definitely require some ‘Face Time’! Please keep your letters and cards coming, I read them all. Be sure to follow my travels on my Twitter handle @DoctorAnvil
A little water never hurt anybody. Despite the bipolar weather that struck the city of Austin, we were eager to dive in to what SXSW had in store for us. Our Anvil Squad was in the mix of it all, after long days of networking and meeting some happy customers at this year’s Music Gear Expo, we were set to find some good food choices before the night of bar/showcase/hoping to catch some performances. While networking at our booth, Anvil salesman and Social Media guru Roger got a brief interview from a puppet manned by one of the members of The Kickback, and in the booth behind us we experienced Mon LaFerte serenading the room with her beautiful voice that was felt profoundly.
We had the privilege of meeting new and established artists from all around the world who generously stopped by our booth and who also performed in an intimate setting across the hall. At one point Roger ended up on 7th and Trinity where food trucks lined the perimeter. In the center of it all, an awesome funky jazzy band named The Diamond Kings entertained us with dandy saxophone renditions of the latest songs heard today. Let’s just say the dancing did not stop until their reeds wore out. Elsewhere downtown, Anvil AP Manager and Social Media assistant extraordinaire Natalie got the opportunity to experience the rapturous sounds of Joywave, a band recently featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The showcase continued with the lively energetic tunes of Southern California band The Mowgli’s whose music has been used by World Series Champions the San Francisco Giants. All in all there was no hiding from any musical act no matter what time of day, no matter where you’re at. Austin thrives with musical culture and hopefully this is only an early chapter in Anvil Cases history at Austin’s SXSW Convention and Festival. To catch more of Anvil’s adventures at SXSW 2015 check our Social Media hashtags: #AnvilCases #AnvilatSXSW #AnvilSXSW.
As the most experienced employee in our company, I have been asked to contribute my historical perspective on Anvil Cases and the case business at large, a dialogue I am referring to as ‘My 43 Year Journey at Anvil Cases’. As this column is largely dedicated to the many wonderful individuals and companies I’ve worked with over the years, I’m going to start this at the earliest point possible, the beginning.
I was born in Clovis, NM but my mom, dad and older brother lived in Bovina, TX. It’s just coincidence that the nearest hospital was in Clovis. I spent my first eight years in the Texas panhandle where my Dad managed farmer co-op’s. During this time I acquired three more brothers! We then moved to Phoenix because of Dad’s health and I lived there through my high school graduation in 1955. I spent part-time of my senior year and the summer working at a Dodge/Plymouth dealership taking shorthand and typing up letters for the owner. I also did some bookkeeping and DMV contracts.
In September of 1955 I went to California where I attended Pasadena College. After two years I hadn’t decided on a major, mainly because I was planning on leaving school and getting married. Six months after I moved to California I met my husband-to-be and we married two years later. We stayed married for 56 years, but sadly Glenn passed aways in July of 2014. We have a son Dan and a daughter Linda. Dan and our daughter-in-law Danielle gave us our twin grandchildren, Brandon and Brittany who are now 21 years old.
After getting married, I didn’t work again until November of 1972. Dan and Linda were older and more self-reliant, and didn’t require as much of my time so I decided to look for a part-time job. I went to an employment agency and figured it would take some time to find a job since it had been so long since my last employment. I put my application in one morning, and that afternoon they called to say they had a part-time position that had just called in, and I should check it out. The next morning I filled out an application and spoke with Bob the purchasing agent in charge of Personnel. He told me the girl I would be replacing was a college student who worked part time. The part time part was perfect but I wasn’t so sure about the fact that the job had a lot to do with the music world. I can play the radio, and did know what piano, drums, guitars, etc. looked like, but that was about the extent of my musical instrument knowledge. I was a little concerned when Bob called later that day and said I was hired. I’m always up for a challenge so I told myself, “I don’t have to learn to play the instruments, I just have to learn about them’. I asked when they wanted me to start, and Bob said, ‘How about 8am tomorrow morning?’ I showed up at 8am sharp at Acme-Pak/Anvil Cases in Monrovia, CA. And thus began my 43 year journey with Anvil Cases.
Seems like our salesmen are always on the road; this month is no exception and the occasion is the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) trade show in Las Vegas. The broadcast industry is of course a very popular market for Anvil and Calzone Cases. If you’re toting around a $75,000 broadcast Hi-Def camera, it’s a pretty sound idea to have it travel in one of our cases.
But there’s so much more than cameras here. Our Airflow Shock racks, workboxes, grip cases and more have turned into the silent heros of this industry. It’s no understatement to say that time is money, and often our custom designs not only transport, but facilitate getting the job done faster. I’ve said it before, but when you listen to your customer’s requirements for weight, size, time and a dozen other parameters, we come out the other side with a product that is rugged, beautiful and efficient.
NAB is a great show to see a cornucopia of new products, and probably some emerging technologies as well. It’s also a great opportunity to bump into old friends – familiar faces that are here annually, and make some new ones as well, which I look forward to over the next few days. The majority of the exhibitors here make technological wonders that require the protection of our cases. I’ve only been here one day, and already the Doctor has found a nurse. Have mercy! We can all use a little help!
It’s been another busy month in the Pro Tour world here at Calzone. We just finished up building cases for Ratatat, All That Remains and Scare Don’t Fear, artists you’ll be hearing more about soon. As always, if you have touring case needs, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Metal band All That Remains’ cases were a fairly unique build – matching stacking 2 in 1 amp cases. You can open one and stack it on top of a closed one. These nice white cases for Ratatat – a guitar case and an amp case – show the aesthetic style some bands look for these days. All you need is an amp and a guitar, our cases, and some talent – and you’re ready to hit the road. Also shown is Ratatat’s fine yellow drum case!
See you next time!
On behalf of all of us at Calzone / Anvil / Ascot Cases, welcome to our April newsletter. One of the elements of this E-newsletter that I enjoy most is the diversity displayed through our staff’s expertise and the wide range of case product applications shown. Each month we give you a glimpse into a few of the exciting markets we service, and hopefully our passion for this business is reflected throughout. 2015 is a very special year, as The Calzone Case Company celebrates 40 years in business. More on that in the months to come …
This month marks the return of some familiar faces, notably Frankie ‘No-Neck’ Bravico in Steel Ball Corner. As one of our most seasoned sales veterans, Frank brings a unique perspective on our last four decades in business. Calzone Pro Tour Manager Linda Tilson is also back with another ‘Rolling Backstage’ installment of rock n’ roll news.
We’re thrilled to include a new column by Anvil Cases’ legendary designer / sales person Marge Murphy, now in her fifth decade of service at Anvil. In Ms. Murphy’s Law, Marge will lead us through the evolution of her long career at Anvil, and hopefully pass on some good stories along the way.
Richard Johnson (AKA Doctor Anvil) and my brother Vin are at the NAB show this week in Las Vegas, meeting with the movers and shakers of the broadcast industry on their protection requirements. Unlike most of the rest of the pack, we recognize the importance of meeting with our customers firsthand, at trade shows and at their businesses, to address their needs. The tools of the broadcast industry are stellar examples of equipment that requires our level of protection, and often a high degree of individual customization.
Anvil Cases’ Carlos Chavez introduces a new column for our readers, appropriately titled ‘Behind The Lens’. Though adept in many areas, Carlos brings particular experience and skill in servicing the photography and film markets. In subsequent installments, Carlos will explain the intricacies of protecting sensitive camera equipment, and show you a few tricks on how to streamline your workflow through proper case design.
Finally, Anvil Cases’ Roger Lopez and Natalie Garcia report on their activities at the recent SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. It’s no secret that emerging as well as established bands need their equipment safe and secure, and Anvil’s been doing that since 1952.
With all this new (and old) blood injected in our newsletter, hopefully you see that we’ll never be a company that rests on our laurels. And while our illustrious past is fascinating, I am more focused on our future, and how our passion can interface with your current and future needs for protection.
Here is one of the world’s most decadent steak toppings. If you’re not afraid of a little fire, you can impress them visually as well with this sauce. Practice makes perfect, so don’t be shy in letting the brandy cook down while you manage the flames – that’s what gives this sauce its color and unique flavor. Also, familiarize yourself with the technique – there are many online resources that advise how to safely flambé.
1/2 cup brandy
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked peppercorns
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped
• Heat saucepan over medium heat, add butter and oil, then add garlic and shallots.
• Saute for five to ten minutes, or until caramelized.
• Add 1/2 cup brandy and Flambé.
• Add heavy cream and cook until reduced by half.
• Add mustard, salt and peppercorns. Keep warm until serving.
by Carlos Chavez
Hello and welcome to my new column, Behind The Lens. I’m Carlos Chavez, a designer/salesman of protective transit containers for Anvil Cases. With the wealth of experience around here, you could say I’m still the new kid on the block, but have already spent a decade in the business. One of my areas of expertise at Anvil is the world of film and photography. For this specialty market, we like to think ‘Lights’, ‘Camera’, ‘Action’ and ‘Protection’. In fact, film and photography equipment is a perfect example of a market that requires our level of protection.
For as long as I’ve been around photography, be it still images, film, television or video, the two most important elements are good light and good glass. Having said that, there truly is no replacement for proper lighting and superlative camera equipment. And as you probably know, glass, i.e. lenses and other optical components, are quite delicate and can be very expensive to replace.
That’s where our design team comes in. I can safeguard the glass for you with an Anvil designed custom flight case. Lenses (glass) are a major part of your camera package so you need to protect them properly. At Anvil Cases, we take protecting your gear very seriously. We’ve designed a prime lens case that features 2” dual density foam all around, snug fitting cavities to secure the lenses from vibration and movement during transport, and a unique hand hold system to safely and easily remove the lenses from the foam. The case is available to accommodate various brands and comes in four and six-position versions. If you need more space, an accessory compartment may be added. I think you would agree that this case looks as good as it functions!
Next time we’ll get deeper into how you can customize cases for your work and lifestyle.
In 2015, as The Calzone Case Company celebrates 40 years in business, it’s a time of unabashed celebration around here, but also cause for a bit of reflection. Where did the time go? I’ve been selling 39 years, and have been selling cases for 35 years. When I was 18 years old my brother hired me to work at a wire and cable factory spooling wire. After about six months he bought me into the office and put me on the phones selling – and I have been selling ever since.
I started selling cases by accident. I met my first wife at my job selling wire and cable, as we worked together in the office.We got married and after about six months of driving to work, working all day, driving home, eating dinner, sleeping and eating breakfast and driving back to work with my wife I began to feel like Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day. So I found a job selling tools and hardware, and then my wife told me about this Rep firm who was looking for a sales person. They represented a company called Zero Corporation. I thought how much money can I make selling Zero? Well it turned out they were one of the largest, most successful case manufacturers in the world at the time, selling mostly to the military. And I have been selling cases ever since.
I met Vin Calzone first, as I worked for a case dealer that was the largest Anvil Case dealer in the country. Calzone was our largest competitor, and I remember telling customers that you really should buy the Anvil case. Then Calzone bought Anvil, and I figured I should change my sales pitch. One day the owner called me and said they were going to claim bankruptcy but wanted to make sure I would stay with the company. I said sure I will. I hung up the phone and thought … I have a house, two young children and a wife. So I picked up the phone and called Vin Calzone and never looked back. When I came to Calzone I bought with me the distributor mind set; if the customer does not want a fabricated case there is no need to walk away, lets give them what they need, so Calzone Products was born. We started selling sewn, plastic injection molded, roto-molded and vacuum formed cases, Aluminum cases and more.
I have been with the company for 14 years now, and initially covered NY and NJ with some special customers in Denver. I started working for Calzone in July 2001 – 2 months before 9/11 when the bottom fell out of the business world. There have been ups and downs ever since, we’ve seen the housing market melt down and so on. The one thing I admired most and still do about Joe Calzone is his ability to roll with the punches, and the uncanny knack to restructure as the business environment changes. A lot of companies fold or mismanage themselves out of business. Not Calzone – they bob and weave, and adapt. Getting back to the territories, I now cover the South, FL,GA, and TX with customers still in NY and NJ.
Our Distributed Products division fits into not only multiple markets, but multiple departments within the companies in those markets. Some of the markets that we offer great value to include Medical and consumer electronics. OEM business is always good business because you’re not building 1-5 of anything, you are manufacturing 100-5000, so it allows you for be more proficient in your manufacturing cabilities.
The most impressive fact about Calzone Cases turning 40 this year is that there is no secret technology. The fabricated case business has not changed remarkably in 40 years, and the cases are still built by hand as they were four decades ago. Sure, there is CNC and some equipment and advancements that allow you to produce a little faster, but the cases are still made by hand. What truly sets us apart from our competition is the passion that goes into the business. Joe and Vin, although so different in the way they operate, carry the same passion to make this business succeed. We do things better than any other company out there, How many major corporations out there do you know that you can pick up the phone and get the number 1 and 2 people in the organization on the phone? Try calling Bill Gates and let me know if you get him on the phone. This is a family business, and over the next forty years a new generation of Calzones will be charged with carrying that passion forward. It is an honor working for the best case company in the world. When you are in the everyday grind of the business world, its often a stretch to say you love your job, but I sure wouldn’t want to do anything else. I guess that passion must have rubbed off on me.
Frank ‘No-Neck’ Bravico
Manager Calzone Products
by Linda Tilson
Winter NAMM is always the hotspot for the music industry, and I was thrilled to be in the house this year. I enjoyed the great weather and the camaraderie, seeing so many customers, friends and industry notables. Our booth was full of music this year, with legends like Carmine Appice, Bernard Purdie and Patrick Moraz performing at the booth daily. I want to thank Alex and Orange amps for their assistance with backline, and also Sadowsky for the awesome testimonial they contributed for our latest video. One highlight of the show was bumping into Gibson endorser Johnny A., who reminded me of the cases I needed to get into production for his next tour. I returned home a few days late (because of the nasty weather back East) to find my desk completely engulfed with notes, work, orders and more. Hope I get to the bottom of the pile before Summer NAMM. See you backstage soon,
Anvil’s mild-mannered Senior Case Designer Raul Salazar is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, but underneath that cool exterior lurks another character – one that came out unexpectedly at the recent NAMM show. Raul is one of Anvil’s true superstars; like everyone in our sales force, I rely on him extensively to produce the plans for my customer’s intricate case designs. He also oversees the production of all Ascot Superior Flight Cases. As a veteran of Anvil, his experience and knowledge is invaluable to me and my customers.
NAMM is a four day trade show, which means things can get a little crazy by the third or fourth day. Working the booth with Raul on Saturday, I noticed that his badge was reversed, and that ‘somebody’ had written ‘HULK’ with a permanent marker on the reversed side. Of course, Raul is a consummate professional and most mere mortals would never get to see his temper, and there was nothing but good vibes on our booth, but his alter ego persona gave us all a good laugh – just the mental image of Raul getting angry, his Ascot Cases polo ripping under the trade show lighting – was enough to lighten the pace of a long show.
Often in business, individuals tend to forget the importance of the human element in success. It’s almost always the people behind the scenes that are responsible for a company’s greatness. The best never stop listening and learning, and that absolutely impacts the bottom line. So the next time you think of Anvil Cases as some big corporate machine, remember we’re also a family – one that builds the best protection your money can buy. And yes, there are some of us that are a little ‘green’.
NAMM 2015 was one for the record books. We obtained an unprecedented number of good leads with many more OEM opportunities as well. The Calzone / Anvil / Ascot booth was busy all the time. The tempo of the show was quick, and we were bombarded with a lot of meaningful and well thought out questions, indicating a true need for our products.
We introduced our Mini workbox to the music market as well as our Royal Wardrobe Case. Some of you may recall the last time we made this case was for King Hassan II of Morocco. That was back in 1978, so I thought it might finally be time to offer it to the masses.
Our celebrity artists included Bernard Purdie, who unveiled his long awaited biography ‘Let the Drums Speak’. Carmine Appice was also in attendance and as usual drew huge crowds to the booth. Check out these photos of Bernard, Carmine and me, and of Bernard and Marky Hudson, music producer of the highest order, holding their Anvil iPhone Cases.
And for the first time ever we were thrilled to have Patrick Moraz playing keyboards at the booth.
For those of you unfamiliar with Patrick I highly recommend you check him out on Google. He played keyboards with Yes and the Moody Blues. Patrick was also key in introducing the first Kurzweil keyboard to the world back in 1985; he worked alongside Ray Kurzweil to develop and demonstrate this revolutionary product.
Patrick, Ray and I were comparing notes on artificial intelligence after Patrick’s performance at the Kurzweil 30th anniversary party Friday night when it dawned on me that I brought a knife to a gunfight, so I excused myself and got a drink.
We also had Mick Jagger, Bono, David Bowie and Elton John playing at the booth Saturday afternoon drawing a huge crowd. Well of course not the real guys, these fellows were all winners in the World’s Best Tribute Band Competition held at the Roxy in Hollywood. Theu sure looked and sang the part.
After each performance I spoke to the crowd to make sure they knew why we were at the show – most stuck around to learn more about our cases and capabilities. It was good vibrations all around.
The biggest surprise guest to grace the booth was the world renowned Marge Murphy, Anvil’s Senior designer and historian. Marge coordinated the design team in their task of collecting specs and lit on new equipment.
We also introduced the new Anvil IPhone 6 & 6+ mobile device cases to rave reviews and sold quite a few of them during the show.
I also want to thank those who contributed to the success of the weekend;
Natalie Garcia Lead Management, Social Media & Production Assistant
Roger Lopez Booth Set-Up/Tear Down/Sales and Grip/Photography
Raul Salazar Design and Data Collection
Frank Vasquez Design and Data Collection
Carlos Vazquez Design and Data Collection
Linda Tilson Customer Development and Interaction
Richard Johnson New, Old and Current Customer Development
Marge Murphy Senior Designer and Data Retrieval Coordinator
Deborah Visokay Booth Manager and Staff Coordinator
Bruce Jordahl Booth Design/Videographer/Performance Coordinator
Special thanks to Sonia Ynzunza, who could not attend the show in person this year, for all of her pre-show coordination and assistance. Also, a shout out to Rene Elizondo and Jose Beltran for pulling together the Anvil IPhone Case display. These products helped bring a lot more attention to our booth. Thanks to Matthew Miller and our production team here at Anvil for building the booth and cases necessary to display our products in the best light. Extra special thanks to Javier Rodriquez, Jose Lara and Victor Villa for their help in setting up and tearing down the booth.
Sometimes the occasion calls for the decadent, like when you get a big raise or finish a trade show like NAMM. So here’s a recipe from The Marketing Guy that’s sure to sweeten you up – Mint Ice Cream with Andes® mints. The trick here is to keep it simple, which means using one of the newer small frozen ice cream makers. So start by freezing your bowl (in the back of your freezer) a few days before preparing the mix.
3/4 cup sugar
1.5 cups milk
1.5 cups heavy whipping cream
1.5 cups Half & Half
1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon green food color
1 tablespoon mint extract
- Heat milk, almost to scalding.
- Pour sugar and salt in a mixing bowl.
- Add milk to bowl and stir until dissolved.
- Add heavy whipping cream and Half & Half, stir.
- Add remaining ingredients, stir and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Set up ice cream machine, add frozen bowl and pouringredients.
- If your bowl is really frozen, it will freeze the ice cream in 20-25 minutes
- Pour in Andes® mint chips and freeze
Outside sales? Yes, it’s still alive and yes, there are still real people out there waiting to get a handshake and get their gear evaluated. Sometimes all it takes is a song from a legend like Johnny Cash .. you can sing these words to get you going.
“I keep a close watch on this heart of mineI keep my eyes wide open all the timeI keep the ends out for the tie that bindsbecause you’re mine, I walk the line”
Recently I visited with a client in Hollywood with specific needs for a new OEM product they wanted to incorporate into our Anvil Cases. I met with the client, we reviewed the drawing and we decided to move forward; it was a simple well prepared sales call that had a good outcome.
When I was leaving their facility I noticed that Hollywood Blvd. and other surrounding streets had developed recently with walkin rental and commercial Pro Camera and indie type businesses. I was curious to see what was going on, so rather than jump in my car and lose my great parking spot in front of one of the most famous clubs in Hollywood, I stocked up on my business cards and literature and started walking. I came across some very cool art and movie prop stores along with some highend camera rental and resale shops. Most of these new modern businesses had counter service and a very knowledgeable, welleducated staff to assist in sharing their business models with me.
It was a classic “cold call” outside salesman day with very “warm” welcoming business owners who all have one thing in common, they all offer extremely valuable gear that offer solutions to the Pro Cinema and art industries. Anvil Cases definitely has a warm place in our hearts for these industries, it’s just that sometimes you have to go walk around to find them!
Speaking of walking, the Doctor is getting ready to cruise the motherlode of all music trade shows, NAMM baby! It’s a fantastic environment to visit with old friends and make new ones. Special thanks to Roland Corporation for providing gear to our booth. And in case you wonder how Doctor Anvil gets ready for a day at NAMM, paste this Youtube link into your browser:
TwoThousandFifteen, WOW! Isn’t that the year that Marty McFly traveled to in ‘Back to the Future’? It seemed so far off then. Well here we are in 2015 and I don’t feel much different than 30 years ago, but wait! It was 40 years ago that the first Calzone Case was built in Norwalk, CT. I guess that means we are celebrating our RUBY Anniversary. FORTY YEARS, yes 40 years. How is that possible? Well I guess you put one foot in front of the other and just keep going. Vin and I want to express our sincere gratitude to those who supported, encouraged and had the faith in us during the early years.
I wonder how many NAMM Shows have we attended during those years. Including the Summer Chicago NAMM Shows, the Winter NAMM Shows and the current summer NAMM Shows, let’s leave it at a lot. The very first show we attended was in Anaheim at the Disney Convention Center. We shared a booth with BKL which was the distribution arm for Kramer Guitars. I could write pages upon pages recounting memories from that show alone, let alone all of the others. But that was then and this in now.
We are proud to be exhibiting once again at NAMM this week. Many of the exhibitors are the same as back in 1975, but many more are new and some are missing entirely. Some of the other companies besides Calzone that have stood the test of time include Anvil Cases (1952), Drum Workshop (1972), Fender Guitars (1950), Gibson Guitars (1902), Peavey Electronics (1965), and Zildjian (1623). Those are some serious household names in the music industry.
When you stop by the Calzone Anvil Case booth (#4849) you will be treated to not only a variety of the finest cases in the world, videos tributes from many well known users and celebrities galore, but also musical performances and clinics by some very cool folks. Musical icons such as Carmine Appice, Bernard Purdie, Patrick Moraz and AJ McLean will be in attendance and I am sure some music, stories and interaction will be common throughout the weekend.
After many years of preparation, Bernard Purdie will hold a book signing as he introduces his long awaited tome ‘Let the Drums Speak’. Carmine will be signing his Drummer’s Bible to the ultimate guide for syncopation and independent coordination “Realistic Rock”. Patrick Moraz will be playing the infamous Kurzweil keyboard which he helped Ray Kurzweil bring to the market back in 1985. Speaking of birthdays, Kurzweil is celebrating 30 years since their first keyboard was developed. Maybe we will be lucky and have a Ray sighting. AJ McLean, who continues to write new music and tour with his super star band The Backstreet Boys will be unveiling some new products he has been working on. With a cast of characters like this, you know there will be many others stopping by to say hello and check out what Calzone and Anvil have new for this year’s show. I hear that there may also be a Mick, Freddie, David and Elton sighting on Saturday.
If for no other reason, when you find yourself in Hall C please stop by Booth #4849 so we can personally thank you for the support and business we have been so fortunate to receive from you during our first 40 years. See you in sunny and warm (I hope) Anaheim!
by Don Sessions
J.H. Sessions started his business, J.H. Sessions and Son, by producing wooden escutcheons, beautifully carved wood pieces used for decorative purposes on furniture and steamer trunks. Eventually, Sessions recognized the need for durable exterior hardware, such as latches and handles for heavy trunks. The company advanced from wood items to cast metal (malleable iron) parts for hardware on trunks. The “ball” corners Calzone and Anvil (and pretty much every case company in the world) use on their cases today were developed in that mid 1800s period using cast metal. The final plant was built in 1904 on Riverside Avenue in Bristol, Connecticut. My great grandfather, John Henry Sessions, was a civil engineer and designed the factory to be built in a, then, rural part of Bristol, Connecticut, on the south side of town. The plant was a 4-story building made of brick and stone with solid 24” square chestnut beams in the basement level and heart pine 12” x 12” beams in the upper stories.
The plant was located on its own private railroad spur where the shipment of the metal hardware in wooden crates and kegs could be serviced by the local railroads. As it was isolated from the main part of town, the plant burned coal and generated its own steam, gas and electricity.
Two water driven elevators were also installed and are still operating today. They have a 4-story tall piston fitted into a collared shaft that was sunk into the earth in a hand dug pit. Water was pumped into the shaft, which forced the elevator to rise up to the 4th down, that same water was pumped up to a holding tank on the roof, where it would be gravity fed to the areas in the building needing process water. Metal stamping machinery was installed and designs for all manner of footlocker and other container hardware were produced. The factory employed several hundred people at various points in the following decades as production was ramped up for both World Wars. JHS supplied vast amounts of the hardware used to close, lift and protect the dozens of different trunk and container designs used by our armed forces around the world.
Just the other day, my Mom mentioned to me that we still have a PAY PHONE in the break room at our Bridgeport location. Imagine that … a pay phone. When was the last time you used one? She said maybe we should take it down and put it in a more prominent place, perhaps on display as part of our ever growing museum. I guess it can be put alongside my old Radio Shack brick mobile phone, the black and white 13” TV, the stacks of 8 tracks, the CB radio (I could never locate any of my friends on that thing ‘what’s your 20?’), reel to reel tape recorder (the first song I recorded on it was a new release entitled ‘Good Vibrations’) and last but not least, my silver sparkle platform shoes I had to wear when I was in the show band back in the early 1970’s. That was part of the reason why I started to build cases, so I would not have to wear those things anymore. Tough playing drums with those on.
Anyway, back to Mom. She still works three days a week helping the company CFO with various accounting tasks and checking account reconciliations. She is in her early 80’s (a spring chicken) and still has what it takes to keep the bank on their toes with our accounts. My Dad also still putters around the shop when he is not playing golf. Most recently, he rebuilt one of our loading docks in need of a new lift and some concrete work. Dad is in his mid 80’s.
I share this with you because to my dismay, 2015 will mark the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Calzone Case Company which I was able to start with the support of my parents and their willingness to co-sign a note with the bank for me. Forty years … FORTY YEARS! Even crazier is that Anvil will be celebrating 63 years in business having been founded in 1952 by Chuck Vallas and his sons Larry and Steve.
We have had the good fortune during our time in business to witness firsthand the advancement of technologies in many industries. The most astounding is the evolution of computers which today touch just about everything we do or use. Our core markets of music, sound, lighting, film, display presentations and video have all benefited immensely from the tiny little chips that now control most everything on land, sea and in the air.
IBM System 38 used by Anvil Cases up until the 1996 acquisition by Calzone Cases.
Although the products we protect have changed, our standards have remained true to our mission of offering the highest level of protection at a fair price with on time delivery. Embracing variations in materials and production techniques are also part of our success and growth. Our case design processes utilizing CAD/CAM systems and CNC equipment allow us to maintain the consistency and tolerances required to offer the protection needed for the very delicate equipment of the 21st Century.
Our quality, history and integrity has not gone unnoticed, as this past year we were featured in a National Geographic television series named ‘Showdown of the Unbeatables’. I am sure many of you have heard or read about this already, but it is worth one more mention as we close out 2014 and look to 2015 with eager anticipation as we do every New Year. Our able bodied marketing guru Bruce Jordahl has included a link to the show so you can enjoy the condensed episode for yourself.
[youtube id=”kPYZie1Gbh0″ responsive=”true” showinfo=”false” branding=”false” hd=”false” autoplay=”false” controls=”false” theme=”light”]
Let’s just say that the bad guys dropped us, smashed us with moving vehicles, tried to impale us and finally, in a very mean spirited way, tried to CRUSH us. Their attempts all failed miserably. UNBEATABLE!
Now we look to new and more efficient methods by which we can continue to deliver our cases to you without compromising our mission and promise to you. We strive for continuous improvements in our methods, material utilization and sourcing to assure our valued clients that the right choice has been made when you purchase a Calzone, Anvil or Ascot Case.
At this time we would like to wish all of our friends and acquaintances around the world a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a very successful and healthy New Year.
As Pro Tour Manager for Calzone/Anvil Cases, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many memorable artists through the years, but we still get excited when a new band discovers the advantages of our case products.
Check our our Facebook page for info about up and coming German band Milky Chance, as well as Charli XCX, and The Head and the Heart, who were one of the headliners at ACL this year. We also hooked up with Pacific Dub and Unlocking the Truth (both from Orange Amps) as well as some true road warriors like The Who, Deep Purple, Dream Theater, Neil Girardo of Pat Benatar, and just the other day, Slipknot. So we have lots of interesting stuff going on in the touring world. Also, military bands on tour have been stepping up their protection, and we did some great stuff with display cases for MAC cosmetics.
It’s amazing how many different unique industries we protect, but none are more exciting than the rock n’ roll bunch – we invite signed acts to contact us for their Pro Tour case needs. and look forward to seeing you at the upcoming NAMM show in January!
Pro Tour Manager
By Don Sessions
My family came to the United States from Great Britain in the early 1600’s and settled in the Bay Colony near Boston, MA. The following generations slowly gave up a farming based lifestyle in favor of industrial endeavors that were springing up along many of the waterways in New England. We ended up in the Connecticut River Valley in the midst of the industrial revolution with companies, large and small, being built along rivers and using water power to run machinery and shipping their goods up and down the waterways.
My great, great, great grandfather, John Humphrey Sessions, established J.H. Sessions and Son in the Bristol, Connecticut area, situated on a tributary of the Pequabuck River. As an example of the booming industries along the local riverways, in the next town over from the J.H. Sessions and Son factory, Terryville, CT, the inventor Seth Thomas had set up the first factory to mass produce clocks.
Sessions started his business by producing wooden escutcheons, beautifully carved wood pieces used for decorative purposes on furniture and steamer trunks. Eventually, J.H. Sessions recognized the need for durable exterior hardware, such as latches and handles for heavy trunks. The company advanced from wood items to cast metal (malleable iron) parts for hardware on trunks. The “ball” corners Calzone and Anvil (and pretty much every case company in the world) use on their cases today were developed in that mid 1800’s period using cast metal.
A large foundry was built in the center of Bristol to cast and forge the dozens of trunk hardware items being designed for the expanding trunk trade as well as other industrial and commercial items such as manhole covers, gas lamp fixtures and architectural elements to support and decorate the larger buildings of the day.
The foundry continued to operate and employ many people up into the 20th century, but the methods of manufacturing the main lines of J.H. Sessions’ trunk hardware had already begun to shift to metal stampings and assemblies. New manufacturing plants were built and expanded throughout the late 1800’s until the final plant on Riverside Avenue was built in 1904.
Use a high quality juicer and don’t forget to wash your hands!
- 1/2 wedge of regular sized red cabbage
- 1/2 small watermelon
- 2 oranges
- 1/2 fennel bulb
- Optional: Vodka or Sambuca!
- 4 slices fresh pineapple
- 1 large handful of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries combined I add a little more
- 1 large carrot
- 2 inch/5 cm piece of fresh ginger
- 4 small pieces turmeric root
- 1 cucumber
- 4 celery stalks
- 2 apples
- 68 leaves kale (Tuscan cabbage)
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 inch/2.5 cm piece of fresh ginger
This year’s 2014 LDI in Las Vegas was the best show I’ve been to in several years. The attendees at the show were serious and focused and the manufacturers had many new and innovative products that created a lot of interest. Many of my current customers were at the show. They kept me busy measuring products at the Clay Paky, Elation, Chauvet, Vari-Lite and High End booths.
I have 30+ years of experience measuring lighting and sound equipment. A show like LDI provides me the perfect opportunity to measure and document new equipment and to discuss future new products and case opportunities with the manufacturers. Regardless of how long I have been designing cases, you always learn something new, this IS the custom case business. Many of the new lighting fixtures, Clay Paky Mythos for example, have a telescoping lens. When designing a case for this fixture, the head must travel horizontally so the lens is held in the closed position during transit.
Talking with the manufacturers, I was told that it is important for case companies and customers to discuss the configuration of the moving light head in the case. Some moving light heads need to travel vertically with the lens facing down, while others must travel horizontally. The case must be designed to the manufacturer’s specs to avoid damage to the equipment and keep the warrantee in good standing.
A great case design indicator is to inspect how the fixture ships from the factory to the customer in its factory packaging. The factory packaging has been engineered and designed to properly protect the equipment during transit. No reason to reinvent the wheel, even though we sometimes like to. Following these guidelines will give us the best design for the shipping case.
That being said, we also take truck pack dimensions into consideration when designing our cases. The standard is still the ¼, 1/3, and ½ pack size cases. New, larger trucks allow for larger size cases. Again, this is a conversation we need to have with the customer to give them the size needed to maximize the load in the trucks. Also, it has been determined through testing that flat corners allow for a tighter truck pack. We design our cable trunks with flat corners, unless otherwise specified.
Many of our customers color code their cases to distinguish lighting cases from sound cases, video, rack mount, etc. We offer our customers many options in single case colors, multi case colors, silk-screening and descriptive stenciling. One of my customers recently purchased white speakers so these cases where manufactured in black with a white strip. Other popular case options are stacking caster cups, latch stays, recessed hardware and casters. Designing and building custom cases is a challenge we live up to every day.
by Vin Calzone
Case salesmen have to switch gears quite often. Last month we were in Las Vegas for the LDI 2014 tradeshow; a hotbed of lighting technology, industry movers and shakers, events and awards shows, LDI is the best place to see new gear and be among the production industry.
Next month we travel all the way to Anaheim, CA for the 2015 Winter NAMM Show, THE place to be if you’re in the music biz. The Doctor will be in the house, along with nearly a dozen of my contemporaries from Anvil, Calzone and Ascot Cases. Our job is to protect your investment with the most rugged and appropriate case possible. And I’ll be shifting gears from chain motors and LEDs to the smorgasbord of musical instruments that NAMM exhibitors and attendees are passionate about this year. We work extensively with major musical instrument manufacturers, and it’s always exciting to see the new toys they debut. And it’s thrilling to have the opportunity to speak with our end user customers about their unique needs.
Did you know a quality violin can set you back 40 or 50K? Or that if you play sousaphone that bad things can happen if your axe isn’t in an ATA case? Horns in particular are quite susceptible to travel damage. You carried your $250,000 1959 Les Paul Custom in a gig bag? Well bless your heart! We’re here to make sure that you don’t suffer irreplaceable loss in a cookie cutter world, the advantages of our custom manufacturing make it possible to properly protect any piece of gear most importantly, yours!
I would usually say the Doctor knows best, but one of the case gurus joining me at NAMM is Marge Murphy. As Anvil’s most tenured employee, Marge brings decades of experience and wisdom to the MI case game. She handles our most sophisticated designs, and has pretty much seen it all! We’re thrilled Marge will be at the show this year.
The holidays are now fully upon us, and most businesses are thinking about meeting year end deadlines and planning for trade show travels and booth layouts for their new 2015 product releases. The panic emails and phone calls from our customers are as predictable as the winter flu season; they all need protective Anvil Cases to move their gear around safely to the next BIG Gig on New Year’s Eve or just simply planning for early 2015 trade shows. My strategy always stays the same, I listen to the client and become familiar with their realistic goals and ideas for the rush deadlines they need met. Sometimes these last minute sales calls with our clients are like therapy sessions for them; we meet and talk about what a disaster it would be if they cannot deliver there product to the client on time without an Anvil Case protecting it, Then we find the core of the challenge and move forward with our next proactive steps. My suggestions are always the same if we work together effectively with all the accurate data needed, then we “both” will meet the deadline and now the year end panic becomes a success. I may or may not be a real doctor, but my prescription is this: let’s plan ahead so we can “really” enjoy the Holidays!
- 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
- 2 sticks of butter
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 to 2 1⁄2 cups of allpurpose flour
- Solo Apricot, Prune, Poppy Seed, Nut, Cherry, or Blueberry Cake and Pastry Filling
Combine cream cheese with butter and salt. Blend till creamy. Add allpurpose flour. Mix till crumbly where it starts to form a dough ball. Remove the dough to a floured surface and knead together. Form a ball and refrigerate for four hours or overnight.
Working on a floured surface, cut the dough into thirds or quarters and roll out about 1⁄4 inch thick. Cut into circles with a cookie cutter. Using about 1⁄4 tsp. give or take put in the center of the circle your favorite Solo filling. You can also use your favorite preserves or jelly.
Now fold over half of the dough dab it with a bit of milk, fold the other half down to secure.
Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes or more until you can see the cookies just about to turn golden. Let cool and dust with powdered sugar.
We usually double the batch when making these treats.
Long before the invention of the wheel or fire, our cave-dwelling ancestors stored and preserved their food (the first precious cargo of man) in small, portable stone chests known as “abazars.” These primitive boxes allowed food to be kept fresh for longer periods of time. Carved out of stone, abazars had no handles and were transported from one cave to another. However, the first real lightweight boxes were constructed out of bamboo. Developed by the Chinese in 427 BC, these boxes were very tough and, when insulated, became weather resistant. Like the Romans and the Egyptians, the Chinese also used their bamboo boxes to store everything from valuable spices and silks to precious gemstones.
It was in 1854 that my great, great, great grandfather, John Humphrey Sessions, established J.H. Sessions and Son, seven years before the start of the American Civil War, in Bristol, Connecticut. During that time, people used steamer trunks to transport their personal items, such as clothes, shoes, toiletries, etc. Earning their name from the steam boats used for travel and transportation, the steamer trunk was essentially a large wardrobe case. Though aesthetically pleasing, with professional wood carving details, these trunks were made of heavy wood and would get destroyed when dropped during transit. Sessions recognized this issue and developed the idea for steel ball corners to reinforce the weak corner parts of the trunks. This development protected the trunks when dropped because the steel ball corners absorbed the shock upon impact. He also developed handles for the outside of the trunks to make it easier to lift and latches to hold the case closed and prevent it from breaking open and losing the trunk’s contents. These features are still used on cases today.
After the Civil War, leading into the Industrial Revolution, manufacturing in the United States matured and New England was at the heart of it. People quickly realized that the soil and harsh winters in New England made it difficult to solely rely on agriculture for income and thus migrated towards cities and the industrial culture. Streams of immigrants poured into New York during that time as well, providing an ample amount of able workers in the area, playing a large role in the fast growth of industries. J.H. Sessions and Son was established during a pivotal time in American history, providing essential additions to an ages old method of transporting goods. They established functional, yet aesthetically pleasing hardware to adorn the standard trunks and cases of the day.
Once upon a time, before there was such a thing as a mass produced moving light, there was Bob See. Bob is best known to this industry as the founder of See Factor (www.seefactor.com) in Long Island City, NY. Prior to opening See Factor, Bob worked alongside legendary promoter Bill Graham at the Fillmore East from 1968 to 1971. Bob and I go way back, probably having first met in the early 1980s. I had heard of Bob by reputation as he was THE concert lighting guy in the NY Metro area. Bob was a living legend even then, due to his ground breaking work with Neil Diamond, The James Gang, Billy Joel, David Bowie and many others.
I first met Bob at a NAB Show. I saw this big guy standing at the edge of our booth, just staring me down. Not knowing who Bob was, I walked over to where he was standing, looked him in the eye and asked in my most polite New York style, ‘what are you looking at?’ He said, ‘I’m Bob See and I hear you make a pretty good case, kid’. I knew then that he was the real deal. Bob invited me to visit his facility when we got back from the show and I jumped at the chance.
As I pulled into the See Factor parking lot, my first impression was one of amazement as to how much ‘STUFF’ there was all over the place; there were storage trailers piled two and three high in the small lot. Little did I know that upon entering, I would be in for an even bigger surprise … the underbelly of the rock and roll touring business. Bob promptly schooled me on the way he wanted his cases built and why. I received quite an education that day and for many years to come, as Bob and I worked together from that point forward. Bob showed me the many Anvil cases he had purchased through Dave Pastore, the legendary Anvil rep based out of New Jersey. As it turned out, David later came to work with us as we learned our trade and grew into a force to be reckoned with in the case business.
My next lighting case schooling came from a company inNew Jersey by the name of Production Arts Lighting and a guy by the name of Steve Terry. Steve called me one day in a bit of a panic regarding some new “lights/projectors” they had just received from Austria, known as Pani projectors. Steve had one of these contraptions brought up to our location in Bridgeport, CT (which, by the way, was our third location in five years). That was certainly a very interesting challenge as we had not seen a piece of equipment like this before. The 1.2K head, scroller assembly, base, lenses, cables and other parts were required to fit into the case, assembled and ready for action once out of the case. Production Arts had been buying their cases from a company way out in California by the name of Excalibur Cases. They were made using a brown fiberglass exterior laminate which we had to match … we did. The choice to switch their case work to Calzone was obvious, not only due to the logistical benefits, but also in no small part to our great “in your face” service, delivery and more importantly, QUALITY!
Yeah, the good old days. We were fortunate to have started at a time when the technology and growth of rock and roll and the touring business was really starting to flourish. Technological advances in the equipment continued to develop in no small part due to the likes of a Bob See and Steve Terry and their visionary guidance. In addition, futurists such as Richard Belliveau of High End Systems continue to give designers previously unimaginable tools. The industry continues to advance at breakneck speed; on November 21st-23rd we will be witnesses to an amazing display of light and motion at the 2014 LDI Show in Las Vegas. Calzone, Anvil and Ascot’s designs, materials and production procedures have evolved along with the equipment we are entrusted to protect. We will be displaying cases for some of the newest equipment to hit the market this year at Booth # 1729. Come see for yourself and try to stump us with a project you have in mind for cases. If we do not provide you with a solution worthy of consideration, you may just be given a limited edition piece of swag to remember us by – and perhaps give us another opportunity. As I do not see that happening, just print this newsletter out and bring it along – we will be most happy to award you with a commemorative custom T-shirt representing our brands.
As a side note, we acquired both Excalibur and Anvil Cases in 1990 and 1996 respectively.
Recently during my weekend travels through downtown Los Angeles, calling on the locals in the stage and lighting industry, I came across the Los Angeles Convention Center. It was currently hosting the world famous AES show (Audio Engineering Society) that had been absent from our town for a few years. The “new “hip Downtown L.A. area sure did dress up well for this one. I decided to drop in and check out some old friends and make some new ones as I walked and talked to super smart business people exhibiting high-end audio related products.
It sure was refreshing to witness and watch the product display experts demonstrate the products they developed and feel very passionate about. The overall Buzz in the room had the feel of the NAMM show on a Friday night, with so many exhibitors visiting each other and sharing with new dealers and end users.
Most Pro Audio OEM’s all have one thing in common; they all require professional transport packaging to brand their products with when traveling the world for display. Each time I would introduce myself as the L.A. Anvil / Calzone /ASCOT Case guy, it reminded the principals of these exhibitors that the product they are offering must be protected by the best in the industry. I heard what they were saying and guaranteed them that our brands would stand by them and we would evolve with their growth as well. What a great show to attend and learn from, I have to say I saw and heard the best pro audio gear in the world, along with the best tradeshow booth candy jars in the world!
One more thing – if you like music as much as I do, don’t forget to get your hearing professionally checked every year or two.
Watch Calzone Case crush the competition!
In the early 1970s, Joe Calzone was a professional drummer in the Northeast; like every musician out of their teens, he was ready to ‘make it’ in the music business. But it was the keyboard player in his band, and specifically the purchase of the group’s first Anvil case that gave Joe the inspiration for a lifetime in the protection business. “We were on our way to becoming superstars,” Joe fondly recalls, “and I couldn’t afford any Anvil Cases for my drums so I tried to make some. My dad and I built a few metal cases at a sheet metal shop which I still have! There’s a metal trap case, and I figured out you had to put wheels on it, and a smaller one that was more manageable for the society gigs. We also made a cymbal case and a gong case … you have to have a good gong case.”
While this activity was spot on for the future of the case industry, it was perhaps a sign that Joe’s musical career would take a back seat. He says that like many bands, they had trouble keeping the band together and finding good gigs. “We were having great difficulties keeping our guitarists, and we lost interest in the club scene. With the music we had to play, we got a little disenchanted with the live music scene, and I saw an opportunity based on a discussion I had with Dennis Berardi, who was one of the owners at Gracin’s Music on 48th street in New York.”
Dennis was also a drummer, and decided he was going to start a guitar company with a guy named Gary Kramer, and Pete LaPlaca who worked for Norlin Music at the time. Joe told them he was thinking of making some cases, and asked if they could do something together. Encougaging me to pursue it, Joe put a plan together to build cases for their basic guitars. His first two employees were his uncle and Robert Mackno, brother of keyboard player.
Joe explains, “Fortunately my uncle worked at a furniture manufacturing facility in Norwalk, and he let me use their Thomas Register A to Z and that’s where I sourced casters, hardware, rivets, etc. It was the only source at the time, and I was able to get ahold of a variety of suppliers. One day I was at the hardware store with my dad, and we were trying to figure out how to put these angles on the case. We saw the window frame section, and it had this interesting looking extrusion that the frames would slip into that’s where we got the nemesis of the double angle construction.”
Kramer cases hit the scene in 1975. “We started talking in 1974,” says Joe. “That was the development stage while I was still playing music for a living. I didn’t make a paycheck for about five years, but that’s fairly normal. At the first NAMM show we piggybacked on Kramer’s booth in Anaheim it was our introduction to the music industry. We showed six different cases guitar in black, bass, acoustic guitar which also served as a trap case when we put a divider in, cymbal, attache, and microphone and we started to sell to music stores that carried Kramer. One of our most successful reps was in the San Jose area. We actually set up a warehouse in San Jose, and shipped quite a number of cases it was a hotbed of innovation and music.”
Not surprisingly, shipping cases into California put them on Anvil’s radar. “We ran into Wayne Thompson at the end of one of those first NAMM shows, as we were wheeling out our first workbox, which my dad helped make. Wayne saw us and came over. He said, ‘Hey I can take care of that for you, just leave it with me and I’ll ship it back to you from my shop’. We said ‘no thanks, we’ll take care of it … but thanks for the offer.”
Not many companies have the opportunity to brag about their product as well as risk their reputation on national TV, but I am proud to say that the Calzone & Anvil Case Company was given that chance. We received a call from G.R.B. Inc. back in July of 2013 advising us that we were being considered for a spot on a new Nat Geo program called ‘Showdown of the Unbeatables’. I am probably not alone in saying that calls such as this are not uncommon, but usually come with a catch such as a large fee for an infomercial type of program. However, we soon discovered that this was indeed for real. After providing detailed company background, history, elite clientele examples, product description and manufacturing processes, we were chosen to be featured on an episode. Now the real fun and agony began.
We were shown a few of the pilot episodes in order to get the feel of the program. The premise was one of cool American made products being tested far beyond their normal performance metrics to prove their worth. This was called the “Proving Ground”. Then a totally different type of product which was also featured during the same episode is pitted against your product in a final “Showdown” to determine which product was “UnbeatableTM.
We started the filming at our Bridgeport, CT HQ on November 20th warm so the outside scenes were rather comfortable. Fortunately, the day was unseasonably weather wise. After the three camera film crew plus the director and PA spent time inside the factory shooting various processes and conducting interviews, we moved outside. One of the first sequences we shot was with my good friend and drum sensei Carmine Appice beating the heck out of a stack of cases using ax handles and bats. No damage to the cases. Unfortunately, this high value demo did not make the cut to the final show. I now know why actors often cry about their best work being left on the cutting room floor or more accurately in the digital age somewhere in the ether. But more on that later.
We also learned that even with a program such as this with inexperienced actors the crew accepts nothing less than excellence in our performance. Don Sessions and I held down the main acting and demo segments with a support cast of all of the Calzone personnel as well as my Dad popping in and out of scenes and having fun with the whole deal.
Let it be known that even with all the confidence in the world I have in our products, there was still that thought in the back of my mind as to whether the cases could withstand the challenges we were putting them through and also protect the contents, which included fine crystal and the most delicate of objects, raw (organic) eggs. We were assisted in the segment where we were throwing the cases off of the back of a truck and then smashing into them with a snow plow by Vin Calzone and his son, Production Manager Tim Calzone. They were camera shy and left the ‘in front of the camera stuff’ to us. In addition to the tests which did make the final cut, we also beat the cases up in many other ways including a battle with the natural born enemy of the road case “THE FORK LIFT”.
We started at 7 AM and did not finish until well after dark at about 8:00 PM. A long day but an exciting and enjoyable experience. In the next issue I’ll share the finals scenes and “Showdown” which put us against the Sidewinder trash compacter, filmed at a secret location in southern California. Until then, enjoy the warm weather and have a great summer!
Calzone and Anvil build the best case in the industry – there is no doubt about that. We stand behind our reputation, from being in business for 50 plus years and supplying cases to NASA for the space shuttle, to the guy with the dream of starting his own business, we have been there for both. Calzone has a very good customer in Florida who started their business in 1984; the first case they bought for their gear was from the Anvil Case Company. They now are one of the largest rental companies in the country, with facilities in Florida, Texas, Tennessee and Nevada. Every time I walk into their warehouse I look up at that top shelf where their first Anvil case still sits proud. The owner brags about it to this day; it was the first case they ever bought! It might not be the first dollar he made in his new business, but very well could have been the first dollar he spent in his new endeavor.
Thirty years later we are still supplying their road cases. I have developed friendships and good business relationships with the people who work for this customer. We may not always be the least expensive, but we have staying power. We will be shipping cases long after our competitors close their doors. I am happy to say I have several customers that I have developed personal relationships with; they are not my customers – they are my friends.
To my friends – thank you for all your past, present and future business.
Frankie No Neck.
Weight … what can we say, it’s a personal thing and a professional challenge. With today’s business environment, especially in the case industry, weight is the all important variable. We’re quite used to manufacturing ABS and plywood for the heavyweight requirements of the staging and cinematography industries, but there are many other businesses that have large, lightweight items who require fabrication of custom cases at Anvil or Calzone. Often, the weight of the wood just kills the deal if you have some medical equipment that’s three feet square but 1/3rd the weight of a stage light, you can’t put that in a traditional wood fabricated case … but we have a solution with the XLT and XLT15 materials. XLT is our hard plastic polyethylene material that is 30% lighter than wood. Once we introduce XLT to the client, and they agree to move forward with a drawing and a weight estimate, about 80 to 90 percent of the time they take that alternative. It’s not the most aesthetically gorgeous material, but it comes in black, it does the job, and it can save the client massive shipping fees if they’re going to move this over and over again. The next big question is ‘can you customize the inside like your regular Anvil Cases? The answer is ‘yes’; we can customize that case with the same results.
Anvil and Calzone keep moving forward and discovering what we can do; we keep listening and they keep telling, and we keep providing a solution. As I’ve said before, the most important thing we can do as the industry leaders is to listen to the customer about their challenges, and weight is so important when it comes to moving their products around the country. The 1/4″ XLT and 3/8″ XLT15 each have an exterior texture that’s different, but it is also manufactured to handle the rigors of the road. There are size limitations to both products, and we have to determine what those are by examining what will go inside the case. It’s so important to be hands on and engage in the process. It is time consuming, but the end result is a satisfied client.
We can also combine all three materials with one build, depending on the application. We can use the wood for the bottom of the case where the casters are mounted, the lid can be XLT to save on weight for this large item that individuals will have to lift off by themselves, and we can use the XLT 15 for the interior, foam lining it as partitions that’s also a weight saver. Weight, weight, weight … it comes up in every conversation. ‘What does it weigh, what can I save, do I really need wood, what do you have?’ That’s when I open up my bag and show them everything. Medical and aerospace clients are constantly moving extremely valuable equipment around that is often lightweight that’s why we provide a lightweight alternative.
3 TO 3 1/2 pound chicken cut in 8 pieces
Ingredients For the marinade: (I marinate for at least 5 or more
hours better if it was overnight.)
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp paprika
11/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp of poultry seasoning or even herbs
2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
Seasoned flour coating
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
Add the marinade ingredients to a bowl and mix together. Add the chicken
parts and coat well. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the chicken is
covered in the marinade. Refrigerate for 5 or more hours but like I mentioned
it is better if it is left overnight
ingredients in a large bowl . Drain the chicken pieces and toss into the flour.
Coat the chicken completely with the flour mixture. Shake the excess coating
Heat vegetable shortening or even peanut oil in a heavy cast iron skillet
(fill skillet halfway up with oil). Carefully add the chicken and fry for 1012
minutes, then turn over and continue cooking for another 10 to 12 minutes till
done or until golden brown. Keep in mind when frying.
Mix together the seasoned flour coating White meat cooks faster than the dark meat.
Calzone/Anvil Cases To Appear on Nat Geo’s ‘Showdown of the Unbeatables’
On Friday, May 23rd, the Calzone / Anvil Case Company, the leading manufacturers
of ATA style road cases, will be featured as a contestant on ‘Showdown of the
Unbeatables’, a new National Geographic Channel television program that premiered in
April of this year. Hosted by Brian Unger and Zane Lamprey, the series pits opposing
companies who compete in a showdown with their most sophisticated machinery as
Calzone / Anvil Cases will face off against the New Way Sidewinder refuse truck. New
Way is America’s fastest growing manufacturer in the waste industry, and their state-of- the-art
refuse trucks are recognized for their strength and construction.
Calzone / Anvil President Joe Calzone commented, “It is an honor to compete in this
exciting new televised competition. Calzone / Anvil and New Way are each leaders and
innovators in our ﬁelds, and this show is not only great entertainment, it reminds us that
the words ‘Made In America’ still hold incredible value. I hope that our many users past
and present will tune in to root for us, and to learn more about the technologies behind
The Calzone / Anvil Cases vs. New Way episode will air on Friday, May 23rd at 10
p.m. EST, but check local listings for exact times. Learn more about ‘Showdown of the
Unbeatables’ by visiting NatGeo’s social media channels or on the web at
Subscribe to the Anvil and Calzone Youtube Channel
I am often asked what I love most about my career in the protective road case industry. Most days I find the greatest pleasure in working with new customers to determine the designs, case styles and options that will best protect their equipment. Like the late Robert Palmer sang, ‘It takes every kinda people, to make the world go ’round.’ We come across new customers in all industries, from consumer products to the local markets to every facet of our professional lives. As experienced salespeople, we know our routine, we have our goals, but we must ground ourselves – in this business of protective road cases -that we’re all going to speak with a client about a case, and they usually have no idea what questions to ask or how to move forward, so often I become their coach in the process.
I still enjoy working with an absolute newcomer, whether they are a trade show manager, a scientist with an aerospace account, a trucking dispatcher or an A/V engineer. I still enjoy asking questions and qualifying – as if I was the customer. I typically need to go to their environment and see firsthand what they really want to do. I take their design down the road slowly and methodically. What’s your product, what’s going to be attached to it, what are your goals, and how and when are you leaving with it – so we can all plan together to meet those deadlines.
Anvil and Calzone recently went through two months of trade shows – the first being the NAMM musical exhibition in January and soon after an armed forces trade show, literally across the highway from the cacophony of the Anaheim Convention Center. While the dialogue, the clientele, and the programs were all completely different, each show had newcomers to educate. We met with musicians who had been putting guitars, amps, cymbals and other gear in cardboard boxes and plastic bags, and then into vans. As they still have much to learn about equipment protection, part of our job is to educate them on how to best secure their valuable axes. They don’t usually know how to to design one around their individual piece. Next, I’m speaking with a scientist who works for the naval armed forces. This gentleman could tell you how to get to the moon and back, but doesn’t know how to protect his $500,000 radio and get it to Afghanistan and back in one piece. Once again, I start off with those basic terms – what do you have, what are your goals, and what is the environment it will be traveling in – so we know how to accurately specify a solution. The military newcomer is a genius when it comes to plotters and printers, but he doesn’t know how each component of a case functions, so he’s showing me how to operate this plotter, and I’m showing him how the case will protect it.
It’s still exciting to design a product customers will find useful over and over again, and when we achieve success on that first case, it’s not only very gratifying, it’s a future referral for Anvil and Calzone Cases. Keep those cards and letters coming … until next time (measure twice, cut once).