Shimon Sandler: The Guitar-Playing Gourmet Gunslinger

Last year we embarked on what we referred to as the LinkWorth World Tour. After years of having our heads down, and busting our butts just trying to grow LinkWorth, we made it a point to get out and meet lots of folks in our industry in 2007 – and we did a pretty good job!

As a result, this is the first in what will (hopefully) turn out to be a series of random interviews with some of the more interesting people I met last year – but don’t expect the typical industry questions – there are people more qualified than I am to conduct those kinds of interviews.

I want to have a little fun with this…

First up: Shimon Sandler – SEO consultant.

In case you aren’t aware, Shimon knows SEO/SEM backwards and forwards. Read his blog if you don’t already – be enlightened.

But that’s not really the point of this.

Instead, consider this to be a brief look into the window of a man’s soul. A code snippet of his personality. A screen-capture of his life.

Matt:
“Now let’s start with the early days. What was the first job you ever had?”

Shimon:
“Really?” (laughs) “I was a caddy at a local golf course. I was schleppin’ golf bags around.”

Matt:
“Nice! Are you a golfer today?”

Shimon:
“No. Not at all.”

Yeah, screw golf. It’s too hard…let’s move on.

Matt:
“What did you do just before getting into SEO?”

Shimon:
“I was hired right out of school to be a marketing manager for a global detergent company.”

In an effort to avoid industry-talk, I pulled the emergency brake and changed directions. (Plus, I wasn’t prepared. I got the days of our scheduled appointment confused…’doh!)

Matt:
“OK, let’s get into something that I’m really curious about. What kind of music do you like?”

Shimon:
“I like all GOOD music. Classical, jazz, new age…all of it. If I had to pick a favorite I’d say psychedelic rock or classic rock.”

Matt:
“Oh yeah? Psychedelic rock, huh? Do you like Pink Floyd?”

Shimon:
“Oh man, they’re like one of my all-time favorite bands!”

Matt:
“ME TOO! What else are you into?”

Shimon:
“I really like jazz, too…and fusion. I don’t really get into rap or hip-hop.”

Matt:
“Nice!” (This is where I should’ve asked him about the Dixie Dregs, but I forgot! I suck!) “So, what’s getting the most action on your iPod right now?”

Shimon:
“I love Aerosmith. I’ve also been listening to El Grupo a lot. You ever heard of them? They’re amazing…they’re like the ultimate jam band. You should download they’re rendition of Jeff Beck’s ‘Led Boots’…it’s awesome. The guitar player’s name is Steve Lukather and the guy is amazing. It’s like each member of the band just takes turns jamming.”

Matt:
“I haven’t heard of them, but I’ll check ‘em out.” (I did download it…the album is called “Live” and it is amazing.) “Sounds like you’re pretty into music, do you play any instruments?”

Shimon:
“Actually, I just started playing guitar.”

Matt:
“No shit? Awesome! I’m a drummer. Have you been playing long?”

Shimon:
“No, just a few months. I’m learning. Check out my guitar, though…it’s beautiful.”

shimons-axe1.jpg

That’s a Schecter Diamond Series 006 Deluxe. The color is Vampyre Red Satin. Is that rock ‘n’ roll or what?! I bet he’s really a shredder and just being modest by saying he’s “learning”…nice axe!

Matt:
“Wow, you seem more interesting to me every time I talk to you. You’re into all sorts of things.”

Shimon:
“I just like to experience life…all kinds of things.”

As you might have seen on his blog, he’s also an NRA-supporting gun enthusiast. I wish I had the audio from our conversation because, when we were talking about his favorite handgun (a Smith & Wesson 625 .45 caliber revolver), it was almost as if he was describing one of his children. There was a genuine sense of love and affection…

Shimon:
“It’s just so sweet; the way it feels in your hand. It’s super accurate; it has very little recoil. I’m telling you, you should get one – it gives you such a feeling of power…”

shimons-gun.jpg

I imagine it does! I mean, we’re talking about a .45 caliber cannon here that can deal out lots of damage. YEAH!! It’s a good lookin’ piece, too, isn’t it? I’m a sucker for the finger groove grip…just looks cool.

Matt:
“You mentioned that your wife was certified. Is she a shooter, also?”

Shimon:
“She’s not as into it, but I think it’s important for her to be able to handle a gun properly…just for protection and safety reasons.”

Matt:
“Gotcha. Does she have a piece of her own?”

Shimon:
“I’m thinking about getting her a 1911 (Colt). It’s a single-action only.”

Matt:
“Single-action?”

Shimon:
“Yeah, you know how some guns you have to pull back the hammer and then squeeze the trigger? That’s two actions. Single action is just point and shoot.”

NOTE TO READERS** Don’t try anything squirrelly around the Sandler household. There are two people there that could totally ruin your day.

But this hobby is serious business. Shimon knows what he’s doing and if you’re at all interested in getting into the sport, go read Shimon’s shooting tips first.

I asked if he had any crazy stories to tell from the gun range…

Shimon:
“Nah. There’s like ZERO tolerance out there. I’ve seen people get kicked off the range, but that’s really it. They’ll give you a warning or two but after that…you’re gone.”

I wouldn’t think that the gun range would be the ideal place to screw around, now that I think about it. I mean, why run the risk of upsetting a bunch of people who are heavily armed and in the mood to shoot stuff?

Matt:
“I’ve noticed that there is a huge sub-culture for competitive target shooting…it’s crazy. Do you compete?”

Shimon:
“Man, it is huge, for sure. There are tons of organizations like the “United Practical Shooting Association”, but I’m not a member and I don’t compete. I just go to the range for fun.”

And after blasting through a few boxes of shells, what’s better than getting your grub on? Not much, I’d assume. So let’s talk about food.

Matt:
“Shimon, you’ve posted a couple recipes on your blog to satisfy the appetites of hungry SEOs. Do you do most of the cooking around your house?”

Shimon:
”No, my wife does. We have a very traditional household. I do enjoy cooking, though.”

Matt:
“I see. Well, does “The Gourmet SEO” have anything else up his sleeve for us?”

Shimon:
“Yeah, I got something…I’ll give you a little sneak peak. I’ve got an Avocado Side Salad that is unbelievable. It’s a Cuban recipe and you basically take avocado, red onions, a little olive oil and if you want to get crazy…add a little salt and pepper.”

I’m sure that’ll make it onto his site at some point…but you heard it here first, folks! Go get your Cuban Avocado Side Salad on – Shimon-style!

And with that, I’m done. Shimon, thanks for doing this – it’s always great talking with you.

Next up in the random interview series? I can’t tell you yet, but it’s in the works…