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Simon’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 09 Apr 2008

Location: Goleta, California, USA

MapWent to the Seymour Duncan factory in Goleta today to grab lunch with Evan. I was last here after a NAMM show in 1998 and the place has really gotten much busier since then. I had the required tour, shaking many hands with people here, including Seymour himself, who is a bone fide legend in the electric guitar business.

Accompanied by the recently inducted company CEO Lynn (who is a top guy who looks like Harrison Ford!), I had my first 100% authentic American lunch at a place that had real sawdust on the floor. I had something called the ‘Mother Clucker’ (!), which included metres of fries, a never-ending soda, lakes of ketchup and BBQ sauce, and a chicken burger that was actually bigger than a whole chicken. It was served in a red plastic basket and it was delicious!

The conversation was most mirthsome (they do laugh a great deal at SD – in between bouts of serious work, of course!) and I spent the rest of the day hanging out at the factory, talking to various people and trying out some super-secret new products. The vast majority of the factory floor comprises Hispanic workers, some of whom have been with the company for many years. They’re so skilled making these pickups that it’s a genuine joy to see and the next time any of you upgrade the pickups in your guitars to SD (that Fender of mine, for example, Bert!), rest assured that each and every one is crafted with love. OK, advert over…!

This is what a guitar company should be like, all fun and hard graft, appreciation of your efforts and a mutual respect for everyone who works there: not a vibe I've been used to the past decade.

Mind you, they work 8 – 6 here, so maybe I shouldn’t moan too much about Fewtch’s 9.30 – 5-ish stipulations…