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Seymour Duncan & Cathy Carter Duncan

Seymour Duncan and Cathy Carter Duncan

Los Angeles, California -- 2015

The guitar world seems to exist on another planet separate from other musical instruments. As a saxophonist, I will never quite comprehend the frenzied enthusiasm for all things "guitar," from guitar heroes to guitar makers and everything in between. My friend Beth Marlis, a big wig at the famous Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood, offered me a peek into this world by introducing me to the founders of the Seymour Duncan Company, makers of guitar pickups and accessories.

The She Rocks Awards at the NAMM Show pays tribute to women who display leadership and stand out within the music industry. Beth invited me to be her guest at the awards concert featuring pop group The Bangles, saxophonist Mindi Abair and many other notable women.

During the show, we shared a prime table with Seymour Duncan and his business partner, Cathy Carter Duncan (formerly his spouse). While Seymour focused on taking photographs of the musicians onstage, Cathy was charming and chatty with us. I very much enjoyed getting to know her.

Seymour Duncan

I quickly learned that the Duncans are incredibly famous in the guitar world for developing a full assortment of pickups for electric, bass and acoustic guitar as well as electric guitar accessories. Seymour started learning about pickups from guitarist/inventor Les Paul. Later while employed at the Fender Soundhouse in London, he started working on the instruments and pickups of artists including Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page. After moving to California, he met and married Cathy Carter, and together they built an expansive, successful business. In 2012, Seymour Duncan was inducted into the Vintage Guitar Hall of Fame for contributions to the music industry, and he continues to create pickups in the Seymour Duncan factory in Santa Barbara, California.

For more about Seymour Duncan and Cathy Carter Duncan, visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seymour_Duncan.