This past weekend, I had the opportunity to get out of my home for the first time in nearly FOUR (!!) months.

Due to the COVID19 travel restrictions I have already had to cut two trips to Joburg alone this year, and with the introduction of the new business travel laws in South Africa the good folks at Guitar Gallery and I decided to take the opportunity and get me up to do some work for them. Within three days we had filled in all the permit forms, booked flights, and I had even purchased a face mask that I wouldn’t feel overly uncomfortable wearing for an extended period of time. I flew up early on Saturday morning, was greeted by Stephan at OR Tambo airport, and then we spent the rest of the day wearing masks, elbow-bumping, sanitising, and recording exotic and vintage guitars.

Among the highlights of the trip were:

– Recording a beautiful Kostal acoustic built by Arizona Luthier Jason Kostal.

– Recording a ’74 Fender Thinline Telecaster

It turned out this Fender was one I had personally borrowed from its owner some 13 years prior while I was still in high school. I had a small nostalgia trip playing it again. Small world!


– Meeting Mitch Pearson of Pearson Guitars.

Mitch has a great reputation up in JHB for his lutherie, and we shot a demo of one of his exquisite super strats (video coming soon).


– Meeting JP Le Roux.

Le Roux Amp Works needs no introduction in Southern-African guitar circles, and meeting the man as well as demoing one of his amazing 20W 6V6 amplifiers was a real treat.

After a long day of shooting gear demos, we shot a short livestream concert that evening on the famous Guitar Gallery couch.


On Sunday morning we attended a low-key and very sanitized worship service at Sandton Bible Church, where Stephan and his family currently serve. It was a real joy to see pastors Wayne and Garth again, and to attend church for the first time since March. All the strict government health regulations were in place and I didn’t come close to making physical contact with another human while there.

I flew back that afternoon quite content with my short trip, very grateful for the incredible folks I met this weekend as well as the opportunity just to get out for a while.

Seb Goldswain

Author Seb Goldswain

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