Skip to comments.Guitar Frets: Environmental Enforcement Leaves Musicians in Fear
Posted on 08/26/2011 9:26:29 AM PDT by yoe
Federal agents swooped in on Gibson Guitar Wednesday, raiding factories and offices in Memphis and Nashville, seizing several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. The Feds are keeping mum, but in a statement yesterday Gibson's chairman and CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, defended his company's manufacturing policies, accusing the Justice Department of bullying the company. "The wood the government seized Wednesday is from a Forest Stewardship Council certified supplier," he said, suggesting the Feds are using the aggressive enforcement of overly broad laws to make the company cry uncle.
It isn't the first time that agents of the Fish and Wildlife Service have come knocking at the storied maker of such iconic instruments as the Les Paul electric guitar, the J-160E acoustic-electric John Lennon played, and essential jazz-boxes such as Charlie Christian's ES-150. In 2009 the Feds seized several guitars and pallets of wood from a Gibson factory, and both sides have been wrangling over the goods in a case with the delightful name "United States of America v. Ebony Wood in Various Forms."
[snip] It isn't just Gibson that is sweating. Musicians who play vintage guitars and other instruments made of environmentally protected materials are worried the authorities may be coming for them next.
[snip] If you are the lucky owner of a 1920s Martin guitar, it may well be made, in part, of Brazilian rosewood.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
They’ll take my 60’s D-18 from my cold, dead hands.
Yeah, this is kooky
If you see an old timey piano with ivory and ebony keys in someone’s house, especially if they are a liberal, who do you call to sic the feds on them?
Interesting article. I don’t travel with my vintage Guild bowback. However, my son-in-law frequently travels with one of his guitars, some of which have some age on them. I will send him a copy of the article. I feel about my Guild the way Charleton Heston felt about his guns: from my cold, dead hands.
This is what happens when you continue to manufacture a quality American product in the NON-UNION South.
If my next Les Paul is built overseas I’m going to put my foot so far up Holder’s a** he’s going to cough shoe laces!
Or...maybe Gibson forgot to pay up their protection money to the DNC?
First they came for the guitar makers, but I wasn’t a guitar maker so I did nothing . . .
And if you happen to have a 1958-1960 Gibson Sunburst Les Paul made with now restricted wood, this could be the loss of an instrument worth close to a half a million dollars.
It seems a disproportionate number of musicians are liberals, and it might be entertaining (pun intended) to see how they put themselves into a self-contradictory pickle, however a stalwart few use their axes for conservative purposes. (Shameless plug: see my "Redneck Revolution".)
And I would disagree on principle with the imperious, draconian way in which even the most well meant of scarce material regulations are carried out. It doesn't matter whether it's my political friend or enemy who suffers the most from it, it's just plain wrong. Paperwork errors, in particular, ought to be granted an ample chance to be corrected before deeming an otherwise permissible imported item verboten. And if an insignificant portion of a composite item can't be documented as compliant and can be removed without damage, that should be the only part that is barred from completing the import process.
” If you see an old timey piano with ivory and ebony keys in someones house, especially if they are a liberal, who do you call to sic the feds on them? “
Alright, DFU now has to write an Envirowacked parody of “Ebony and Ivory”. Somebody let me know when it’s up.
This looks like a battle in which both contenders are dug in, not a case where someone “forgot” to pay a bribe.
This makes no sense. I am a woodworker and I can go down to the hardwood dealer right now and buy Ebony. It costs about the same thing as gold per ounce but I can buy it. I don’t use any tropical woods because a lot of them are harvested illegally but come on. This is ridiculous.
“When those who produce need permission from those who produce nothing, you know your country is doomed” Paraphrased from Atlas Shrugged.
Hey Dou-oug! They’re playing your song!
Sounds like they were acting as their own importer and skipping the middle man. Whatever agency was certifying the wood at the source end, and it sure looks like it was being done in good faith, must not have met every fiddly little regulation.
I bet your dealer pays la mordida to somebody.
That is true. I remember watching part of a concert by John Denver on PBS (don’t judge) and he was using a guitar made of curly Koa wood. Koa is a rare timber that only grows on the Hawaiian islands, IN THE RAIN FOREST.
Why would they confiscate old guitars from before the wood was illegal?
The trees are long dead man, that makes no sense.
And yes, also cold dead hands, et al...
This applies to instruments of all ages. I have a “Coodercaster” Strat, with an Ebony fretboard. Ebony And Ivory!
They won't if you can prove that it is pre-ban. However, if your paperwork is not accepted by the customs man you're screwed.
In the world of government regulatory agencies, the accused is guilty until proven innocent.
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