Skip to comments.CEO of Gibson Guitar a Republican donor; Democrat competitor uses same wood
Posted on 08/27/2011 11:58:48 AM PDT by DFG
On Thursday, the iconic Gibson Guitar Corporation issued a press release stating that government officials raided their Tennessee manufacturing facility over warrants concerning the legality of the importation of wood purchased from India that they use in their world famous guitars. The woodwhich is certified and regulated by the Forest Stewardship Councilis not illegal, but rather subject to a domestic law in India frowns upon the processing of this wood by non-Indians. (Gibson uses American labor for the processing.)
(Excerpt) Read more at landmarkreport.com ...
C.F. Martin makes acoustic guitars exclusively. Gibson does not, they mainly make Electric Guitars. From the famous Les Paul model to the popular 'SG' model, the 'Flying Vee', and the semi-hollow body ES-335 'Dot', and like BB King's ES-345 'Lucille'.
The competitor for Gibson is Fender Guitars and their Stratocaster and Telecaster models. Many famous players like Eric Clapton start out with the Gibson Les Paul then switch to the Fender 'Strat' for the different sound a Strat makes. (Clapton's Fender Strat 'Blackie' sold at an auction at Christie's in London for a whopping $959,000!)
Now Gibson sure may have a beef against the 'G' for overlooking C.F. Martin's wood, but it ain't over whose buying whose guitars as a competitor.
“Im was the proud owner of a Gibson SG and Gibson ES 335. Im now even prouder!”
Slash personally signed my Gibson LP, and even signed my Appetite for Destruction cassette tape. He was sober this time LOL
You have to wonder how many people who own and enjoy Gibson guitars voted for this corrupt Ubama regime.
Why would you say that? Most people haven't even heard of him.
Jim Olson makes all of his own guitars in Minnesota and I don't think he unionized himself. Bill Collings is in Austin, Texas with 50 employees; given his size, I doubt he's unionized (but the two Madi/Adi guitars I have from him are the closest things to pre-war Martins I've been able to find). Michael Millard's been building Froggy Bottoms in Vermont for about 40 years. Guild moved from Washington to Connecticut in 2008.
I think it's grasping to try and find some conspiracy. I could list another twenty luthiers who weren't raided pretty easily - a lot in the Tennessee/Virginia area. Don't believe Gallagher was raided - Doc Watson's guitar of choice for many, many years.
Gibson's had an abundance of legal problems. It was charged with price-rigging by the FTC in 2009. Don't know the status of that one. Last year, Gibson had a tax lien of $450,000+. It breached the terms of a loan in 2008 by failing to submit audited financials.
And if we have any independent music dealers on here, let them tell you about the changes in how Gibson started to do business with independents about seven or eight years ago, and forced so many of its small dealers to drop the brand, leaving it to Guitar Center and other big box operators.
I'd never heard of him until he took over Gibson. I simply remember the articles on him that then appeared in magazines like Fortune and in newspapers like the Wall Street Journal. If any of the articles found someone with something favorable to say about him, I don't remember it.
I give him credit for rescuing Gibson's quality . . . and for running a bunch of small music stores out of business by his unreasonable demands about how much they were required to spend with Gibson to remain a Gibson dealer. Once he had Sam Ash, Musician's Friend, and Guitar Center, he didn't care about anyone else.
It’s a matter of time before one of these contrived and bogus federal raids is met with armed resistance.
The message from the administration is clear - 'donate to us or face the consequences'.
That’s a good synopsis about the importation and use of Brazilian Rosewood. However, I’d bet a box of my favorite doughnuts that the rules used to ban the importation of Rosewood is political chicanery and eco-fascism in the extreme. I know a bit about these federal fascists and their illegal rule-making.
Back in 2003, the Congress and President Bush left every American a great gift called the Data Quality Act (DQA) Under DQA, every bureaucratic rule written by the nature bureaucracies must be based on verifiable science. If it’s not, it must be tossed out. And it gets better - every judge and administrative court that hears such a case must use DQA guidelines when deciding such matters.
Anyone - any American - may challenge any rule written by any federal bureaucracy if he feels the science behind the rule is flawed. Then the process of review begins, while the rule is set aside until the mattter is settled, either by the bureaucracy or by the courts.
George Bush and company left us the DQA as a tool to destroy the federal bureaucracies. The MSM has bashed the DQA and refused to tell readers of this tool.
Americans need to start using the tools we have to kill the leftists and restore our freedoms. DQA is one such legal remedy we can wield to stomp leftists’ nuts into the concrete.
The restrictions on importation of these woods aren't always rules written by a nature bureaucracy. Some are restrictions written by the country of export. Others are the result of treaties to which the United States is a party (like CITES) - and some of those treaties predate 2003 and the DQA by decades.
The person who wrote this article has no idea what East Indian Rosewood is or how many luthiers other than Gibson (and C.F. Martin) are using it. None of the others luthiers appear to have been raided.
I doubt he has any idea how precise the paperwork is and how strict the regulations are on so many of the important woods used by luthiers. Check Bob Taylor's explanation (Taylor guitars) on his website for why Taylor doesn't offer any Brazilian Rosweood any longer, when it was the king of procuring pre-1992, low-quality, Brazilian. He says it's just too hard to have all of the appropriate paperwork in place.
This is a case of a blogger jumping to conclusions. Did he even consider the fact that Gibson has a recent history of legal problems of all kinds?
Horrified at Torrified? Or the Horror of Torror?
These being electric guitars, the wood surfacing of the fretboard would seem to have precious little to do with how they sound. But I’m sure when ivory gave way to bone and plastic for the tops of piano keys, pianists were horrified for similar reasons, or non-reasons.
The old Mafia Tommy-gun-in-a-violin-case trick? (Except a guitar case could be used for this one, accommodating a larger gun.)
Capricious interpretation of law is one sure business and economy killer. That kind of persecutional loophole should be amended out of the Lacey act, if the whole Lacey act isn’t repealed. Compliance with any duly constituted arm of the foreign government (even if they disagree amongst themselves) should be deemed sufficient compliance.
“Scout” why more innuendo on your part? “Legal problems of all kinds” doesn’t reveal anything about where fault lies. I do not bet on the Obama administration dealing straight on virtually anything.
Innuendo? I listed a couple of Gibson's other legal problems in an earlier post. I can list more. The fact that Gibson has had previous legal problems doesn't reveal where the fault lies.
Then again, neither does the fact that Gibson's CEO made contributions to the Republican party.
The Gold Medals in this competition go to everyone who immediately assumed that Gibson cannot be at fault and that this must be, simply must be, something created from thin air by the Obama administration.
In the last four years, Gibson does not have a history of dealing honestly with its lenders (failing to produce required audited financial statements). It's been charged with price-fixing. It's already been raided for the use of undocumented woods that require documentation.
None of that means that Gibson was at fault here.
But it certainly suggests that a few dozen posters who may know nothing about the guitar business, the importation of woods, the fact that C.F. Martin and Gibson are not the only luthiers in the U.S., the reputation of Gibson's CEO, Gibson's financial situation, nor Gibson's previous legal problems, probably shouldn't automatically jump to the conclusion that this was a tin-foil hat conspiracy against Gibson based upon some blog-pimping.
Most people didn't take your position and say they wouldn't put this past Obama; they took it as gospel that Gibson was attacked because its CEO made contributions to the Republicans and C.F. Martin didn't.
2009 was an interesting time for Madagascar rosewood and ebony. Wood was illegally being logged in national forests and laundered through Reunion and Mauritius before coming to the U.S. through another country.
The ebony fingerboards that the U.S. government is holding from the 2009 raid of Gibson was missing the plant products declaration required by the Lacey Act when it entered the U.S. The link is to a newspaper article on the results of the U.S. raid at the time.
According to the article, Gibson didn't have the paperwork necessary for that ebony. Why the U.S. government hasn't acted, I don't know. But you'll notice that the Gibson press release says only that they now have affidavits and documents stating that the ebony was legally exported under Madagascar law. Gibson doesn't touch the subject about whether they complied with the Lacey Act or Forest Stewardship Council regulations regarding the ebony.