Published Aug 02, 2019Gibson is facing backlash in the wake of a video surfacing that shows the instrument manufacturing crushing hundreds of their Firebird X guitars by running them over with an excavator.
The carnage was shared by ex-Gibson employee BJ Wilkes, whose clip shows two rows of the brand new instruments laying in the dirt before the construction vehicle destroys them with its treads.
"[Gibson's new investors] were trying to clean up the mess before the end of the fiscal year," Wilkes said in conversation with The Guitologist. "Gibson literally could not sell these guitars and they were on the books."
Naturally, plenty of people in the comment section weighed in about how the instruments could have been donated to music schools or charities. Wilkes added that during his time with the company, instruments could not be given away or donated, as "under [former CEO Henry Juszkiewicz], nobody was allowed to do that for the fear of losing their job — that's firmly ingrained in the company now."
Wilkes then revealed that destroying guitars in such a way was not new at Gibson. "I've seen them take, daily, 10, 20 ES guitars that were painted and ready to go, and just cut them up because there was some teeny-tiny little blemish," he said.
You can watch the guitars bite the dust in the player below.
Last year, Gibson officially filed for bankruptcy protection. Founded in Kalamazoo, MI, in 1902, the company's guitars are synonymous with rock music, with models such as the Les Paul, the SG, Firebird and more used by genre icons such as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, B.B. King, Slash and many more.