Gibson guitar company files for bankruptcy after struggling with debt for years; reps assure long-term stability


Might,02 2018 11:30:29 IST

Gibson guitars have been such a fixture in music historical past that Chuck Berry was laid to relaxation along with his, BB King affectionately named his Lucille, and Eric Clapton borrowed one from George Harrison to play the solo on the Beatles’ ‘Whereas My Guitar Gently Weeps’.

Gibson guitars. Picture from Twitter/@brooklynvegan

The maker of the enduring instrument, a relentless throughout generations of American music, filed for chapter safety on 1 Might after wrestling for years with debt. The choice got here with an assurance from Gibson that it’s refocusing on its specialty, musical devices, and shifting away from its debt-plagued push to promote residence electronics.

Within the arms of musicians from Jimmy Web page to Duane Allman and Slash, Gibson’s electrical guitars have been a foundational component of blues and rock.

Legendary jazz guitar participant Charlie Christian made historical past taking part in a Gibson ES-150 — one of many first ever electrical guitars — by an amplifier with the Benny Goodman orchestra. The later big-bodied Gibson jazz guitars have been within the arsenal of many nice gamers since then, akin to Wes Montgomery and Joe Move.

“It’s arduous to call any guitar gamers who play electrical or steel-string acoustics who don’t personal a Gibson,” stated George Gruhn of Gruhn Guitars, a world-famous classic instrument retailer in Nashville.

One of many solely identified pictures of iconic Delta blues pioneer Robert Johnson exhibits him with a Gibson L-1 guitar.

And the people revival of the 1950s and 1960s wouldn’t have sounded fairly so mellow with out battalions of steel-string Gibson acoustic guitars among the many Martins and Guilds.

Elvis Presley didn’t begin out with a Gibson however he went on to personal and play a lot of them, in response to the web site for Graceland, his Memphis residence.

And Jimmy Web page, the legendary guitarist for blues rockers Led Zeppelin, was and stays a longtime Gibson loyalist. David Bowie favored the 1989 Gibson L4 when he fronted Tin Machine. Slash swears by them.

Gibson, based in 1894 and primarily based in Nashville, Tennessee, has the highest market share in premium electrical guitars. It sells greater than 170,000 guitars a 12 months in additional than 80 nations, together with greater than 40 p.c of all electrical guitars that price greater than $2,000, in response to a chapter submitting.

The pre-negotiated reorganization plan filed Tuesday will permit Gibson Manufacturers Inc. to proceed operations with $135 million in financing from lenders.

Gibson has already bought off some non-core manufacturers, acquisitions that contributed to its burdensome debt load. Gibson has begun the liquidation course of for its struggling worldwide Gibson Improvements division, which sells headphones, audio system, equipment and different electronics.

“The choice to re-focus on our core enterprise, musical devices, mixed with the numerous assist from our noteholders, we imagine will guarantee the corporate’s long-term stability and monetary well being,” Henry Juszkiewicz, Gibson chairman and CEO, stated in a information launch.

Gruhn, an professional on guitars of all types, stated the corporate’s chapter was predictable after it expanded into the house electronics enterprise. However he famous that doesn’t imply the Gibson model will merely fade away.

“The model identify and firm’s popularity for making guitars is tarnished, however not lifeless by any means, and it’s very a lot able to being resuscitated,” Gruhn stated.

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