A couple of years and change ago, I shared the story of a government raid on the Nashville factory of Gibson, the guitar company famous for such iconic instruments as the Les Paul, SG, and Flying V. The purported reason for the full-on raid related to the source for some of the wood the company used for its instruments. (As to rumors that the Feds’ involvement was related to the Gibson rival Martin’s support of Democratic party causes, this blogger takes no stand, other than to note that in a world of IRS harrassment of Tea Party groups and similar goonery, the rumors become at least a little more credible.) The raid resulted in a $300K settlement with Gibson — plus the losses due to the raid-related shutdown.
However, the guitar makers may get the last laugh. Gibson has just announced the release of a “Government Series II Les Paul“, in a nondescript “Government Tan” finish reminiscent of low-bid filing cabinets. According to the company:
A distinctive vintage-gloss Government Tan finish, complemented by black-chrome hardware and black plastics and trim, is topped by a pickguard that’s hot-stamped in gold with the Government Series graphic—a bald eagle hoisting a Gibson guitar neck. Each Government Series II Les Paul also includes a genuine piece of Gibson USA history in its solid rosewood fingerboard, which is made from wood returned to Gibson by the US government after the resolution.
I’m thinking about new electronic drums (for ease of transport), but if I played guitar, I’d be tempted.
A tip of the Mondo Mortarboard to Nathan Harden at Ricochet.