Gibson, the manufacturer of some of the best guitars around has recently fallen on hard times. The financial losses have mounted, there were serious layoffs, former CEO Henry Juszkiewicz was ousted and the company filed for bankruptcy.
To add some extra salt to all the wounds, as Digital Music News and UCR report BJ Wilkes, a former Gibson employee leaked a video and spoke to YouTube channel The Guitologist about the recent destruction of hundreds of Gibson Firebird X guitars. As the leaked video shows, the guitars were crushed by a bulldozer.
As Wilkes explained, the destruction came about after Firebird X was a sales failure. “Gibson literally could not sell these guitars and they were on the books,” and the company’s new investors “were trying to clean up the mess before the end of the fiscal year.”
He also added that this model “was a horrible guitar, with too much technology all based on Windows 98 or something.” Even more alarming was his claim that this was more a routine than an exception at Gibson. “I’ve seen them take, daily, 10, 20 ES guitars that were painted and ready to go, and just cut ’em up because there was some teeny-tiny little blemish.”
Since the video reached viral proportions, Gibson came out with a statement which said that the video shows “an isolated batch of Firebird X models built-in 2009-2011 which were unsalvageable and damaged with unsafe components. This isolated group of Firebird X models were unable to be donated for any purpose and were destroyed accordingly.”
They added that they will commit itself as a company to donate “a guitar a day over the next 1,000 days,” with a hope that this can serve as a reaffirmation of “Gibson’s commitment to giving back, helping under-served music education programs, empowering music culture and encouraging the creation of music.”