YouTube / Essex Recording Studios
A horrible waste of resources caught on camera will make just about any music lover sick – and especially those who have a deep appreciation for the difficulty of affording a quality guitar.
In an undated video, former Gibson Guitars employee BJ Wilkes shared a 3:19 clip of the destruction of Gibson’s Memphis factory earlier this year.
As the factory was closed due to the company’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, employees gathered hundreds of Gibson Firebird X guitars and lined them up – spaced just far enough apart so that a massive excavator could crush them under its immense weight.
But that’s not the only time the company had destroyed brand new guitars that were never sold…
In a video shared by Shnobel Tone on Facebook, he talks about BJ Wilkes and another video shared by the former employee that captured employees destroying brand new guitars that were deemed “defective” for reasons unknown.
It’s been speculated some of the guitars just had minor cosmetic blemishes, but nothing has been 100% proven or confirmed.
Gibson responded to the video of the excavator destroying the brand new Firebird X guitars – which showed approximately $500,000 worth of guitars getting crushed. They said that the guitars were “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 destroyed accordingly.”
This is the brand’s reasoning for not donating them to a charity, school, or other worthy cause that would have appreciated a free guitar and been able to do something meaningful.
Beyond the fact that they were allegedly non-functioning…we have to question why they couldn’t have been repurposed into an art sculpture, or recycled and remade into new guitars. That’s a lot of gorgeous wood and raw materials to just destroy.
Watch this jaw-dropping video below and tell us what you think in the comments.