Apart from the Fender Stratocaster, there are few electrical guitars extra steeped in blues and rock historical past than the Les Paul. It has famously been performed by Eric Clapton, Jimmy Web page, and Pete Townshend, amongst many others. It’d look like trigger for alarm, then, that that guitar’s 116-year-old producer, Gibson Guitar Corp., is submitting for chapter safety as a result of its additive makes an attempt to make waves within the shopper electronics enterprise have landed it in as a lot as $500 million in debt.
Thankfully, there appears to be a viable path to survival for the Nashville-based firm. That path entails liquidating the buyer electronics enterprise, which is the work of a soon-to-be-defunct division referred to as Gibson Innovation. The division’s merchandise have included headphones, audio system, and different audio gear. If the corporate’s plan is profitable, Les Pauls and different guitars—together with the corporate’s different skilled studio audio gear merchandise and devices, like Epiphone guitars and Baldwin pianos—might proceed to be bought to future generations of musicians.
Regardless of Gibson’s historic function within the music business, chief government Henry Juszkiewicz (who joined the corporate to reserve it from one other chapter scare in 1986) sought to show the corporate right into a “music life-style model” in response to slowing guitar gross sales, in keeping with a report in The New York Instances. That is the place the Innovation division and the tech merchandise got here into play. Juszkiewicz additionally started pushing new applied sciences like self-tuning guitars which did not attraction to musicians who play in types which can be all about custom. Finally, these bets haven’t paid off.
As a part of its chapter proceedings, the corporate will liquidate the buyer electronics division and deal with what it has been recognized for traditionally. In line with The Nashville Enterprise Journal:
The corporate, well-known for its guitars, introduced early Tuesday morning that it has obtained commitments for $135 million of debtor-in-possession financing from present noteholders, which “will present the corporate with the liquidity crucial to take care of its operations within the unusual course throughout its reorganization proceedings.”
Gibson claims that its shoppers could be assured it would nonetheless making guitars after that reorganization is full. Regardless of the corporate’s often troubled historical past, musicians the world over will in all probability breathe a sigh of aid if that’s certainly the result.
We did not want self-tuning guitars or Gibson-branded good audio system anyway. There are in all probability sufficient good audio system to choose from already.