American Elephants


Gibson Guitar Company Fights Back With Mockery. by The Elephant's Child

The Gibson guitar company in Nashville Tennessee was raided by the Feds in February 2012, with a SWAT-team who shut the whole company down, allegedly for possessing illegally imported wood. I wrote about it at the time because it was so absurd. A federal agency flexing its muscles — because they could. The agency experienced no restraint from the executive, who made it clear that war on the right was the mode of the day.

They confiscated stocks of tonewoods from the factory on dubious grounds, and Gibson eventually settled for a $300,000 fine, a “community service” payment of $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (?), not to mention lost business from being shut down, and legal fees. Do read the article on the settlement to see just how absurd the federal actions were. Gangster government indeed.

This is another reason why the economy has not recovered. Business does not know what the federal government might do next. What new regulations? Every agency seems to have their own SWAT team. Who is next, and on what grounds? Uncertainty.

The Feds have returned their wood, the case is resolved, and Gibson is celebrating the end of the investigation with the introduction of a striking new guitar: The Government Series II Les Paul.

From its solid mahogany body with modern weight relief for enhance resonance and playing comfort, to its carved maple top, the Government Series II Les Paul follows the tradition of the great Les Paul Standards—but also makes a superb statement with its unique appointments. 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 love the “distinctive vintage-gloss Government Tan finish.” A nice drab bureaucratic style. (click to enlarge)

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