Gibson is in hot water after a video of the guitar manufacturer destroying hundreds of Firebird X guitars was leaked.
The video, posted by ex-Gibson employee BJ Wilkes, shows rows of Firebird X guitars laying in the dirt as a construction vehicle runs them over. In the background, the packaging of the guitars can be seen, indicating that the guitars are brand new.
Wilkes says that the company decided to destroy the guitars following poor sales. “[Gibson’s new investors] were trying to clean up the mess before the end of the fiscal year,” Wilkes said in an interview with The Guitologist. “Gibson literally could not sell these guitars and they were on the books.”
Watch the clip below.
The video has racked up tons of angry comments from people expressing their frustration and supplying better alternatives as to what Gibson should have done with the guitars. Mainly, people said the guitars should have been donated to schools, non-profits, charities, and many other music education programs that could have benefited from the guitars.
“The Firebird X destruction video that surfaced months ago was an isolated batch of Firebird X models built-in 2009-2011 which were unsalvageable and damaged with unsafe components,” Gibson explained in a statement. “This isolated group of Firebird X models were unable to be donated for any purpose and were destroyed accordingly.”
Unfortunately, the scandal doesn’t stop here. Wilkes, who worked for Gibson’s maintenance and facilities at their Memphis location for six years, says destroying brand new guitars is a common occurrence for Gibson. “I’ve seen them take, daily, 10, 20 ES guitars that were painted and ready to go, and just cut them up because there was some teeny-tiny little blemish,” he said in the interview.