UPDATE -- post-live broadcast -- we encourage you to go listen in the archive...
Wow! If you heard it live, you got something that NEVER HAPPENS in today's world of Wall-Street-driven obfuscation, of sh*t-for-chocolate-ice-cream, of image-over-substance, of crafting a phoney construct to present a false image that has nothing to do with reality.
Because today, you got none of that.
Instead, you got some unvarnished truth. You heard a corporate CEO talking openly and honestly about how his company spent too many years taking the wrong road, playing corporate capitalist games, tarnishing its brand, getting away from its core purpose and alienating its core audience, and nearly going-under -- and how it takes a specific and diligent commitment to regaining trust (with the people it pushed-off the playing field) to bring it back.
JAMES "JC" CURLEIGH, president and CEO of Gibson, could be an instant hero in Washington -- his openness and honest answers would create a revolution there. JC had plenty to say in response to each question from the show's host, and all of it came with forthrightness, no "parsing," no questioning what "is" is, and no hesitation.
"Even the guitar shops were unhappy working with us," he acknowledged, along the way to expressing how Gibson had alienated players, and he says, everybody from stars to music fans.
Let's be clear. It wasn't some confessatory exercise like a 15-year-old getting "personal" on social media with two thousand readers she's never met. JC delivered with the honesty of being an artist matching the skills of an analytical businessman.
"There was ambition beyond execution, and when you have that and you take on hundreds of millions of dollars in debt? The question wasn't 'will you save Gibson,' but how you save it," said JC.
That meant getting-out of, de-emphasizing, divesting from, even abandoning, a lot of the bloated ego stuff that characterizes today's typical corporate mentality and its inscrutable "need" to control all sorts of unrelated enterprises. Yes, he got specific. But in this brief summary, we'll just say that the centerpiece of what he's doing with the company is "Getting back to guitars."
The show, airing as it does on a big "classic rock" format station, spent much of the hour spinning cuts by bands and artists who play Gibson guitars. Electric Gibson guitars.
But hang on. At one point -- and of STRONG INTEREST TO GUIDE READERS -- host STEVE JONES asked him, "As you revitalize Gibson guitars... are you going to do a bunch of stuff with acoustics, too?"
In a voice swelling as much with his own sense of awe as with pride in his brand, JC said, "That Gibson J-45. It's still amazing but the price is up there beyond the reach of a lot of people who want one. We just launched the G-45 for younger people just starting up. There's the Explorers and the SG's and everything that's part of that amazing Gibson sound. We want to get back to putting them in the hands of people who want to play them."
The two also spoke of Epiphone guitars receiving a renewed commitment. Many Americana artists are inseparable from their Epiphones, so this part resonated around here, too. JC spoke of still being able to see, in his mind's eye, a famous photo of the BEATLES finishing their Dodger stadium concert and holding-up their Epiphones in triumph.
That enabled a moment for him to connect the past of the Gibson brand with its future, which he says is "forward-looking," but very aware of its history and legacy.
It was a guitar-lover's love-in, hard against the kind of corporate glasnost the world desperately needs. Good stuff. Compelling stuff.
So, USE THE LINK TO LISTEN IN THE RADIO SHOW'S ARCHIVE. If it's not posted yet, it will be soon, at the bottom of the page at this link. It's:
Here's the full edition as ORIGINALLY published.
A "Tune-In" alert: hear the CEO of Gibson LIVE Friday on "JONESY'S JUKEBOX" with host STEVE JONES, TODAY, Feb. 8, 1-2 pm (Pacific) globally on the web and in Southern California on broadcast radio at
95.5 FM KLOS.
Bottom -- Performances on stage in the Gibson pavilion and meet-and-greet "signings" with iconic musicians were frequent throughout NAMM, and included Peter Frampton.
Worldwide online, catch the show at:
CAN'T MAKE IT for the live show?
After the February 8th airing, listen to the archived interview at the bottom of the show's webpage, at:
GIBSON ignited its next era at NAMM in January.
The pre-eminent American-made instrument brand has revitalized, re-envisioned, and recharged its core mission, paying homage to its storied history -- celebrating the legacies of iconic models like the Les Paul, the SG and the ES-335 -- as it embraces the next vanguard of musicians across generations, genders and genres.
"The new era of GIBSON has begun," says JC. He continues, saying his company is "Writing a new chapter to the guitar of choice for artists in rock, pop, country, blues, folk, jazz, and beyond."
At NAMM, he promised, "Stay tuned for more big news soon."
So, will his radio interview today be all fun, or bring substantial news? Tune-in and find out.
Of course, everyone knows giants Gibson and Taylor are top competitors, facing plenty of smaller and formidable boutique instrument makers. But that doesn't mean the big guys are outside the "craftsman" categories -- you don't stay at the top unless you continue to deliver.
Gibson Brands, with all its subsidiaries, has worked hard to reach the size and scope of the world’s most iconic guitar brand. The company has shaped the sounds of generations of musicians and music lovers across genres for more than 100 years. Founded in 1894 and headquartered in Nashville, TN, Gibson Brands has quite a legacy.
JC says it's "World-class craftsmanship, legendary music partnerships and progressive product evolution that is unrivaled among musical instrument companies."
The Gibson Brands portfolio includes Gibson, the number-one guitar brand, as well as many of the most beloved and recognizable music brands. These include Epiphone, Kramer, Steinberger, and the Gibson Pro Audio division brands Cerwin Vega, KRK Systems and Stanton.
Gibson-Intro to New Classics Line-up: HERE
Gibson-New Acoustics Overview 2019: HERE
Gibson-New Contemporary 2019: HERE
Gibson-NAMM Wrap Up: HERE
We'll share our "insider" stuff with you:
Gibson-2019 NAMM Recap-Feb. 1: HERE
Gibson-2019 Gibson Returns-Jan. 14: HERE
Gibson-2019 New Product Announce-Chuck Berry Tribute-Jan. 18: HERE
Epiphone NAMM 2019-Jan. 22: HERE
Gibson-Chris Cornell Tribute Release-Jan. 15: HERE
Back soon with
MUCH more NEWS,
and more in our full series
of POST-NAMM reports.
That's all for this edition.
We'll be back again soon with music news and more "News of the Non-Trumpcentric Universe." (c)
LEGALESE, CONTACTING US, 'N SUCH...
Boilerplate? Where's the main pressure gauge? And the firebox?
What "boilerplate"? Who came up with that goofy term for the basic essential informational stuff...
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Lawrence Wines & Tied to the Tracks.
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♪ The ACOUSTIC AMERICANA MUSIC GUIDE endeavors to bring you NEWS – and views of interest to artists everywhere – more specifically to musicians and the creative community and music makers and fans of acoustic and Folk-Americana music. That includes both traditional and innovative forms. From the deepest roots to today’s acoustic renaissance, that’s our beat. We provide a wealth of resources, including a HUGE catalog of acoustic-friendly venues (now undergoing a major update), and inside info on FESTIVALS and select performances in Southern California in venues from the monumentally large to the intimately small and cozy. We cover workshops, conferences, and other events for artists and folks in the music industry, and all kinds o’ things in the world of acoustic and Americana and accessible classical music. From washtub bass to musical spoons to oboe to viola to banjo to squeezebox, from Djangostyle to new-fangled-old-time string band music, from sweet Cajun fiddle to bluegrass and pre-bluegrass Appalachian mountain music to all the swamp water roots of the blues and the bright lights of where the music is headed now.
The Acoustic Americana Music Guide. Thanks for sittin' a spell. The cyber porch'll be here anytime you come back from the road.