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Gibson Firebird X

Gibson Firebird X  ·  Source: YouTube/BJ's World

Yesterday a video surfaced on YouTube and in the video you can clearly see hundreds of Gibson Firebird X guitars being systematically destroyed by a digger with caterpillar tracks. The video appeared on BJ’s World YouTube page.

Destruction of hundreds of Gibson Firebird guitars!

This destruction of hundreds of Gibson Firebird X guitars goes to show how wasteful the guitar company can be. Essentially, all that wood and hardware was destroyed, because of poor quality control within the workshop that built them.

I find it worrying that Gibson could have ever let it get so bad, that they would need to destroy so many instruments!

Gibson Henry Juskiewicz Firebird X

Gibson Henry Juskiewicz with his Firebird X

The Henry Years

These guitars were built during Henry Juszkiewicz ownership of the company and it says so much about how poorly he ran the company during his tenure as CEO.  BJ Wilkes was the man behind the video and you can hear him in the second video below explaining why this was done. Apparently, it was all post-Henry and was part of the company’s way of clearing the mess that he had left behind.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Gibson has released the following statement in response to this video

“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. This isolated group of Firebird X models were unable to be donated for any purpose and were destroyed accordingly.

“Gibson recently announced its re-launch of the Gibson Foundation. Since 2002, the Gibson Foundation has provided thousands of guitars and donations to schools and charities in excess of $30 million. As a starting point, Gibson has committed to giving a guitar-a-day away over the next 1000 days. 100% of donations to the Gibson Foundation go directly towards giving the gift of music, re-affirming Gibson’s commitment to giving back, helping under-served music education programs, empowering music culture and encouraging the creation of music.”

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by Jef
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11 months ago

what a waste 🙁 the hardware could be salvaged. or donate them to a charitable cause.

11 months ago
Reply to  Jef

Disgraceful and Wasteful on Gibson’s part. Shame.

Paul Busser
11 months ago

An “isolated group”? This represents between a third to a half of Firebird X production. These weren’t defective, they were unsold. I know this happens in every industry, it’s wasteful, but companies do it. However, lying in your official response makes for even worse reception by the public. We’re not stupid.

11 months ago

they should have used all these for some kind of artistic sculpture, guitar sidewalk, or even a creative video…i’m sure the hardware on these was salvageable. Seems like such a waste to just run them over and throw them away.

11 months ago

What are the “unsafe components”?!

Royd Flose
11 months ago

This was probably done for tax or insurance purposes. The robot-tuners and built in effects chewed through batteries and helped make these possibly the most reviled G product ever. The ‘unsafe’ PR is probably just that, PR to deflect complaints about charitable donations.

11 months ago

There’s quite a bit of hubbub over at Reverb about this too… I agree though, seems totally wasteful. Hard to think they wouldn’t have anticipated the backlash over this. We don’t live in a world where this kind of corporate excess is seen as cool anymore. Really bad PR.
Say what you will about a company like Fender, but they at least seem to be tapped into what and who is actually driving the guitar market these days.

11 months ago

How about donating these to any number of schools with no resources for a music program? Such a silly waste of money, that could have given so much joy and inspiration to someone learning music without the means to do so.

Steve Conrad
11 months ago

Actually they were destroyed because the new regime at Gibson today did not want to renegotiate the expired contract with Tronical who developed all the internal electronics anf auto tuners.

This guitar required a level of technical support not found at Gibson Massman Ave , Nashville Wood shop today

11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Conrad

Seems very likely, but the guitars could have been easily parted out by a company like Stratosphere who does it for Strats on eBay.

The body/neck would have been a perfect start for a hobbyist to install his own pickups/pickguard

Hilter Adulf
11 months ago

I can actually see Moog doing the same to 100 MoogOne’s! hehe!