by Jef | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes
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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15 responses to “Gibson Firebird guitars mass destruction video uploaded online”

  1. cello says:

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

  2. Paul Busser says:

    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.

    • Jef says:

      It isn’t the 1980s anymore. Gibson appear to believe we are all stupid though and will believe any PR they put out.

  3. bob says:

    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.

  4. Jon says:

    What are the “unsafe components”?!

    • Jef says:

      They haven’t specified which parts were unsafe. It all sounds very odd though and possibly isn’t exactly accurate. I think it says a lot about what is wrong with Gibson as a company though.

  5. Royd Flose says:

    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.

  6. Murzenquest says:

    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.

  7. kelly says:

    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.

    • Jef says:

      I very much doubt that this is the first time that Gibson has destroyed a lot of their ‘surplus’ guitars. It shows just how much of a corporate machine they are in modern times. I have lost a lot of respect for the brand recently, things like this and the Dean Guitars court case, Play Authentic etc makes them appear to be all about the balance sheet.

  8. Steve Conrad says:

    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

    • jpm says:

      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

  9. Hilter Adulf says:

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

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