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Do Gibson guitars have a right wing image?   You are logged in as Guest
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mrMagenta

Posts: 942
Joined: Oct. 25 2006
From: Sweden

Do Gibson guitars have a right wing ... 

Disclaimer: I'm not out to start a debate about political ideology

I'm just curious if I have been missing out on some common knowledge. Do Gibson guitars, I mean the instruments themselves, not only the company, have a right wing association in the minds of people?

The Gibson raid aftermath made a big deal of Gibson being a company that funds right-wing politicians. The news was meant to come out as 'look at the democrat G-men harassing us just because we're right wing supporters', but isn't it a HUGE mistake for a guitar manufacturer like Gibson to associate themselves with right wing politics? Or any politics for that matter. Doesn't that hurt the brand a lot!??

I like some of the guitars but I DO NOT want to carry around a symbol with political connotations, especially since I don't have any sympathy for the republican party (though I'm amused by Ron Paul, even though he too, obviously, is nuts!..) But then a lot of non right-wing artists have been playing Gibsons.. Patti Smith etc. So what's the deal? How are these guitars looked upon in the public mind, today?

This thought has been troubling me lately. Somehow Gibson is so tightly integrated with the Rock n' Roll image. Has the whole Gibson Rock n' Roll thing somehow secretly been pulling the scene towards 'invisible hand' and 'free market' associations? Have I been blind to this hidden undercurrent?

Now with increasing subjectivity:
Is it a coincidence that the whole Gibson aesthetic is a lot of rosewood fretboards and humbuckers.. sort of like dark heavy furniture, stuffy and stale. Did the Gibson-image become an answer to Jimi Hendrixes Fender induced aire? A rosewood hound of baskerville, against the agile and light maple-fretboard mountain lion?

I'm probably loosing it.. but somehow I can sense a few patterns emerging. Take the Gibson Blueshawk. A really cool guitar. I want one! But it's tainted by bad taste. There's a B.B.King signature of this guitar.. and somehow, though I like a lot of B.B.King stuff.. this sort of tastes like when Ozzy played with Zack Wylde. Something is wrong. Why did Gibson TYPE on the guitar?... a guitar that has written on it BLUES HAWK is somehow trying to make a point of marrying a cultural heritage with a patriotic symbol. Like a stamp of ownership; this too now fits under the greater, right-wing umbrella, just like B.B.King cruising Las Vegas in a limo.

:P Enlighten me!

Ps. If you have any tips on versatile light weight electric guitars, those are very welcome.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2012 21:21:24
 
vuduchyld

 

Posts: 170
Joined: Feb. 20 2011
 

RE: Do Gibson guitars have a right w... (in reply to mrMagenta

I don't consider Gibson guitars to have a right-wing association at all. As you've said, plenty of non-right-wing artists play Gibsons.

When the Lacey Act raid happened last year, I think some Tea Party types tried to turn it into a political football, but I don't think it really caught on. I remember reading about the CEO's political contributions. He contributed to two Tennessee (local, since that's where Gibson's HQ is located and probably where the CEO lives) politicians, who both happen to be Republican. No big deal. They were probably incumbents and likely people he would know and the contributions were small potatoes.

He also gave some money to a PAC that contributed more to Republicans than Democrats, but in the previous election cycle that same PAC contributed more to Democrats than Republicans, so it's probably more a matter of expediency than political ideology.

It would be a pretty far stretch to say that Gibson was singled out because of the politics of the CEO. But I do think some of the right-wingers have tried to make that stretch, which probably isn't in Gibson's best interests.

Just my two cents.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2012 23:33:42
 
chester

Posts: 841
Joined: Oct. 29 2010
 

RE: Do Gibson guitars have a right w... (in reply to mrMagenta

Dude you're in Sweden - why do you care about what connotation your guitar would have in the US? If you like the guitar, get it. You're definitely over-thinking things.

quote:

ORIGINAL: mrMagenta
Ps. If you have any tips on versatile light weight electric guitars, those are very welcome.


NOT Gibson. Those guitars are neither lightweight nor versatile. Maybe Les Pauls are suitable for more than one genre, but they're heavy.

Want lightweight? Invest in a Parker.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 4 2012 0:22:09
 
Gummy

Posts: 495
Joined: Nov. 27 2005
From: North Carolina, USA

RE: Do Gibson guitars have a right w... (in reply to mrMagenta

IMO, guitars are not right or left. They unify people. I am very right minded but love hanging out on this forum where it seems like there are many more people who lean left.
It seems to be pretty popular these days for country artists in the US to sing "right wing" type songs. I imagine they inspire a lot of people to buy guitars. Perhaps this is the market they are after?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 4 2012 0:38:47
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Do Gibson guitars have a right w... (in reply to mrMagenta

I used to know some hardcore punks with extreme leftwing ideas playing Les Pauls. They didnt care.
If you want to show your ideologies, you can always make an inlayed fretboard. What about "f*ck everything" "feel free" or "I´m to sexy"

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 4 2012 7:33:29
 
keith

Posts: 1108
Joined: Sep. 29 2009
From: Land of Daniel Boone

RE: Do Gibson guitars have a right w... (in reply to mrMagenta

given the two raids by the feds gibson is in the hole for at least a million dollars of wood and have used any and almost all resources to paint the feds as the evil party. the right wing folks have gravitated to this issue in part because of the economy and in part because of the feds putting restrictions on a private company--the latter issue has always been a right wing issue. to tea party people anytime the feds enforce an environmental law it is perceived as another example of the overbearing liberal government. gibson, in turn, has used the right wing/tea party voice to help them with their cause--to get back their wood.

to be fair, having the feds come in brandishing semi-automatic guns to raid the factory was over the top.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 4 2012 10:27:13
 
mrMagenta

Posts: 942
Joined: Oct. 25 2006
From: Sweden

RE: Do Gibson guitars have a right w... (in reply to mrMagenta

Thanks for your replies! Sorry if I'm coming across as an arrogant leftie. To be honest I'm fed up with politics in general, all over the world - left, right and middle. It all mostly amounts to dogmatic thinking. I wouldn't want my guitar to reflect any of that.

I agree that the Gibson raid was way over the top and that it has been used by the Tea Party people. (BTW I'm still pissed off that they are using my favorite drink for their image). Ok, so I'm probably overthinking this associations thing.

I know Les Pauls are on the heavy side, and I've looked at the Parker fly a few times but it's not my style. The Gibson Blueshawk is both smaller-bodied than an LP and semi-hollow. It's a very light guitar. It also has some interesting pickups, so I'm very keen on it. I could definitely live with it, but I'd seriously consider refinishing it so that the stupid text on the guitar top is removed.

Anders, I need to think about your excellent inlay options. Are your offering your services? :-P

Fender Thin-lines are a bit interesting too, but they often look wonky; all sorts of pick-guards and weird colors.

I've looked at Taylors T3 and T5, but the T5 is a bit too weird and specialized, and the T3 seems a bit clunky.

Carvin too has a weird guitar called AE185, like the Taylor T5, it's a sort of hybrid between electric and acoustic. Is that a new trend or something?

For some reason I'm gravitating toward the weird guitars. Perhaps in part because of my unwillingness to be associated with specific guitar heroes, over the top patriotism, political views or whatever.

Any more tips on light weight electric guitars?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 4 2012 12:40:35
 
vuduchyld

 

Posts: 170
Joined: Feb. 20 2011
 

RE: Do Gibson guitars have a right w... (in reply to mrMagenta

Speaking of the Tea Party, I've avoided posting vids on this forum, because, well, I'm not a very good player compared to most on here.

But this is me:

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 4 2012 16:32:55
 
Escribano

Posts: 6305
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: Do Gibson guitars have a right w... (in reply to mrMagenta

I can't say the SG is particularly heavy, unlike the Les Paul.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 4 2012 16:58:36
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Do Gibson guitars have a right w... (in reply to mrMagenta

quote:


I can't say the SG is particularly heavy, unlike the Les Paul.


Thats true, but it goes out of tune after one heavy twang chord and the balance is horrible. But it sounds really good on a Marshall stack.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 5 2012 15:25:25
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