People with guitars busted by heavy-handed Feds in 2011?

Apparently so.  The story goes that the Feds were heavily armed, and taking no chances with these desperate criminals.

Federal agents swooped in on Gibson Guitar Wednesday, raiding factories and offices in Memphis and Nashville, seizing several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars.

As you may imagine, this is all about illegally-grown stuff.  In this case, laughably, wood

Yes, that’s right.  It really is.

The police came calling, submachine-guns at the ready, on the off-chance that some of the wood had been from trees which someone in Washington being given votes by one pressure  group said someone in Brazil being paid by some cartel or other shouldn’t have cut down.   Obviously Mr Gibson should have asked permission before making any guitars in the first place.

The company denies it, apparently.  They say they did ask permission.  Much good it did them.

2 Responses to “People with guitars busted by heavy-handed Feds in 2011?”


  1. Geoff Carter

    Extraordinary story; the quality of electric guitars is dependent on the nature of the piece of wood used, Gibson is famed for solid mahogany bodies with finishes and other parts relying on woods like maple, rosewood, and ebony.
    I imagine sourcing wood of suitable quality must be an increasing problem for this industry, which differentiates itself on quality.

    The Great bulk of electric guitars are made in China, and I have often wondered where their wood was coming from.

  2. Roger Pearse

    I read a further follow-up that it also means that musicians are afraid to take their guitars through airports, since the civil servants may seize them unless they can account for every little piece of wood in it.

    All these things are symptoms of an increasingly unfree world.