Do Guitar Companies Order Retailers to Smash Flawed Instruments?

Whether it's from your closet, your dinner table, your government or your local music store, waste is something most of us try to avoid.

That's why musicians are so upset by revelations of musical instruments turning up in dumpsters across the country, and at least one company is the focus of much of the blowback: Gibson Guitars.

There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of articles, photos and videos online of people reporting finding Gibson guitars—sometimes high-end models—in dumpsters behind music stores. 

 

Brad, The Guitologist has dedicated much of his YouTube channel to discovering and explaining inexpensive tricks to help musicians. So it makes sense that he would be just as upset as the rest of us to find instruments intentionally smashed and then discarded like common garbage.

He's produced several videos on the subject and has fished several instruments from the garbage behind music stores and either restored them or salvaged parts from them.

In September, Guitologist reported finding a Gibson Les Paul Gold Top in the dumpster of a local guitar store "with the help of a whistleblower" who said his manager "destroys things."

The conventional theory is that if a manufacturer flaw is discovered after a guitar is shipped to retail, retailers are obligated to destroy the guitar as best they can so it can't be resold—at least in working condition.

The Guitologist has also reported finding Yamaha, Luna and Novation instruments destroyed and discarded by retailers.

"Rather than sell those instruments as 'scratch & dents' in the store, they are usually told to either set them aside until a representative can come and pick them up or they are told to destroy them on site and put them in the garbage," he says.

The manufacturer allegedly does this, even though there are hundreds of musicians around the world impacted by one disaster or another, who could benefit from having such an instrument.

"Every day apparently this company is throwing away thousands of dollars worth of items that could otherwise be donated to local charities in those areas," he says.

"This is something that's being done all over the country," he says in his latest upload on the subject. 

Of course, a Gibson is a Gibson and plenty of handy guitar makers out there are happy to see if they can repair and restore these victims of corporate waste. 

One recent dumpster guitar ended up on eBay with a broken headstock and hammer marks all over the body and neck. 

It sold as a "project" for $430.

Photo: YouTube / The Guitologist

Ken Dashow

Ken Dashow

Listen to Ken Dashow everyday on Q104.3 New York's Classic Rock and don't forget about Breakfast With The Beatles every Sunday Morning. Read more

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