Miscellaneous Rumbles

From Levi to Gibson

26

I would like to sit down and have a beer with the guy before passing judgement. If he's this environmentally aware then Gibson probably won't have any more problems with the government.

27

I'd love to be there when he does the first big Employee meeting, I like that kind corporate "turnaround" stuff , especially with the Gibson story. Musta been quite a Payday for JC . I hope he does turn it around.

28

I'm not seeing anything that needs massive change other than dump all the companies that aren't Gibson. Any MBA product will insist that these Gibson widgets can be made anywhere in the world with the current lowest labor rates. But they will be quick to point out that yes you can still buy a USA Custom Shop build and those guitars will follow the 80/20 rule. If they choose to build offshore and there's no doubt they will, then they don't have any idea who their customers are. You have to hand it to Rickenbacker building their widgets in California and not cannibalizing their line with lookalikes made elsewhere.

I'm not sure the guitar business was ever a real profitable venture but it was a different lifestyle and something that I'm sure many took pride in being involved. If profits are the only reason Gibson is building guitars then be on the lookout for massive changes and plastic guitars.

29

From Reverb's article on the transition:

JC, Cesar, Kim and Christian bring new energy and vision to Gibson, fueled by authentic passion for the company and music.

Reading that quickly, I thought I was in first century Palestine...it's positively Biblical. HOW could this resurrection go wrong?

30

well, i guess they're rendering unto Cesar...

31

Ah! And Cesar gets increasingly demanding, what with the burden of supporting all those foreign colonies.

32

Well we all know things wont end well for JC.

So Henry's washed his hands of it, eh?

33

The current business model for virtually every retail company with flat or declining profitability is to rack up debt, overpay the c level execs and board, sell off any viable assets, declare bankruptcy and let the bank have the debt and the husk. Get a new CEO and some new lenders, rinse and repeat. It's a time tested strategy.

34

What a world, what a world.

Calgon, take me away.

35

Well we all know things wont end well for JC.

So Henry's washed his hands of it, eh?

– Suprdave

Hank had no choice in it, I'm wondering if they called for a security exit or is he there in some diminished capacity?

36

Levis with some degree of plastic in them...….just what the world needs; more things made from a non-renewable resource.

37

With a Harley Davidson patch embroidered on the jeans pocket, located on the top, where you store your picks. Three iconic brands.

You must be forgetting the Levis Jeeps of the 70s

38

Levis with some degree of plastic in them...….just what the world needs; more things made from a non-renewable resource.

Except, Dave, as I understand it, they're using recycled plastic (which might otherwise end up in non-useful or deleterious disposal). This isn't all bad.


You must be forgetting the Levis Jeeps of the 70s

I don't know if tubwompus will admit to it, but I think his first car was a (very used) Levis Pacer. My memory is that it was going to carry him and his tubs to Nashville for career purposes - but it caught fire somewhere south of Cincinnati, he got his stuff out, hitchhiked to Music City, and abandoned the car on I-71...

39

Well that mitigates it somewhat, I suppose, however I don't believe that the plastic used is compostable which would be excellent.

40

Hank had no choice in it, I'm wondering if they called for a security exit or is he there in some diminished capacity?

– Curt Wilson

He stays on for a year (maybe two?) in a consulting role. Sounds like a face saving measure to help him slink out with minimal fuss. Then again, whatever his shortcomings, it would be absurd to completely discount his 30+ years running the world's top guitar company.

41

I would think that Henry's failure was due to his vision of the products, a vision not shared by prospective or new or even repeat customers.

42

For quite a while now, Levis have been made with elastane and polyester, with cotton as a nearly forgotten component. They are no longer the great jeans of the past. The fabric is thin, cheap, wears out very quickly...hate them. Just sayin'.

43

Based on that, we have even more great stuff to look forward to from Gibson.

We have this silly propensity of believing that because something - in this case, an "iconic brand" - has been around forever (from our perspective), and has meant something significant in our lives, it will continue to be around. That it can't ever fade or fail.

But au contraire. Of over 3,000 US automakers from the early 1900s, three remain? Studebaker was born in 1858. It's gone. The "three P's" meant quality and luxury for two generations, when Cadillac was an impudent upstart. Packard, Peerless, Pierce Arrow. Pfffft.

General Motors could never go broke. (Actually, it's happened three times, so we shouldn't count out second and third and fourth acts.) Sears was an institution. (And Montgomery Wards and Kresge's Five & Dime before that.)

Fender could easily have been down for the count in 1981. Kramer was the top-selling guitar brand in 1985. But for the vision, determination, and tenacity of Fred Gretsch, the brand would have faded in 1979.

Who of us ever really thought the Soviet Union would fold its tents?

The only constant is change, and there are no guarantees. Resting on laurels precedes the big sleep. Fender and Gretsch are strong and vital today because smart, diligent, passionate people worked hard to refresh them.

Maybe that will happen with Gibson. Maybe it won't.

44

Proteus, Studebaker started in South Bend in 1852. They started building Conestoga wagons in Pennsylvania in 1795. They owned Pierce Arrow in the late '30s, and were partnered with Packard in '56. 125+ of those 3,000 auto companies were in Indiana. The Big 3 went after the last few of the smaller companies in the '50s. The last vestige was Chrysler taking over AMC, themselves taken over by Fiat. The Big 3 really won due to economies of scale. The small European makers fared no better than the US companies. VW owns Rolls Royce. Go figure.

I don't compare the auto industry with the musical equipment industry. How many musical instrument companies have there been? Henry J's big mistake was trying to corner the home entertainment market, buying up 5 piano companies when fewer people are buying spinets, much less concert grands. The high end stereo market isn't what it was 40 years ago, either. He overestimated what the public wanted in guitars, like robotuners and so on. The "expand or die" mentality doesn't always work. I suspect that the board of directors and stockholders were a major driving force in that viewpoint, and the blame should also fall in their laps as well.

45

For quite a while now, Levis have been made with elastane and polyester, with cotton as a nearly forgotten component. They are no longer the great jeans of the past. The fabric is thin, cheap, wears out very quickly...hate them. Just sayin'.

– Deed Eddy

Is anyone making a great pair of jeans these days?

46

Levis with some degree of plastic in them...….just what the world needs; more things made from a non-renewable resource.

Except, Dave, as I understand it, they're using recycled plastic (which might otherwise end up in non-useful or deleterious disposal). This isn't all bad.


You must be forgetting the Levis Jeeps of the 70s

I don't know if tubwompus will admit to it, but I think his first car was a (very used) Levis Pacer. My memory is that it was going to carry him and his tubs to Nashville for career purposes - but it caught fire somewhere south of Cincinnati, he got his stuff out, hitchhiked to Music City, and abandoned the car on I-71...

– Proteus

HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Much better story than the truth. First, it was a Hornet wagon with GUCCI interior. (Levi’s? How pedestrian. Only the finest whipped cream on MY piles of dogcrap, thank you.)

47

For quite a while now, Levis have been made with elastane and polyester, with cotton as a nearly forgotten component. They are no longer the great jeans of the past. The fabric is thin, cheap, wears out very quickly...hate them. Just sayin'.

– Deed Eddy

Totally agree. Levi's - at least in stores over here - only have the 501 in 100% cotton. The fabric seems to be thinner than it used to be, though, and I can't stand their shape - the bottom of the legs are wiiiide. All the other Levi jeans are stretch. (Hey, I'm not a teenage girl, I'm not a hair metal dude, I'm not a hipster, and I'm straight. No stretchy jeans, please. )

Anders

48

Is anyone making a great pair of jeans these days?

– Bryan K.

Yup, apart from a couple of ridiculously expensive boutique (read: hipster) jeans brands, the Lee 101 series (at least the 101Z, which I wear after the 101S recently was discontinued) are still 100% cotton, selvage denim.

Anders


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