Remember last fall when Gear-Vault broke the news about the Gibson Hendrix Strat? The controversy it caused was astounding. Soon after, we followed up with the post “Gibson Hendrix Strat – The People Are Pissed!”, to let your voices be heard. Subsequently, less than a month later Gibson Guitars felt the heat and removed all their content about the new Hendrix Stratocaster; everything just vanished into thin air. That prompted us to publish “Gibson Hendrix Strat – Operation: Cover-Up!”. Finally Gibson Guitars CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, came forward with some new information about the Gibson Hendrix guitar. He talks about why Gibson pulled the guitar from production and why they pulled it. He even sounds a tad bit disappointed by it. I wonder why? Read his statement below.
See images of the Gibson Hendrix Statocaster – (These are the images that Gibson removed from their website)
Gibson Guitar’s CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, followed up on the Jimi Hendrix debacle – Read below:
What most people today do not realize, is that Jimi Hendrix was not about playing yesterdays favorites, whether it was his playing style, his songs, the way he dressed, etc. He was one of the most innovative guitarist ever, continually searching for new and better. I talked to Henry Goldrich who owned and ran Manny’s about Jimi walking in virtually every week to check out new pedals, guitars, etc.
What Jimi played during his career is a fact. But what our product was about was not duplicating a guitar he played, but trying to design a guitar he would have loved today, that was true to his spirit of innovation.
The product we had designed had a set neck (not bolt-in) with many subtle improvements from the way the vibrola worked to the way the neck was shaped. There were three models designed with the high end model have our Robot Tuner technology and a Steinberger bridge.
We had actually worked on this for months and ran everything by the Hendrix Estate to make sure they were happy. Then, just as were were going to start production, the Estate saw rants on forums and an article regarding a guitar the writer had not actually seen in person, and the estate backed out.
We actually get many people calling us asking us where the instruments are because they wanted to buy one.
There are many players that change brands throughout their career. Carlos and Eric played SG’s. Eddie became famous playing our Kramer brand.
I would not do something I am not proud of, and those guitars were great designs that were a tribute to a great innovator and player. Ultimately, it is you the customer that gets to decide, by either buying or not buying a product. I only wish we could have been allowed to let our customers make that decision.
Well, apparently the Jimi Hendrix Estate found Gear-Vault.com (and all the posts and comments), and read how horrible of an idea it was for Gibson Guitars to produce a Jimi Hendrix Signature guitar. Glad they found us and read your comments! Without you, disaster could have happened! We’ll just mark this one down as ‘saving the Hendrix heritage!’ and how we all stood together. Thanks for standing with us!