Gibson bid reportedly accepted by Martin CEO C. F. Martin IV
Historic melding of two giants
Gibson USA of Nashville, TN announced a merger with their longtime rival, Martin Guitars of Nazareth, PA.
(According to the Associated Press wire story – 04/01/2017) the two venerable guitar makers started in the nineteenth century and will now combine to create a mega-company with resources that will recapture control of the American acoustic guitar market, which has been increasingly encroached upon by modern companies like Taylor Guitars of El Cajon, CA, and Huss & Dalton of Staunton, Va.
Merger Commemorated in Two Limited Edition Guitars
The new SJ-450 will incorporate Gibson’s iconic SJ-200 with the woods and styling of the Martin D-45, including Indian rosewood back and sides, top grade Sitka spruce, both taken from Martin’s famous acclimation warehouse, and over 900 individual pieces of abalone shell inlay around the enormous top, back, and sides of the Super Jumbo model, including the pre-1939 “snowflake” fingerboard pattern seen on pre-war D-45s. It will retain the equally ginormous J-200 pickguard, with the vines and flowers inlay also done in high-color abalone lament.
The Felix the Cat Les Paul – Stinger electric guitar will be coming out later this year, but details about the actual construction and electronics have yet to be released. But it is rumored to have a “smurf” head stock, and is expected to be the cat’s meow.
Dissent in the Ranks
But while the marketing spin is on a “merger,” insiders of both organizations are expressing concerns that this is in fact a complete takeover by Gibson.
According to recently-dismissed marketing executive at Gibson USA, Lirpa Sloof, Martin CEO Chris Martin has accepted a generous retirement package in exchange for relinquishing all control of and rights to the Martin family brand. He is expected to either move his family into the Moravian monastery at Hecktown, PA, or open a Porsche – Ferrari dealership in Scalp Level, PA, just because he likes the name, and just so he can drive a different car to work every day.
Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz was not available for comment on the merger, claiming the IRS said he cannot release any public statements while he is engaged in current litigation of several lawsuits filed against a number of other entities, expected to last well into the twenty-second century.