Iconic guitar company Gibson released a statement after reports surfaced that the company was facing Bankruptcy came out over the weekend. The issue appears to be that they cannot refinance their bonds, which would require them to pay $145 million in bank loans in July. A report by Spin provided most of the details presented in this article.

While the recent past does not put Gibson in a good light with the departure of the CFO after only a year and the fact they left their Nashville warehouse, the company stated that they have met all obligations to bondholders and they are simply looking into finding an alternative credit facility.

The report states that Gibson could file as early as this summer. If true, it would be the sad fall of an American icon.

The history

Gibson was founded in Kalamazoo, MI in 1902 as a guitar and mandolin manufacturer. They were one of the leaders in electric guitars after collaborating with Les Paul on his signature model, which was first called simply "The Log." Soon the Les Paul guitar was a staple of rock music being played by almost everyone including Jimmy Page, Joe Perry, and Slash. They also became popular for their SG model as well as the ES335. Today they not only have the Gibson brand, but they also make Epiphone guitars, which are less costly, and therefore cheaper to buy, copies of their most popular, more expensive, Gibson models.

The future

While we don't know the exact future of Gibson, the company remains optimistic.

They are confident the bonds can be refinanced in the normal course of business according to CEO Henry Juszkiewicz. He went on to say that the company has been monetizing assets that were not achieving the level of success they had expected. With these moves, they hope to generate revenue that they can put into segments of the company that are thriving.

The competition

While Gibson flounders along, it is interesting to note that Fender continues on, recently entering the Bluetooth speaker market. Marshall, best known for their amplifiers, has done the same. Gibson would be wise to find new, emerging markets of its own to explore. It could bring the brand back to relevance in this modern age.

The end?

If this is the beginning of the end for Gibson, it is a truly an unfortunate time for music. While technology has allowed music and music-making to become easier to where you don't even need actual instruments anymore, there is something special about hearing a Les Paul being played by a true master. No computer can replicate the crunch of an SG coming through a Marshall amplifier. We can only hope the curtain is not being closed on another proud tradition that was made in the USA.