I Want to Believe

by Christian Wissmuller • in
  • Editorial
  • July 2018
• Created: July 20, 2018

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At the recent Summer NAMM Show in Nashville, Gibson was once again on-hand, after having opted out of the Anaheim gathering a few months ago.

Anyone who reads this column with regularity knows that I consider myself to be a Gibson guy. Their presence at the convention and the recent signs of life and of a return (hopefully) to a more profitable business model makes me incredibly happy on a guitar-geek level. I love these instruments passionately and, while I know that the brand and the name and all the iconic designs would likely never truly leave in any meaningful way, I also would prefer not to see “my guitars” go through the instability and hassle of bankruptcy, new ownership, loss of key personnel, et cetera.

At Gibson’s booth this June, there were hats, buttons, and so on with the slogan: “I Support the New Gibson.”

For the reasons stated above and in many previous Editorials, I do want to support the new Gibson. Nothing would make me happier than to see this particular six-stringed ship (hmmm… mixed metaphors are acceptable, yeah?) right itself.

But moreover – to cop a phrase from “The X-Files” – I truly believe we all should “want to believe.”

MI is not a zero-sum game. It’s simply not the case that if Gibson succeeds, then Fender, PRS, et cetera, lose. Quite far from it. For every dorky 13 year-old Christian Wissmuller lusting after a Gibson Les Paul as a many-years-off dream guitar, some percentage of said dorks will wind up sticking with their instrument and wind up buying a number of guitars. They’ll evolve to become customers who embrace other brands, as well – possibly (likely, actually) whole other families of gear.

I defy any of you who know serious/semi-serious/possibly obsessed musicians – not just guitarists – to name one amongst them who has only one specimen of their given gear of choice/instrument.

All of the drummers I know have at least two kits and multiple snares, all the bassists at least two basses, all the keyboardists multiple consoles. I’m not deeply embedded in the Boston-area B&O scene, but the few players I do know who fit that bill have more than one violin, more than one euphonium, more than one sax.

Whatever instrument or piece of musical equipment draws artists, hobbyists, starry-eyed dreamers – and your future potential consumers – into the culture of music making is good for everyone in MI.

I wish Gibson (who, incidentally, threw a kickass SNAMM BBQ – bald eagles! Derek St. Holmes!) all the best. I want to support the “New Gibson,” just as I want to support every brand and company in the MI realm that is truly trying to craft quality products and advance the culture of music appreciation and creation. I want to believe.

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