Sometimes it’s important for a media company
to let you know they’re doing what they can
to bring you information, even when it isn’t
available. Two issues ago, we announced a
new recurring feature called “Go Ahead and
Ask,” in which you, the Premier Guitar reader,
would get to interview industry notables. The
idea is for you to submit your questions for the
interviewee of the month—a notable company,
builder or artist—via our website, and then we’ll
facilitate the interview. Our editorial staff will
select 10 questions and then we’ll publish the
answers in the next issue. We chose Gibson as
the featured company for our first installment,
hoping to have CEO Henry Juszkiewicz answer
your questions, but unfortunately, our multiple
requests to have your questions answered have
been declined until further notice.
GO AHEAD AND ASK
By JoE CoffEy
statement, which we always reproduce
in full. An actual interview hasn’t been
granted since our July 2007 article, “Going
Green: The Guitar Industry Plans for the
Future,” which gave a number of manufacturers the chance to talk about their efforts
to create sustainable resources.
It weighs 8. 7 lbs. If not weight relieved, how
can you make it so light?
2. What are Gibson’s plans for the Historic and
Custom Division, especially for archtop guitars?
3. Gibson was recently singled-out as the
worst place in America to work in a highly-publicized online compilation of data that
included 11,000 companies. Why do you
think that is?
4. So, what’s the deal with the Moderne?
What can you confirm? We’ve been dying to
know for a few decades now.
5. What’s the difference between a Gibson
Les Paul and an Epiphone Les Paul? Same
mother company. Same factory. Same guitar?
We chose Gibson to be the focus of our first
“Go Ahead and Ask” feature because the company is one of the most important gear manufacturers in our industry. It is no secret that we
are big fans here at Premier Guitar. Gibson guitars appeared on our front cover in
2009 more than the guitars made by
any other company. The company’s
contributions to the worlds of music
and musical instrument manufacturing are unquestionably among the
most important to be considered.
We are disappointed that we are unable to
bring you answers to the questions you submitted. For the record, we reached out to
various higher-ups at Gibson, who all deferred
to our initial contact, Caroline Galloway, who
serves as the official press contact for the
company. Our initial request stated that we
would be willing to do the interview by phone,
email or in person. After a period of unrespon-siveness, we even delayed our “Go Ahead
and Ask” follow-up to give the company more
time to consider our invitation to have a dialogue with readers. Our latest request clarified
that our availability involves a 24/7 window. In
an email response, Ms. Galloway stated that:
6. What would you like Gibson fans to know
about the raid in Nashville and what has been
described as an investigation into the possibility
of illegal wood trafficked via Europe?
“Unfortunately we regularly do not issue
answers to questions that are submitted via
email. We prefer phone interviews with our only
official spokesperson for the company, our CEO.
Given your deadline and request I would suggest we pursue Gibson’s inclusion in the ‘Ask’
column you mentioned later in the year.”
7. Why does Gibson use those tall
narrow frets? I bought a Les Paul
double-cutaway AAA and the frets
were uncomfortably high. (The warranty will not cover having them lowered. I sold the LP.)
At the same time, it is no secret that
much controversy currently surrounds
the company. In addition to being
fans of Gibson, we are also journalists and know that there are times when we
must set our affinities aside. Sometimes people
and companies in our industry become newsworthy and it is our job to provide information
about these various happenings, and to seek
many different sides of a story.
8. Are Les Paul Standards going to
go back to a regular neck shape
any time soon?
We find it prudent to explain to you that this is
where things stand in our attempt to create a
dialogue with Gibson. We take great pride in
being the magazine that goes after the stories
you want to read, despite commonly observed
industry practices of tip-toeing around certain
issues. We will keep you informed of Gibson’s
decision to address your questions. In the meantime, we’d like to present your questions for Mr.
Juszkiewicz that were selected for the pending
Gibson installment of “Go Ahead and Ask.”
9. Mr. Juszkiewicz, Gibson recently had what
appeared to be a misstep with the announcement of the Hendrix line of guitars. Can you
tell us what happened to arrive at the decision to make and then pull back the line of
Strat-looking guitars and accessories?
Gibson has been in the news a lot recently
and those stories attract a lot of comments from our online readers. As we put
those stories together we always request
access to a spokesperson for an interview
but those requests have been declined by
Gibson. Occasionally, we receive an official
1. Last year I bought my “Dream Guitar” a
brand new 1958 reissue (serial no. 881407).
10. I own a 1989 Gibson Q90 bass with a
mahogany body, ebony fretboard, PJ Marx
PJ pick up combination and a 1-1/2 width
at the nut. Have you considered reissuing
the Victory, Q80 or Q90 bass? (If so I would
like to suggest an alder or ash body with
We’re excited about our first full installment of “Go Ahead and Ask,” which will appear next month. Unless Gibson decides to answer your questions
sooner than later, we plan on featuring your questions for Line 6—a company that has made a name for itself with a host of innovative modeling-based guitars, amps and effects—along with the company’s answers. We have already talked to company representatives and they tell us they are
thrilled to answer your questions submitted for this feature. To submit your question for Line 6, go to premierguitar.com/goaheadandask.