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Joe Bonamassa: “I know the people that are taking over Gibson, and they're good guys”

Blues-rocker addresses rumours he would buy troubled guitar company

(Image: © Denise Truscello/WireImage/Getty)

Blues-rock mogul Joe Bonamassa recently joined former Sex Pistol Steve Jones for an episode of Jonesy’s Jukebox, where, among other things, he teased his insider knowledge of the future of Gibson, who filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection back in May.

“I know the people that are taking over Gibson, and they're good guys,” Bonamassa enthused. “They're guitar guys. What a lot of people don't realise about Chapter 11 [bankruptcy] is people go, ‘Oh, Chapter 11. Oh my God. The place is going out of business. There won't be a Les Paul, there won't be a Flying V.’

“No, Chapter 11 is basically designed to keep the wolves at the door at bay. And allow a company that's a very good company ultimately to just have a chance to kind of restructure before they have to pay their light bills and everything else. So it's gonna be great.

“There was a rumour that I was buying Gibson. It circulated around the internet… And I just go, 'How well off do you think I am?' I play blues-rock for a living. It's like a vow of poverty. And I'm like, 'How am I gonna buy a guitar company?'

“But the people that are gonna take it over are gonna be great and there'll always be Gibson. There'll always be a guitar. They have to kind of rename some management and stuff like that. But it's still functioning; they're still making guitars every day.

“I have friends over there. We've sold almost 10,000 Joe Bonamassa Gibson guitars in the last 10 years. Which is crazy; it's a testament to the fans. It's been a great relationship because I'm a guitar geek, and I've embraced that.”

Bonamassa’s comments continue the good vibes sown by Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz, who recently detailed the company’s forthcoming models.

“We’ve done a lot of work on those models for eight months, so it is not something that has been impacted by our financial situation, and we expect to carry through on those plans. We’ve had excellent reception from the consumers we’ve surveyed on test panels and so on, and many of the dealers have seen these new models and been very complimentary.”

Despite the restructuring, there’s been no let up in new signature models, with Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong unveiling his latest take on the Les Paul Junior, and Bonamassa’s next signature Epiphone already teased by the man himself.

You can watch the full interview between Joe Bonamassa and Steve Jones below.


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