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Gibson Explorer Government Series I, 2013


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20 minutes ago, Rabs said:

Thats not what I remember at all..  I didnt even know Gibson were banned from using Ebony....   

Gibson get their Rosewood from India, they have done for years and it comes from sustainable plantations...  Ebony is only legal to get in one place now (Bob Taylor) and the reason I think they stopped using it is because pure black ebony is getting harder and harder to come by. So aesthetically using something like richlite or whatever gives them much more consistant quality when it comes to the looks.. 

The thing from what I remember with the Rosewood was that whatever deal they have with the Indian government. It included a clause that Indian workers provide the end product so they get paid to make the fretboard rather than supplying blanks.. Gibson were buying blanks and fret slotting them in the US.. Now (again all with a grain of salt really) no one in India apparently had any issues with this. It was brought to the US governments attention by someone from the US..  Which is why in the end they had to give the Rosewood at least back to Gibson because they were actually doing it  within the law... 

I donno.. Whatever the real story it still doesnt make the guitar worth more  than a usual version..  🙂 

Here is another thing on the net I found. If I keep looking I'm sure I can find out who killed JFK.

Gibson stopped using ebony because they were served with a cease and desist order by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) after they raided their factory and seized all their ebony stock this happened under Obamas watch and as a result Gibson was forced to use what they considered to be inferior material, and they were forced to follow a federal regulation not a federal law which is even worse… and did the government let them use their remaining stock of ebony before switching? nope! the feds seized it and destroyed it… talk about a stupid move by our government. raid an American companies factory with swat teams to seize wood that you dislike them using….. so until that regulation gets redacted from EPA rules and regs that apply to the governance of the public Gibson wont have ebony fretboards anymore

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9 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Here is another thing on the net I found. If I keep looking I'm sure I can find out who killed JFK.

Gibson stopped using ebony because they were served with a cease and desist order by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) after they raided their factory and seized all their ebony stock this happened under Obamas watch and as a result Gibson was forced to use what they considered to be inferior material, and they were forced to follow a federal regulation not a federal law which is even worse… and did the government let them use their remaining stock of ebony before switching? nope! the feds seized it and destroyed it… talk about a stupid move by our government. raid an American companies factory with swat teams to seize wood that you dislike them using….. so until that regulation gets redacted from EPA rules and regs that apply to the governance of the public Gibson wont have ebony fretboards anymore

Well, the fact that they decided to raid Gibson (and I have seen the pictures) with a fully armed SWAT team seems very odd to me... I think there was something else behind all of this.. Why else would they do that to raid a place of business?  It was all quite odd..  And again.. I didnt know Ebony was involved as the guitars in question have the Rosewood that was confiscated and given back.. So why did they take the Rosewood too if it was about illegal Ebony? 

Not like I have looked that hard in to this. I just remember reading a few articles about it when it happened. (and of course we discussed it on here too).

Edited by Rabs
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28 minutes ago, Rabs said:

Well, the fact that they decided to raid Gibson (and I have seen the pictures) with a fully armed SWAT team seems very odd to me... I think there was something else behind all of this.. Why else would they do that to raid a place of business?  It was all quite odd..  And again.. I didnt know Ebony was involved as the guitars in question have the Rosewood that was confiscated and given back.. So why did they take the Rosewood too if it was about illegal Ebony? 

Not like I have looked that hard in to this. I just remember reading a few articles about it when it happened. (and of course we discussed it on here too).

1. They were probably Fender players.

2. You need a SWAT Team cause you never know if guitar makers may be armed with guitar neck that may be used a weapons. 

3. King H. thought he was untouchable and above the law, and  of course we (and himself) all found out he wasn't. Did he at one time save Gibson, yes, and did he also royally (see what I did there) screwed it up. Yes to that too. Lifestyle Brand, Firebird X, Sunburst LP Monitor Speakers, buying up unnecessary useless companies, putting on the stupid Tronical (might be spelled wrong) Tuner, The 2015 LP 100 crayon scribble on the the headstock, ect ect. 

Not sure why he didn't listen to what the people who buy his products wanted. Ego and greed perhaps (I guess when you have the title of CEO you don't have to, and can do as you please with the company you own), but I am sure he is still a rich b-astard living high on the hog. 

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/14/2021 at 4:33 PM, badbluesplayer said:

The color's supposed to be like a file cabinet.  They were making fun of the Fish and Wildlife Service for busting them with illegal wood.

Gibson back in the day - good business move after good business move. 

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On 6/14/2021 at 5:37 PM, Rabs said:

No, I think that was the whole thing.. From what I remember it wasnt illegal which is why the government gave it back.. And is what they used to build them.....  Still doesnt make them particularly special guitars in any way unless you just happen to really like the colour.. Or lack there of.

Here it is, from publicly available sources,  in a nutshell.  Gibson had a bunch of woods procured illegally from India and/or Madagascar.  They had sent their wood procurement guy over there poking around looking for "alternate" sources of ebony.  After they got caught with the bad wood, Gibson paid a bunch of money in fines and donations to good guys and the FWS didn't prosecute any of the perps personally.  Some of the wood got sent back to Gibson.  Not the illegal wood, just the legal stuff that got confiscated.  That's the public information.

I speculated from the beginning that they had Henry by the short hairs and were ready to throw him in jail.  My experience working for environmental scofflaws told me that they probably signed a consent agreement with the feds whereby Gibson paid some money, agreed to not use ebony for a period of time, either five years or until Henry left, and at the same time, the feds absolved the bad actors of any criminal liability, keeping Henry out of the slammer but putting him in an untenable position where he had to sell.

I can't say that this is what happened, but that's the pattern that these kinds of cases follow.  It appears to be the most likely scenario.  The feds know the game and are very good at playing it.  Henry also ran out in front of the factory 30 minutes after they got raided and made a public statement about how innocent they were.  That's what guilty scofflaws do, like 90% of the time.  It's a dead giveaway.

Anyway, that's the world of consent agreements.  They allow a bunch of potential criminal stuff to get brushed under the rug while the perp pays dearly, but avoids criminal liability.

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If you think the Dept. FWL just went into the Gibson factory willy nilly, and didn't do their homework with their chests puffed out just to make Gibson, and Henry look bad then no amount of info where you can find it is going to change anyone's mind. I myself think they did import illegal wood, but I'm not the judge or jury.  And if the goverment did go in there with a SWAT Team that is just a little excessive. One thing I did read and I can't say if its true or not is that the wood came in on pallets made of ebony instead of knotty pine.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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