Mysterious Video Shows Bulldozing of Hundreds of Gibson Firebird X Guitars

Update, 8/2: The video has since been removed from YouTube.

Sure, the Firebird X was one of the most popular things to hate about the Henry Juszkiewicz-era of Gibson—taking, as it did, a classic design and packing it with effects, strange pickup configurations, software, and the company's infamous robot tuners. The array of electronics required a battery to work and made the guitar more or less useless for most players.

Released in 2011, it had its heyday.... never. But does that really merit the bulldozing of what might be the surviving wholesale inventory of the line? Possibly.

A mysterious video that started circulating on the internet today seems to show just that. (Apparently, as you can read more about below, a video of the destruction first surfaced months ago, though the video above was uploaded to YouTube Tuesday night.) In it, a large, tracked construction vehicle of some sort runs over rows of hundreds of Firebird X models.

It's not clear from this video if this is Gibson itself doing the destruction, hiring a contractor to do the destruction, or some independent entity that happens to have hundreds of these guitars lying around and no longer wants to play them. It could be that Gibson's not involved in any way shape or form, though it's hard to believe someone would do this entirely of their own volition. (Again, as you can read in Gibson's response below, these guitars are in fact Firebird X models, which Gibson says had defective, unsafe components.)

The YouTube channel BJ's World previously posted a separate video of a construction crew tearing down Gibson's Memphis guitar factory, which closed in 2018.

No telling how many guitars are in this video, but let's estimate there are 250. On the used market, these can reasonably go for $1,600 USD a pop, so that's about $400,000 of inventory.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

UPDATE, 7/31 6:10 pm: Gibson has released the following statement in response to this video.

“The Firebird X destruction video that surfaced months ago was an isolated batch of Firebird X models built in 2009-2011 which were unsalvageable and damaged with unsafe components. This isolated group of Firebird X models were unable to be donated for any purpose and were destroyed accordingly.

“Gibson recently announced its re-launch of the Gibson Foundation. Since 2002, the Gibson Foundation has provided thousands of guitars and donations to schools and charities in excess of $30 million. As a starting point, Gibson has committed to giving a guitar-a-day away over the next 1000 days. 100% of donations to the Gibson Foundation go directly towards giving the gift of music, re-affirming Gibson’s commitment to giving back, helping under-served music education programs, empowering music culture and encouraging the creation of music.”

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