New Gibson Les Paul commemorates government raid and property seizure.
In August 2011, federal agents raided Gibson Guitar Corp.’s facilities SWAT-style. To seize wood. For alleged violations of foreign exporting laws that the foreign governments declared not a violation.
Some declared the raid to be a political hit job since Gibson’s CEO gives to Republicans while other CEOs of musical instrument purveyors support Democrats. Regardless, Gibson resolved the issue with a financial penalty and donation to a federal agency for some BS research project.
To commemorate the shakedown, Gibson has released the Government Series II Les Paul. The fingerboards on these guitars include wood returned to Gibson from the U.S. government after the resolution of the matter. The guitars also sport a distinctive “Government Tan” finish and a bald eagle graphic on the pickguard.
This is a topic near and dear to me as a Gibson Les Paul owner myself. I have a black 1986 Les Paul that I bought in high school. I bussed a lot of tables at a local restaurant to afford that guitar. It was my first professional grade guitar. It is still one of the best in my collection.
In the words of a musical group that does not use guitars:
Fight the Power!