02.12.14

Les Paul Hector Heathcote guitar — by Gibson

Posted in Ted Nugent, WhiteManistan at 12:29 pm by George Smith

From Gibson:

Great Gibson electric guitars have long been a means of fighting the establishment, so when the powers that be confiscated stocks of tonewoods from the Gibson factory in Nashville—only to return them once there was a resolution and the investigation ended—it was an event worth celebrating. Introducing the Hector Heathcote Government Series II Les Paul, a striking new guitar from Gibson USA for 2014 that suitably marks this infamous time in Gibson’s history.

Fighting the establishment.

From The Grist, a couple years ago:

If you’ve tuned into any of the major jobs speeches recently or the conservative media’s political coverage surrounding them, you’ve heard about newly minted Tea Party hero, Gibson Guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewicz. He was sitting in House Speaker John Boehner’s box during President Obama’s jobs speech …

According to a count by the nonprofit Media Matters, Fox News has featured his company 24 times in the last couple of weeks.

From the Dept. of Justice, in 2012:

Gibson Guitar Corp. entered into a criminal enforcement agreement with the United States today resolving a criminal investigation into allegations that the company violated the Lacey Act by illegally purchasing and importing ebony wood from Madagascar and rosewood and ebony from India …

The criminal enforcement agreement defers prosecution for criminal violations of the Lacey Act and requires Gibson to pay a penalty amount of $300,000. The agreement further provides for a community service payment of $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to be used to promote the conservation, identification and propagation of protected tree species used in the musical instrument industry and the forests where those species are found. Gibson will also implement a compliance program designed to strengthen its compliance controls and procedures. In related civil forfeiture actions, Gibson will withdraw its claims to the wood seized in the course of the criminal investigation, including Madagascar ebony from shipments with a total invoice value of $261,844.


The harvest of ebony in and export of unfinished ebony from, Madagascar has been banned since 2006.

Gibson purchased “fingerboard blanks,” consisting of sawn boards of Madagascar ebony, for use in manufacturing guitars. The Madagascar ebony fingerboard blanks were ordered from a supplier who obtained them from an exporter in Madagascar. Gibson’s supplier continued to receive Madagascar ebony fingerboard blanks from its Madagascar exporter after the 2006 ban. The Madagascar exporter did not have authority to export ebony fingerboard blanks after the law issued in Madagascar in 2006.

Note difference in the Hector Heathcote Les Paul. It does not feature an ebony fingerboard:

The glued-in mahogany neck features a comfortably rounded late-’50s profile, while the unbound fingerboard—with a Corian™ nut, 22 frets and traditional trapezoid inlays just like the very first Gibson Les Pauls—is made from solid rosewood returned to Gibson by the US government.

The government raid, unsurprisingly, probably took many things from Gibson facilities. Apparently, unbanned materials were returned. Which appears to be a bit of a favor to Gibson.

Ted Nugent, in 2012, on the Gibson case (Nugent plays Gibson guitars):

Gibson guitars reportedly ran afoul of Uncle Sham’s Lacey Act, which is one of the most overreaching, bizzaro, contemptuous laws in the history of the United States.

Armed federal agents raided two Gibson guitar plants looking for allegedly illegally obtained wood from Madagascar and India …

This mindless abuse of Gibson by the heavy hand of the out-of-control federal government is a perfect reason why millions of Americans believe the corrupt, abusive power of Fedzilla needs to be reined in.

Paradoxically, Ted Nugent, also ran afoul of the Lacey Act. From the DoJ, also in 2012:

U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler announced that Theodore A. Nugent pled guilty to and was sentenced in federal court today in Ketchikan for violating the Lacey Act by possessing and transporting a black bear, taken in violation of state law.

Nugent, 62, of China Springs, Texas, pled guilty to a single misdemeanor count of the Lacey Act before United States Magistrate Judge Michael A. Thompson.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack S. Schmidt, Nugent, who stars in and produces the outdoor hunting show, “Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild”, was filming a black bear (Ursus Americanus) bow hunt on Sukkwan Island, on U.S. Forest Service Land. Nugent utilized a number of bear baiting sites between the dates of May 21, 2009, to May 26, 2009. On May 22, 2009, Nugent shot and wounded a black bear at one of the registered bait sites. Nugent failed to harvest the wounded black bear, and continued hunting in violation of Alaska state law, which counts a wounded black bear towards the hunter’s bag limit, one black bear per regulatory year. Nugent continued to hunt another black bear in violation of Alaska law and subsequently harvested another black bear at a bear baiting site on May 26, 2009, which put Nugent over the regulatory bag limit for that year …

Nugent cooperated with law enforcement and indicated that he was unaware of the state law requiring a hunter to count a wounded black bear towards his bag limit.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Nugent will be placed on probation for two years and is required to pay a $10,000 dollar fine and restitution in the amount of $600 dollar to the State of Alaska for the illegally taken bear. Special conditions of probation also prohibit Nugent from hunting or fishing in Alaska and on any U.S. Forest Service land for a term of one year.

My suggestion would have been to make one of the Hector Heathcote series of Gibson guitars, a Tea Party Ted Les Paul special.

Here is Nugent’s Lacey Act case, discussed in depth at an Alaska newspaper.

And from this blog, on the Gibson case, back in 2011:

Readers know I like Gibson guitars. They may have read when I tried to do the company a favor by successfully pressing the Washington Post and others to drop website ads selling Chinese counterfeits of the iconic brand.

But it’s been increasingly hard to not be turned off by Gibson. And this is all due to its CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz.

With his company raided twice by government agents — the first time for buying blackmarket protected wood from Madagascar, the second time for impropriety with Indian imports — Juszkiewicz decided to go extreme right wing and cry about the alleged tyranny of the US government.

Gibson Hector Heathcote Government II series — MSRP — $1,099.

So buy me a Hector Heathcote, or write Gibson to send one to me. For establishment fighting, since I’m on Medicaid and can’t afford it. I would make it my number one instrument.


“Gibson sticks thumb in Obama administration’s eye with ‘Government Series’ guitars,” reads the Breitbart place. The US investigation of Gibson was started during the administration of George W. Bush.

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