Entertainment Music Iconic guitar maker Gibson files for bankruptcy protection
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Iconic guitar maker Gibson files for bankruptcy protection

Gibson guitar
Gibson guitars have been used by virtually every iconic guitar hero, from Chuck Berry (pictured) and B.B. King to Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. Photo: Getty
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The makers of Gibson guitars have filed for bankruptcy protection after wrestling for years with debt.

Gibson instruments have been esteemed by generations of guitar legends.

The company has been synonymous with rock and roll since the 1950s with its models – the most popular including the Les Paul, the SG, the Firebird and several semi-acoustic lines – being used by virtually every iconic guitar hero, from Chuck Berry and B.B. King to Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton.

After Berry died, his beloved cherry-red Gibson guitar was bolted to the inside of his coffin lid.

David Bowie favoured the 1989 Gibson L4 when he fronted Tin Machine whereas Slash is another fan.

A reorganisation plan filed on Tuesday will allow Gibson Brands Inc to continue operations with $US135 million ($180.5 million) in financing from lenders.

Gibson was founded in 1894 and is based in Nashville, Tennessee.

It also makes the Epiphone and Wurlitzer pianos.

The company has already sold off some non-core brands, acquisitions that had contributed to its debt load.

“Over the past 12 months, we have made substantial strides through an operational restructuring,” Chief Executive Officer Henry Juszkiewicz said.

“The decision to re-focus on our core business, musical instruments, combined with the significant support from our noteholders, we believe will assure the company’s long-term stability and financial health.”