The next time you rip a sweet, sweet pentatonic riff on the fretboard of your totally awesome Gibson guitar, think about the lemurs. Nashville-based Gibson Guitars was raided by the
FBI United States Fish & Wildlife Service (!) today, according to SouthComm's resident bow-tie-wearing emo apologist, J.R. Lind, who writes over at the Nashville Post:
Sources say the Nashville-based guitar manufacturer is being investigated for violating the Lacey Act, a key piece of environmental law, for importing endangered species of rosewood from Madagascar.
Rosewood is widely used in the construction of guitars and sells for $5,000 per cubic meter, more than double the price of mahogany. The island nation off Africa's east coast is a key producer of the hardwood, the export of which has links to international criminal activity.
A statement from Gibson released late Tuesday afternoon says the company is "fully co-operating" with the investigation.
Full disclosure: I own two Gibson guitars, manufactured in 1966 and 1975, respectively--in other words, back when we didn't care what no lemurs in Africa was doin' long as we could have us some nice geetars. Lind promises to update the story as more information becomes available. It all begs the question: Could Lenny be a mole?
Update 5:26 p.m.: It was the United States Fish & Wildlife Service, not the FBI. Also, no charges have been filed.
Update 8:47 p.m.: To further clarify, the blockquote has been replaced to reflect the update to the Nashville Post story.