Gibson Screws Musician Out Of $10,000 Worth Of Equipment

A musician named Tonedeff won the Lolapalooza Last Band Standing contest in 2006. Part of the prize package was “$10,000 worth of equipment from our friends at Gibson. (yes, believe it!).” Well, Tonedeff believed it, and he’s spent the last year and a half trying to get Gibson to make good on their promise. As Tonedeff notes on his blog, maybe he should have seen this coming when Don Pitts—Gibson’s Ambassador of Empty Promises (shown above with devil eyes)—told him, “I mean, this is kind of weird, because you know, you DON’T play the guitar or drums.”

When Tonedeff finally reached Gibson (they never called or emailed him after he won), Pitts told him to go online and pick out what he wanted. He picked out a Baldwin piano. Pitts wrote back, “Baldwin is the only division that’s not part of the deal…” So Tonedeff picked out a list of guitars, using Sam Ash and Guitar Center to check prices because Pitt/Gibson wouldn’t provide a price list. Pitt responded with revised prices that were at least 50% higher, reducing Tonedeff’s prize list by half. After some back and forth on “suggested retail price” versus “actual price,” Tonedeff gave up and opted instead to pick a single item, the most expensive he could find that came in under the $10k mark. Pitt just stopped talking to him at that point.

We’re not sure if Gibson thinks it’s okay to bail on their promise because Tonedeff doesn’t play rock music (suspiciously, they never followed through on a promised promotional photo shoot either), or if they never intended to give any winning artist the prize package. But it’s clear that they’re doing everything they can to give the middle finger to the winner of a contest they supposedly “sponsored.”

(Thanks to Chris!)

“[RANT] Gibson Hates Hip Hop.” [QN5 Blog]