Phoebe Bridgers has spoken about the response to her smashing a guitar as part of her Saturday Night Live appearance, which invoked an unusual amount of outrage.
“I stand by it!” she said. “The fact that it made people so mad is kind of what’s punk rock about it. No thought whatsoever went into what it represented or meant: I’d never done it before, so might as well do it [on Saturday Night Live], where it’s gonna be immortalized.”
She also contrasted the response to the incident to that which followed an infamous video where Gibson crushed hundreds of Firebird X guitars, saying: “It’s hilarious to me that people care so much, but, I mean, there’s a video of a steamroller crushing a bunch of Gibson [guitars] as a tax write-off because they weren’t selling all of their stock – let that piss you off!”
- Read more: The Big Listen: Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher
The video in question was posted by a former Gibson employee named BJ Wilkes, who explained that the footage was shot during the “post-Henry” era, when Gibson’s new investors “were trying to clean up the mess before the end of the fiscal year. […] Gibson literally could not sell these guitars and they were on the books.”
Gibson responded with a statement saying that: “The Firebird X destruction video that surfaced months ago was an isolated batch of Firebird X models built in 2009-2011, which were unsalvageable and damaged with unsafe components. This isolated group of Firebird X models were unable to be donated for any purpose and were destroyed accordingly.”
Despite this statement, there was still a negative perception of the video. It is, regardless of background, odd watching what appear to be functional guitars being crushed by a construction vehicle. However, Bridgers’ point is perhaps not that there should be a consistent ratio of guitars smashed to outrage incited, but that at the end of the day, they are just bits of wood and metal.
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