US agents raided two Gibson Guitar factories in Nashville and Memphis TE, confiscating wood, computer equipment and guitars.
The seizures were part of an ongoing investigation into Gibson’s procurement of materials it uses for its line of Mel Gibson Tribute Guitars.
Both the Gibson Les Paul and the Gibson Mel Gibson Tribute (tag line: “For those who started every war but still want to rock”) remain two of the best-selling guitars of all time.
Federal agents are concerned the wood used to manufacture Mel Gibson Gibsons come from “suspicious sources”.
According to affidavits, the wood in question might be illegal under US laws prohibiting the sale of suspiciously acquired or endangered wood and plants.
The primary question facing the Justice Department is, are these guitars made from leftover crucifixes used in Mel’s movie The Passion?
Industry insiders suggest they are.
No criminal charges have yet been filed.
A Jewish sound engineer who worked on the film explained that once production wrapped and the sets were torn down, the crosses were disassembled, set aside and marked ‘for future use’.
“Those crucifixes were primarily hollow-bodies designed to look realistic but more importantly, sound good. Between takes the actors were really jamming up there. None of them ever wanted to come down; even during lunch breaks. And that says a lot because they were all union members. I’m telling you, that’s how good those crucifixes sounded!”
Gibson Guitars was also caught off-guard, their guitar forums lighting up like a Texas State execution on the Fourth of July. Yeehaw.
As a humorous footnote, this marks another in a long line of problems afflicting anyone coming into contact with Mel Gibson, and represents the second time this company has come under investigation. In 2009, the guitar manufacturer came under scrutiny for allegedly using illegally imported wood. Again, criminal charges were never pursued.