Today, Gibson Brands announced that it has acquired Mesa/Boogie, the legendary Northern California amp brand founded more than 50 years ago by Randy Smith.
Under the arrangement, Mesa/Boogie will continue to create new products under its own name, and serve as “Gibson’s Custom Shop for Amplifiers." Gibson also confirmed that Smith will remain as the company's Master Designer.
“At Gibson we are all about leveraging our iconic past and leaning into the innovative future, a quest that started over 100 years ago with our founder Orville Gibson,” said Gibson President & CEO James "JC" Curleigh. “Today this quest continues with the addition of Mesa Boogie into the Gibson Brands family, along with the visionary leadership of Randy Smith and his team who, for the past 50 years, have created an iconic and innovative brand that has stood the test of time.
"This is a perfect partnership based on our collective professional experiences and passion for sound.”
“I’m 75 years old and still at work every day,” said Mesa/Boogie's founder, Randy Smith. “This is my art and many of our crew have worked along my side for 30 to 40 years. As we witnessed JC and Cesar transform Gibson, we saw kindred spirits sharing common values and a fierce dedication to quality. Today, Gibson’s guitars are the best-ever and when they asked if we’d like to become Gibson’s Custom Shop for amplifiers, we envisioned a perfect collaboration that would expand our outreach while preserving our legacy beyond my time.
"Gibson realizes the unique value of what we’ve all built together and this next chapter in the Mesa/Boogie story is a continuation of that dream. I am so fortunate for this partnership with the new Gibson after 50 years of doing what I love. It’s been the ride of my life – and it ain’t over yet!”
“Mesa/Boogie, led by Randy, has been in service to sound without compromises since the very beginning, and that’s a perfect fit for us,” added Gibson CMO Cesar Gueikian. “We are looking forward to being the best custodians of Mesa/Boogie’s iconic heritage that we can be, and at the same time, a steward of its future.
"We are honored that Randy and the Mesa/Boogie team have trusted us to lead Mesa/Boogie into the future. Together, we will continue to pursue our mutual quest of sound, quality, and craftsmanship and to push the boundaries of how guitar sound is delivered and experienced.”
With this news, we're certainly eager to see what Mesa/Boogie – which released the impressive-looking Badlander Rectifier Amplifier less than two months ago – has in store for 2021, and how Gibson will (or won't) affect and inform its future designs.
Keep your eyes here – we'll bring you the latest developments in the partnership as soon as we have them.
Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.
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