The Independent: “Six-string therapy: guitars make lockdown comeback”

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Today, we’d like to share this great article published by The Independent. During the pandemic, the MI industry has been the subject of some welcome and positive articles in the mass media. It is great to see reports on the recent success of sales in our industry, and the interest and enthusiasm shown by consumers for playing a musical instrument. We clearly still have huge concerns for our partners and friends in the live music sector, but, in the meantime…

Clearly not all businesses in the industry are thriving, and there are many sectors (live music venues and live event organisers to name but two) that are still in real peril. However, it’s nice to have some positive news in the mainstream media about musical instruments, and we hope you enjoy reading!

Here is an excerpt from the article from The Independent, written by Alex Williams: 

The Washington Post declared the “slow, secret death of the six-string electric” in 2017. That same year, even Clapton himself, known simply as “God” to devotees more than half a century ago, sounded ready to spread the ashes. “Maybe,” he mused at a 2017 news conference for the documentary Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars, “the guitar is over.”

Hold the obituaries, though. A half-year into a pandemic that has threatened to sink entire industries, people are turning to the guitar as a quarantine companion and psychological salve, spurring a surge in sales for some of the most storied companies (Fender, Gibson, Martin, Taylor) that has shocked even industry veterans.

“I would never have predicted that we would be looking at having a record year,” says Andy Mooney, chief executive of Fender Musical Instruments Corp, the Los Angeles-based guitar giant that has equipped Rock’n’Roll Hall of Famers since Buddy Holly strapped on a 1954 sunburst Fender Stratocaster back in the tail-fin 1950s.

“We’ve broken so many records,” Mooney says. “It will be the biggest year of sales volume in Fender history: record days of double-digit growth, e-commerce sales and beginner gear sales. I never would have thought we would be where we are today if you asked me back in March.”

It’s not just greying baby-boomer men looking to live out one last Peter Frampton fantasy. Young adults and teenagers, many of them female, are helping to power the revival, manufacturers and retailers say, putting their own generational stamp on the instrument that rocked their parents’ generation, while also discovering the powers of six-string therapy.

You can read the article in full on The Independent’s website here – edition.independent.co.uk/editions/uk.co.independent.issue.200920/