Re: Covid, and you.
Honestly, it's just the facts of business. Integrity and sincerity exist, and we can find shining examples of goodness in even the darkest corners. Even still, it's an uphill battle, usually.
Most of the lockdown-drives guitar sales will probably disappear soon, once the vast majority of buyers move on to a new hobby, give up, plateau, get bored, etc.
This likely just isn't going to be a long-term model.
There will certainly be some small % of 2019-2020 "covid guitarists" who stick with it, but it's certainly a short-lived trend. I'd even consider using the word "fad", to be honest--inasmuch as a lot of this was driven by social media and novelty for 1st-time musicians/players--how many of the kids who got a guitar for their birthday this year will ask for another one for Christmas, or next year? Not as many as we'd hope, probably. Likewise, how many of the adults who decided to pick up guitar this year will be purchasing themselves another one next year? Again surely some, but in all likelihood, not nearly enough to generate self-sustaining momentum for long-term projections.
The profits/numbers that are so exciting now won't be maintained next cycle at a level high enough to truly be reliable. On that note, will a vacuum from GC create space for small-business retailers to step in and usher in a new wave of local family-owned guitar shops to crop up and play a vital role in ensuring that a more localized supply chain/production flow is allowed to propagate/perpetuate?
Sure, in theory...except for the fact that Amazon isn't going anywhere anytime soon (in fact, with ever-improving drones, AI, and IoT technology, and with ever-increasing number of desperate laborers forced into untenable position by the re-onset of 2008 recession PtII:Covid-19, being worked to death alongside their machine companions in warehouses and driving delivery trucks, ecommerce will continue to dominate every aspect of business, especially in America). Nor Sweetwater, and the supporters of boutique retailers probably tend be much older and have much more disposable income than the majority of demographic that picked up playing->shifted sales during covid quarantine, so I doubt many existing local shops, or specialized high-end sellers like ibanezrules, saw earth-shattering benefit from any of this (although rich could correct me on that--for example, I'm sure there wasn't *only* new/young guitarists boosting sales this year--probably a noticeable number of pre-existing local/small guitar business supporters who maybe bought an extra guitar this year instead of something else, with money that didn't get spent on some other thing that lockdown made unavailable--maybe airplane tickets, concert and brewery tour passes, vacay hotel/dinner fund, etc).
Anyway, it's no more of an indictment on human nature than to say that fossil fuels or plastics aren't going away anytime soon. There's plenty of good out there, even in the cold world of money and business, and I don't think that people are completely subsumed by self-interest. It's just that the income/wealth distribution inequalities are only increasing, and people and corporations have to do what they have to do. Big-picture sustainability is very rare to find successfully applied when there's endless overwhelming pressure toward a race to the bottom, and it tends to require some truly visionary leadership and very charismatic/forceful convincing (and producing numbers to back it up) on the part of executives and bullish investors to make the magic happen. That's not so difficult in sectors like tech or industry, but when educational music programs are slashed, physical retailers are gasping for air...oof.
I simply don't see a lot of the prerequisites for explosive independent growth coming to fruition for the guitar industry, which especially after GC's final death throes is finally sinking in, has basically never recovered yet from 2007-8 (much like many other sectors), and without any promise of global economy suddenly improving to pre-recession state (in fact, more the opposite--it's most likely only going to continue getting worse and worse for all but the top income brackets in the coming years), the whole picture just looks pretty sad. Honestly, the passing of Eddie in a way marks the final chapter of guitar/rock's golden age this year. It's been in the shadowed era for a very, very long time, but much like the fall of Rome, if there's one particular point which historians will likely assign as the arbitrary watermark when it finally "happened"....GC Ch11 and EVH is probably going to be it....
Last edited by evan; 10-29-2020 at 09:00 AM.