Let me get all patriotic on you.
What’s made in America that we can all get behind? Apple designs in California…but manufactures overseas, which is true of most major technology. Cars? We all know how that turned out. Even the high quality denim market has been taken over by Japan, ironically after they mass purchased the antique American denim producing machinery!
I’m not the most patriotic of people. I do not read the declaration of independence aloud on national holidays. My main political news intake comes from Gawker and The Daily Show. But I do try to buy American made goods.
We still do 2 things very well in this country when it comes to goods. Clothing and Music. Go ahead, think of another actual good. When budget allows, I take part in the recent revival of American made clothes.
I bought one pair of jeans made in New York, and according to instructions, have not washed them in nearly a year. Yep, that’s what you’re supposed to do. You know what? They haven’t worn out at all. Far better than any cheap pair of Levis (I believe only their super top line is made here.)
American instruments continue to reign supreme though. Ask someone what type of car they would have, if money were no object, it would likely be Italian or German. Ask the same question about a guitar, it would be a Gibson or Fender, made here.
It does feel good to support the homeland in these efforts. I’m frankly surprised that Obama hasn’t picked up on this. Even Romney!! They’re all about being job creators, American ingenuity, and these are products people take pride in, partially because of where they’re made.
As far as the top “rock” type instruments are concerned, their heritage begins in America, and has remained here. Gibson is built in Montana and Nashville (formerly Michigan) Fender’s top line is built in California, Martin is built in Pennsylvania (after their earliest origins in Manhattan, in what is now Tribecca.) The original Williamsburg factory of Gretsch, still bears the logo on the building, yet it is now luxury condos.
This doesn’t even touch on the boutique brands, which are nearly all centered here. As far as Effects, Electro Harmonix is in Long Island City, NY. Zvex is somewhere in an underground lair, but still within US soil. Analogman, Strymon, Death By Audio in BK, countless others. In Amp Land, Swart, Victoria, Carr, Bogner, Mesa, they’re all local.
Yes, many of the larger companies produce their more budget gear overseas, or in Mexico. But the highly sought after equipment remains in the US. These are certainly luxury goods, but functional/technical/artistic luxuries.
Musicians are an odd bunch. Quick to speak out against “The Man” …or whatever….trying not to sell out, don’t trust the government….or whatever…but it’s an oddly patriotic bunch. Ask which parts of a musician’s arsenal are made in America, and they are likely to be able to tell you. Just something to think about.