Results 1-3of 3 Reviews
February 23, 2010
From journal Liberty Bowl Weekend in Memphis
April 4, 2005
The Gibson guitar factory tour in Memphis is a must even for non-musicians. I think most people will find it fascinating to learn how a guitar is assembled, and the tour guide also gives you a bit of history about the music scene in Memphis.
The Gibson factory is located right in the heart of the Memphis entertainment scene. It is directly across the street from the FedEx Forum, home to the NBA’s Memphis Grizzles and just 2 blocks from the Memphis Redbirds baseball stadium. It’s also just an easy 3-minute walk south from Beale Street, so it shouldn’t be an inconvenient journey for anyone seeing the Memphis tourist sites.
The area you enter for the tour doesn’t really have any markings on it, and you will wonder if you are in the right place. It’s the glassed-in area on the northwest side of the building. You will enter a large atrium and see a desk and not much else. No worries, though; go right to the desk and ask to go on the tour. Be careful, though, as the tours are only done at certain times. They are Sunday to Wednesday at 1pm and Thursday to Saturday at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, and 2pm. The price is $10, and children under 12 are NOT admitted.
You will be assigned a time and tour guide, and if early, you are free to look around the Gibson store located just off the atrium. The store carries a nice selection of instruments, but the prices are HIGH compared to a local music store. The guy working the counter says that it isn’t an "outlet" store and that they don’t have any special prices there. Those of you hoping to come away with a discount guitar may be disappointed.
We were assigned an excellent tour guide. He was an older man who was involved in the Memphis music scene and who also works at the Rock and Soul Museum across the street. He had some great stories to tell and made the most of our tour.
On the tour itself, you will follow a guitar from a flat piece of wood all the way through to the final tuning and boxing. You will see the gluing of the cases, the painting, the electronics put in, and various other things involved in the process. One thing that surprised, or perhaps disappointed, me was the workers. I half expected to see old-world craftsmen making these things by hand, but it was all younger workers and seemed a bit like an assembly line. Maybe I’m a bit of a romantic, though.
Overall, it’s a great thing to do and also very convenient if you are seeing other Memphis sites. Expect to be there about 30 minutes or so, and remember not to bring kids under 12 years old. You can find their website here:
From journal Memphis; Tales of Barbecue,Elvis,and Beale
Merchantville, New Jersey
December 12, 2003
From journal Memphis, Ameripass stop 15