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Thread: Gibson Opry Mills Facility

  1. #1
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Gibson Opry Mills Facility

    This morning while looking for something else I bumped into these pictures taken by Richard Johnston in a visit to Gibson's Opry Mills facility back in 2000. It's no longer there but it was a fun stop on most of my trips to Nashville back then. It's from Frank Ford's www.frets.com website. A trip down memory lane.

    It includes a picture of the infamous $199.00 Gibson mandolin they would create while you waited. They were a tourist item. One passed through my hands when I was buying and selling instruments. They were pretty much mandolin shaped objects.
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Oct-08-2020 at 7:44am.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Gibson Opry Mills Facility

    Thanks Mike, that was a fun visit.
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    Expert on my own opinion Bogle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Opry Mills Facility

    Ah yes....Gibson/Opry Mills. I recall visiting with Charlie Derrington there around 2004. He had Billy perform a set-up (no charge!) on my Flatiron Artist "F" while I watched him and his group "Trayler Parker and the Propane Tanks" record a music video for a television show. Good times.

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Opry Mills Facility

    We almost visited on our one trip to Nashville. Was talked out of it by a couple of friends. Ended up doing other tourist things instead. Admittedly, was going to stop there to get one of those mandolins. Wasn't playing mandolin at the time. Was told not to bother. Glad I didn't.
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    Registered User jefflester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Opry Mills Facility

    Brings back memories. I visited and took the tour back in 2007 when I was in Nashville for the first and only time to see the Nickel Creek farewell shows at the Ryman.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Opry Mills Facility

    For posterity, here is the picture of the Gibson made to order mandolins they sold at the Opry Mills store. The image is from Frank Ford's www.frets.com. Somewhere here there is a message were Big Joe Vest is explaining the Gibson Lifetime warranty didn't apply these. Amazingly enough, for a period of time they were putting a cut down Epiphone truss rod cover that just said Gibson on the headstock. There was no truss rod in the neck either. The one that passed through here was painted a candy apple red and had the cover and the young lady that owned it told me they made it just for her. It was pretty much unplayable.
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Opry Mills Facility

    Quote Originally Posted by jefflester View Post
    Brings back memories. I visited and took the tour back in 2007 when I was in Nashville for the first and only time to see the Nickel Creek farewell shows at the Ryman.
    When we did our only visit, ended up getting tickets to the The Bluegrass Sessions at the Ryman. For that show, Vassar ended up joining for over half of it. Wish I had picked up the Hatch Show print for that show. Ended up only getting one for Bluegrass at the Ryman.
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    Default Re: Gibson Opry Mills Facility

    Mike, thanks for posting! The one time we were near there, the wife was impatient and we decided we'd see it next time we were in Nashville...Oh well.

    I like the picture of the dobro in the spray booth - Masks, we don't need no stinking masks.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Opry Mills Facility

    I remember standing and watching someone with a Dremel creating an F style mandolin neck from square wood to rounded and being amazed that it wasn't made on a CNC machine or anything.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Gibson Opry Mills Facility

    I visited around 2005. Big Joe gave me and my younger son, who was about 11, a tour, and then handed me his personal mandolin to try and let my son play all the guitars, no matter how expensive. Joe Vest's hospitality is what I remember best to this day, as does my son.

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