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We asked guitarists why guitar companies like Gibson are struggling and how to revive them

“Anyone Can Play Guitar” was a memorable early Radiohead single from 1993. But times have changed, and leading guitar companies are struggling in the 21st century.

This was illustrated on Wednesday when Gibson Brands Inc, the Nashville-based maker of iconic guitars since 1894 — instruments that have been played by the likes of Elvis Presley and B.B. King — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Between 2013 and 2016, Gibson’s revenue fell from $2.1 billion to $1.7 billion. The bankruptcy petition estimated its debt could be as much as $500 million.

Gibson pursued a diversification strategy as a “music lifestyle” brand, pivoting unsuccessfully into the home entertainment and audio-equipment industries.

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