Gibson, a company known internationally for its lineup of signature electric guitars including the Les Paul and SG, announced today that it had returned the Oberheim trademark to company founder and synth pioneer Tom Oberheim.
According to a statement issued by Gibson, the move was instigated after a chance meeting between Gibson president and CEO James ‘JC’ Curleigh and Oberheim at Winter NAMM.
“Of the many stories I have heard and decisions I have made since joining Gibson, this situation seemed simple,” said Curleigh. “Let’s do the right thing by putting the Oberheim brand back in the hands of its namesake founder Tom Oberheim.”
“After over thirty years of being without it, I am thrilled to once again be able to use the Oberheim trademark for my products,” said Tom Oberheim. “I am very grateful to the new leadership team of Gibson for making this possible.”
The Oberheim company first produced the OB-X in 1979, the OBXA in 1980-81, and the OB8 in 1983, as well as the Matrix 12, Matrix 6 and Matrix 1000 from the mid-1980s.
The OB-X was used on classic albums, ranging from Rush‘s Moving Pictures and Signals to Madonna‘s debut album. Prince, Harold Faltermeyer, Van Halen and Jean-Michel Jarre were also Oberheim enthusiasts.
Gibson is coming out of a tumultuous time. After surfacing from bankruptcy in 2018 the instrument company had a reported $200 million in debt. This month Gibson announced new creative collaboration agreements with boutique guitar makers as well as the opening of its new headquarters in Downtown Nashville.