Jim Burns was an affable (if eccentric) personality whose forté was guitar design and technology.Alas, his strengths did not extend to business and financial management, and by ’65 his company was deeply in debt to suppliers and creditors.The resulting gold rush yielded a number of strange bedfellows, with many guitar companies owned by conglomerates that may or may not have a clue about making and marketing guitars.
The baby boom showed no signs of letting up and “Boomers” were hitting high adolescence – prime guitar playing years.
Thus, guitars were blessed with the Midas touch, veritable gold mines guaranteed to swell the bottom line as large corporations sought to diversify.
Spurned by Fender, Baldwin dispatched treasurer Richard Harrison to England to negotiate with Jim Burns about purchasing his floundering company.
Harrison recalls that Burns was pleasant enough, but that he spent most of the next several weeks in talks with Burns’ attorney trying to sort out the terrible state of affairs at the guitarmaker.
However, new product development ground to a halt as Baldwin adjusted to the shock of inheriting a product line targeted at an entirely new market.