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Godin’s 40th Anniversary Party at Winter NAMM 2013. BACK (L to R): Jimmy Papadimitrios, Richard Bunze, Norm Arduini, Janet Godin, Robert Godin, Craig Skala, Marc Lamarre, Robert Richer, Franco Contrino, Daniel Fiocco. FRONT (L to R): Patrick Godin, Simon Godin, Katherine Calder-Becker, Fred DiSanto, Mario Biferali.
Fundamentals and New Ground
Godin’s electric lines benefit from being familiar, yet different. Stylistically, they’re recognizable yet reserved and free of cliché. The bodies—whether single-cutaway, double-cutaway, or another shape—follow lines associated with iconic instruments, but the brand’s new interpretations of those tried-and-true ideas have helped the company carve out its own niche.
“When you pick up a Les Paul, you play it a certain way,” says Biferali. “And then you pick up a Tele and, all of a sudden, you think you’re in Nashville, right? With a Strat, you end up pulling out your Jimi Hendrix riffs. I find that Godin allows the artist to shine through because it doesn’t have any preconceived notions of what it is supposed to be.”
Godin works hard to strike a balance between breaking new ground while also being rooted in proven fundamentals. “We push, we push, we push, and then we reel it back in,” says Biferali.
Harkening back to the brand’s early days when Robert Godin himself was driving a van around the country, selling to guitar stores, Godin continues to listen to musician feedback and provide instruments that ignore conventional wisdom and preconceptions. After more than 50 years in the business, the man who started it all continues to be inspired to innovate by the sounds he loves from around the globe. “When I travel, I love to collect world instruments,” Godin says. “The folk instruments from all the many world cultures truly fascinate me.”