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My 1977 Explorer story.

Indiana Explorer

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Greetings. I only recently discovered this board and this is my first post.


I have enjoyed all the information everyone has posted here and thought it is time to introduce myself and share my Explorer story. I am more of a collector than a player, but that doesn't stop me from cranking up my Marshall JCM 2000 TSL-60 and 1960A cabinet and dreaming that I'm Randy Rhodes or Alex Skolnick playing in front of thousands of screaming fans!


I bought my Explorer at a pawn shop in the early 1990's. At the time I only bought it because I wanted to sell another guitar and they offered me very little cash, but more if I traded up. There wasn't much selection to choose from, but there was a dusty old Gibson Explorer available. At the time I knew nothing about Explorers, but I knew the Gibson name. So I traded my Ibanez EX-125 and about $150 cash for the Explorer. I essentially paid about $300 for the Explorer. I wasn't too excited about it, and after carrying the case out to my car I was starting to already feel remorse because the thing was sooo heavy. I took it home and played it a bit but at tht time I was more into my Japanese made Ibanez's and Jacksons which looked "cool" and fit my image. So the Explorer went into it's case and under the bed for a very long time.


What a difference 20 years makes. I had more or less forgotten about the Explorer until about a year or so ago when my oldest son started kindergarden and I had a little time to start playing again. Just for kicks I dug out the the old tree trunk - sorry, I mean explorer and started to play it. Literally, my first thoughts were "HOLY CRAP!!! This thing ROCKS". I have some very nice guitars in my collections and have played some very expensive ones now and then. I couldn't believe what I had in my hands. This guitar is awesome and I'm so glad I kept it. I lost count of the times money was tight and I thought of selling it for a few hundred just to pay some bills.


Over 20 years ago I was just an aspiring rocker playing in a metal band for no other reasons than sex drugs and rock and roll. Overall a pretty dumb kid without much direction in life. Back then I made a lot of bad decisions, but buying the Explorer was a good one. After doing a little research I am starting to think it was one of my best decisions. Albeit in this case I was probably more lucky than anything else, but I'll take luck any day of the week.


Turns out that the Explorer I have is from 1977. It has a factory installed Kahler Pro tremolo with a Flip Lock nut. These play nothing like a Floyd Rose and, in my opinion, sound far superior. It also has factory installed EMG active pickups. All these years I just figured this was an old guitar someone had modified. I assumed it wasn't worth much since I have never seen another one like it. I was shocked after I contacted Gibson and they told me that these were in fact options available in 1977 through special order only. Turns our I have a completely stock vintage Explorer with some, according to Gibson, very rare options for that year. I can't believe prior to about six months ago I have only taken it out of it's original case only maybe three or four times in the last 15 years. Now it's my main guitar. It's not in perfect condition by any means, it has character. But it plays like nothing else. They only way I'll part with it is after I die and I will it to my son.


So that's my story of how I became an Exporer owner. I'll attach a picture of it to share. Thanks for reading and sharing your stories and knowledge on this board.

post-35874-083014900 1315964425_thumb.jpg

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