Gibson Explorer E2- 1981


The first real guitar I ever got was a 1981 Gibson Explorer E2.

For the E/2 Explorer, Gibson optioned them with various and different parts. Biggest difference is the curved/contoured body for the E/2. Some came with “dirty fingers” pickups where some are (Zebra) cream and black colored or all black. Most had the standard stop-bar tailpiece, but some E/2’s did come with a TP6 tailpiece, to add to the confusion and fun.

The interesting thing about mine was the rare wine red, translucent color and while it has been chopped up for a Floyd Rose installation and beat up pretty well, I still have it to this day.

Sadly it needs serious work to fix the hole for the tremolo, reinstall the tune-o-matic bridge and replace the brass nut that came with it. It needs a fret job as well.

All these years later and I haven’t had the time or cash to refurbish it but perhaps one day I will as it has a lot of memories for me.

I don’t believe I’ve ever met another owner of an E2 but they also made a contoured “V” in that series too.

As first guitars go, it was a workhorse. Eventually I succumbed to the 80’s Ibanez, Jackson and other guitar and now have squarely landed on Strats for many years but the Gibson is till languishing in my collection as a neglected relic to my less than savory youth.

My guitar had dirty fingers pickups in it, both black and I switched out the bridge for a Super Distortion which is still in it. The neck was normal for me at the time but in retrospect, it’s a chunky thing and not the fastest player but at my advanced age, nothing about my playing is fast these days.

The thing had sustain for years and it really played well and took a serious beating too. Then again, perhaps that’s why I still have it, I’ve taken a serious beating too and in my day, I played well.

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