Solidbody / Production 1958 – 1959.
Gibson’ quick re-design of the headstock from the split V to the curved scimitar shape could not save this guitar model.
Unlike the Flying V, which Gibson successfully reintroduction in the early 1960’s, the Explorer remained out of production until the mid 1970’s, when guitarists who were pushing rock n roll music to new limits, began looking for a nontraditional guitar to identify their music.
In 1975, prompted by Hamer’s introduction of a similar looking model and by an Eric Clapton’s appearance in a Music Man amplifier advert playing an original Explorer, Gibson were inspired to bring back the Explorer.
Super rock group Metallica’s James Hetfield and Scorpions Mathias Jabs established the Explorer as an identification badge for metal guitarists. Dave Grohl of the Foo Fights also wielded an Explorer and the model became a iconic classic when played by a character portrayed by Nigel Tufnel in the film This is Spinal Tap.