Dave Grohl’s 1990 Gibson Explorer

This was one of Dave’s main guitars in the early days and probably the longest-running among them. The first video footage of him using the guitar dates to the Brixton Academy gig played on November 15, 1995.

Foo Fighters, Brixton 1995

As this was very soon after the release of Foo Fighters’ first album, it could be that the guitar was acquired just before the tour, and used as his main touring guitar.

I had a Gibson Explorer for a long time. I don’t know anything about guitars. If it sounds good when you play it, play it.

Classic interview: Josh Homme, Dave Grohl and Alain Johannes talk Them Crooked Vultures and affordable gear
Dave Grohl with the black Explorer in 2000.
Dave Grohl with the black Explorer in 2000.

Black Explorer in 2000s

The guitar was used on and off during the mid-90s, and it seem to really come into the spotlight around 2000, and 2001. The unsure part about this is that in 2000 and 2001 Dave used two nearly identical black Gibson Explorers, The first one had the neck bridge metal cover removed, and it had a Nixon watches logo sticker on the pickguard (see photo above). The second one didn’t have both pickup covers and had no stickers.

So the original Explorer that was used in 1995 could be either of these two guitars and at this point, it seems impossible to figure out which one was it exactly. Aside from the few details mentioned, they are identical.

No-sticker vs Sticker Gibson Explorer. Both screenshots are from the same gig, Foo Fighters at Bizarre Festival in 2001.

In any case 2002, Dave seemed to have moved from these guitars altogether. It’s unknown what happened to them, although it’s possible that one of them ended up in the MoPoP museum in Seattle (confirmation needed).


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