Eric Clapton’s 1958 Gibson Korina Explorer
Eric purchased the guitar at the Alex Musical Instruments in New York in the early to mid-70s. [original source needed] It can be seen in photos taken during the ’74-’75 tour.
One unique feature on the guitar that attracted his attention was the shortened bass bout (the upper back horn). Clapton initially believed that this came as a result of the guitar being an original prototype, but that theory was eventually debunked and the guitar turned up to be modified by the previous owner. This allegedly made Clapton somewhat pissed, up to the point of trying to return the guitar to the store. [internet babble, reliable source needed on this]
Nevertheless, he used this guitar on several songs from the album E.C. Was Here released in 1975. It is also most likely the guitar he was photographed with for the Music Man ad for HD-130 Reverb amplifiers in 1976. The photo was taken so that the sleeve on Eric’s shirt directly covers up the portion of the guitar that was cut off, so this is mostly just a guess.
The guitar today
According to Tony Bacon’s book Flying V, Explorer, Firebird: An Odd-Shaped History of Gibson’s Weird Electric Guitars, Clapton gave the guitar to Junior Marvin in 1977, who then sold it off to a private buyer sometime in the 1980s.
More recently, the guitar ended up in the hands of Kunio Kushida, a guitarist and a collector from Japan (also the same person who owns Duane Allman’s Gibson Les Paul Junior).
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