Tom Morello’s 1980s Gibson Explorer II – E2

As Tom became more serious about playing he decided it was time to invest some money in a better guitar. The choice fell on a Gibson Explorer with a flat gold finish.

This was my main guitar that I practiced on my countless, countless hours on – a Gibson Explorer II. This is the gutiar that I had all through college and when I moved to LA.

I ruined its sound by putting a Kahler tremolo bar, which of course at that time you needed in order to be a 80s dive-bombing rocker.

A Tour of Tom Morello’s Guitars & Home Studio
Young Tom Morello with his Gibson Explorer II. Photo source: Tom's Instagram.
Young Tom Morello with his Gibson Explorer II. Photo source: Tom’s Instagram.

The guitar featured a five-piece maple and walnut laminate body, an ebony fingerboard with dot inlays, two humbuckers pickups, a black pickguard, gold plated hardware, and a Gibson TP-6 tailpiece.

Tom used this guitar with his high school band called “The Electric Sheep”. Later on, he brought it with him and used it for practicing during the time he was enrolled at Harvard University around 1982, and continued using it after moving to LA in 1986. Sometime during that time he removed the original tailpiece and installed a Kahler 2200 tremolo bridge – which according to Tom ruined its sound.

Nonetheless, he kept playing the to this day, and to some extent he used it on every record he ever made.

A recent show of the guitar from Tom's studio.
A recent show of the guitar from Tom’s studio.


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