This guitar was an impulse and a fun one by that! During someone’s birthday (early 2010) I started a chat with an ex-bandmember of the birthday-boy and he told me about this mail-order Explorer of decent quality and bizar low pricing by Wesley Guitars. Being a Metallica fan since age 9 I always wanted to rock an Explorer Hetfield-style, but it just never happened after my interest shifted to superstrats. This was a cool opportunity to rock my childhood back into life!
The guitar arrived very quickly and it was very decent indeed! We’re not talking incredible quality here, but it was playable and it sounded quite ok! One thing that bothered me immediatly though was the position of the switch. Completely unreachable. I wanted to go more Hetfield and move the switch to one of the knobs. I needed to enlarge one of those potholes and by doing so I ripped some of it’s clearcoat off. Too bad.
This started a journey of metamorphoses. At first I covered the scratchplate with some gold foil to cover the hole for the switch and a matching oval around the controls to cover the stripped clearcoat around the switch. Then I sanded it down, added some bevels and painted it silver. It sunk too deep into the mahogany so I grabbed some cheap childs paint, painted it blue and added some swirly waves. First without pickguard, later with a blue painted pickguard.
Finally I stripped it all again, repainted it matt black and made a custom blue-stained plywood scratchplate. It definitely got a beautiful facelift, but I didn’t really click that much with the guitar anymore so I sold it to a Wesley. True story.
Although I used this guitar quite a bit on Songs of Seas and Oceans and still live the look of Explorers I don’t really miss this guitar. It was fun playing it, but not comfortable to me and quality-wise not up to par with the rest of my guitars. But it was megafun playing around with it!