So, it's a Gibson. That only leaves one question: why tape over the logo on the headstock? The initial thought might be that it was a way to sidestep any contractual obligations to Ibanez but considering the almost blatant use of Hamers for the latter part of the Return of KISS tour that seems unlikely. Why bother covering up the fact that he played a Gibson while his Hamers were plain to see? My guess, and it is just a guess, is that Paul might have been talking with Hamer about a possible endorsement or sponsorship. Paul was into Hamers anyway, and he stated it quite explicitly in some interviews at the time, and they were trying to revive the spirit of the original Gibson build quality. Everyone into guitars at the time probably knew about Paul's involvement with Ibanez on the PS10 so in a sense that was a given, but having started playing custom Hamer Standards it might look a little "bad" if Paul had turned around and played a Gibson. That is, if
he was looking for an endorsement deal. Otherwise, why bother?
Two minor details about this guitar. First, Paul had the strap button moved to the back of the heel on this guitar much as he had on the Firebird I, and this despite Gibson lauding its new ultra-safe "Posi-Lok" strap button. (Strangely enough the 1976 Explorer didn't get this modification. Instead it just got a screw-in loop.) Second, the catalog version had a more elaborate tailpiece, the TP-6, which allowed for fine tuning while Paul's guitar has a more standard Tune-o-matic tailpiece. Judging by vintage guitar sales of this model it seems as if at least some guitars
left the factory with this bridge/tailpiece configuration, perhaps early in the production run. Of course, changing the tailpiece is a very simple modification, especially if you're removing all the hardware to fit a mirror overlay anyway.
The Explorer II only lasted until the end of the 1979 tour, the miniscule pictures on the right show the guitar at the last show of the tour in Toledo, and according to a 1980 interview in Sounds magazine he claimed he hadn't been particularly impressed with the guitar. After the end of the tour the 1979 Explorer II joins the ever-growing ranks of guitars that passed through Paul's hands and then vanished into the mists.