For one reason or another Paul seems to have grown slightly dissatisfied with his PS10's as the Return of KISS Tour wore on. For the first few months his iconic PS10 SM#1 and two "standard" PS10's were the guitars of choice but sometime in October that changed. SM#1 was still the clear-cut first choice but instead of the PS10 backups there appeared the Gibson Explorer II and then, come November, two custom Hamer Standards joined the ranks.
Hamer had been started by Paul Hamer and Jol Dantzig in the early 70's. Originally the pair started a regular music store, Northern Prairie Music which opened in 1973, that specialized in buying old guitars (and banjos) and restoring them for re-sale; for all intents and purposes a vintage guitar store. The pair ventured into guitar construction after seeing the prices that pre-Norlin Gibsons were fetching. "When we created Hamer, we created the high-end boutique guitar category, but we didn't intend it that way. We were seeing vintage '50s Les Pauls selling for $3,000. We thought we could make guitars just as good and sell them for a third of that price." (Vintage Guitar, June 2000
) Paul's first use of the custom Hamer Standard seems to be November 6 in Anaheim, CA
. According to Hamer (personal communication, 2007), all of Paul's Hamers were specifically built for him and comparing them to the regular models we see several things that differ. As seen in the pic here there are two small "indentations", one on the upper bout and one on the treble horn. Unlike the "standard" Standard, Paul's also has a three-a-side headstock and in place of the tune-o-matic-style bridge was the Sustain Block bridge
used on the Hamer Sunburst. (This was something that other Standards that left Hamer had but the main bridge type of the Standard was the fine-tune bridge with a stop tailpiece.) Binding of the neck, as seen on Paul's guitars, was an option of the Standard but the inlays were not. The inlays on Paul's custom Hamers, and this goes for all of them, were more or less a copy of the ones on the PS10 with a pearl square split by an abalone line in the center. The Hamer inlays only differ in the width of the abalone line which is narrower
and the fact that the 12th fret inlay only features one abalone split (the PS10 had two).