date_range 1998

John Frusciante’s 1955 Fender Stratocaster

From the time he came back to the band up until the release of the album “Californication” in 1999, John acquired a good amount of new guitars. Among them was a 1955 Fender Stratocaster – the only maple necked guitar John would ever use.

The guitar is finished in two-tone sunburst, and as said – features one-piece maple neck. When John bought the guitar sometime in 1998/1999 the pickups were already replaced with the Seymour Duncan SSL-1s – same ones John would later install in his main 1962 Stratocaster.

It’s been reported a few times that this is John’s second favorite guitar, and he used it extensively on Californication – possibly more than his ’62 Strat. Since then it’s usually been used on slower and more mellow songs – a good example is “Zephyr Song” from By the Way album released in 2002.

(talking about recording the Californication album:) I used a ’56 Stratocaster for most of the basic tracks, and a ’62 Stratocaster- the sunburst one- on some stuff. [Guitar One (USA), September 1999]

Here’s an interesting interview with John talking a bit about recording Dani California. It features his 1955 Strat.

To avoid any misunderstandings, for many years John thought that this guitar was actually a 1957 Strat, but it was proven to be a 1955. He might also be referring to his Shure SM57 microphones when talking about the equipment used on Dani California.

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