John Frusciante’s 1955 Fender Stratocaster
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From the time he came back to the band up until the release of Californication in 1999, John acquired a good amount of new guitars. Among them was a 1955 Fender Stratocaster – the only maple neck Strat that John would ever use.
The guitar is finished in two-tone sunburst, and features a one-piece maple neck. When John bought it sometime in 1998/1999 apparently the pickups were already replaced with the Seymour Duncan SSL-1s – same ones John would later install in his main 1962 Stratocaster (or so he though).
I had my ’62, which has the original pickups, and then I had the [’55] with the Duncans, and the sound was very similar. The differences had more to do with the guitars than the pickups. Eventually, I had to get Duncans in the ’62, as well.VintageGuitar magazine – John Frusciante Red Hot On The Empyrean
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
I only used my ’57 and ’62 Strat, because those two are my favorite guitars and I don’t think I used any other guitars. Those two make most of the sounds I’m looking for or hear in my head. I’ve been playing these Stratocasters for a long time, so they are like a part of my body. If I play other guitars, I feel like I’m playing with a toy.John Frusciante talks about his new solo album, The Empyrean, 2009
The guitar was also used on Stadium Arcadium, most notably on Dani California. It features his 1955 Strat.
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