John Frusciante’s 1950s Gibson ES-175D

John found this guitar through Vincent Gallo sometime in 1999. It features a dark sunburst finish, two PAF pickups, and a full depth hollow body making it a semi-acoustic guitar. Although he referred to it in a couple of interviews as a ’56, that can’t be the case since the PAFs were not available on models made before 1957. Therefore, the guitar is either a ’57 or newer.

Interestingly, John had .013 strings on this guitar, which are heavier even than the ones he’d use on his Gretsch (he uses .012s on that guitar, and .010s on his Strats).

You know, you can’t really play funk on .012s, but I did feel, based on the two or three guitar players there are in rock music who play with .012s or .013s, that I could develop a style that would go with Flea’s bass playing on strings of that size. So I wrote a couple of songs using that guitar, and it worked out well.

Guitar World (USA), July 1999

Usage in Studio

The guitar was apparently used on the solo for the solo on Get on Top, and the entirety of Porcelain.

In rehearsal, I was playing more screaming guitar solos for this song, but I ended up playing that solo with a ’56 Gibson ES-175 that had .013s on it. I didn’t use the 175 for too many things – only “Porcelain” and this solo.

Return Of The Prodigal Son, Guitar Player, 1999


GroundGuitar counts on your criticism and feedback. In case you notice anything wrong with the information posted on this page, or you have knowledge of something that you would like to share, be sure to leave a comment below.

In case you want to talk to me directly and privately, please use the Contact Form and I will get back to you as soon as possible. (Dan)

Notify of
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

Humbuckers came in 1957 – its either modified from P90s or a different year