date_range 2006

John Frusciante’s 1959 Fender Stratocaster (Fretless)

John used this guitar occasionally on tour in 2005/2006 [Red Hot Chili Peppers – Live La Cigale 2006]. At that point in time, the Strat was most likely completely stock and featured a fixed tremolo bridge. Sometime in mid to late 2006, John decided to mod the guitar and replace the original neck with a fretless one.

The 1959 Fender Stratocaster, as seen during the Live La Cigale concert in 2006. Photo source: YouTube

The reason that might have led John to choose this exact guitar to be re-fitted with a fretless neck is probably the fact that it had a very thin D – shaped neck that was specific to the 59/60 Strats — as opposed to fatter necks that were fitted on the 1961-63 Strats which John obviously favored. The job was done by Ned Evett and was arranged by Frusciante’s guitar tech, Dave Lee.

I took a Warmouth vintage replacement neck, outfitted it with a glass fretless fingerboard and attached it to the 1959 Fender hardtail Strat body John provided. The original neck was safely removed, and no modifications to the original guitar were made. [Ned Evett Fretless Guitar Blog: Blue Raga on John Frusciante’s Custom Guitar]

Unfortunately, it is unknown whether John used this glass fretless Stratocaster on any of the songs he recorded with the band, or on any of his solo records. If you happen to come across some info regarding the subject, please be sure to contact us.

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