John Frusciante’s 1960s Bartell St. George XK12
This is one of the lesser known guitars of John’s. It seems to have been mentioned only once by him, in an interview with Guitarist & Bass (FR), in March 2009, when he talked about ‘The Empyrean’ album, and it was also seen on a few photos taken at John’s place sometime in the mid-2000s.
The guitar is a 12-string model designed by Paul Barth, who was one of the pioneers of the electric guitar. Prior to starting his own company, Paul worked as a designer for Rickenbacker, during which time he helped develop the first ever electric guitar – the Rickenbacker “Frying Pan”. [Paul Barth – Magnatone Amps]
Frusciante’s guitar was made during the period from 1964 to 1968 when Paul partnered with Ted Peckels to build guitars under a brand called “Bartell”. It features two single-coil pickups, a non-adjustable aluminum bridge, individual switches for the pickups, a phase switch, and control knobs for volume and tone.