John Frusciante’s 1960 Fender Telecaster Custom
Bought sometime prior to Californication, and was used on a few songs from that album – specifically Easily and Scar Tissue (only on the solo). It was also used on the band’s 2002 album By the Way, where John used this exact guitar to record one of their bigger hits, Can’t Stop.
I also had a ’61 Gibson SG, and I used a Telecaster on some things too, like “Easily” and “Scar Tissue.”Red Hot Once Again!, 1999
I just played the slide on a Telecaster into my Fender Showman amp. My favorite slide guitarist is Snake Finger. His influence isn’t evident on the song, but that’s how I practice slide: from playing along with him and Jimmy Page.Return Of The Prodigal Son, Guitar Player (UK), September 1999
John’s Telecaster features a three-tone sunburst finish, rosewood fingerboard, white body binding, and white pickguard with a letter “F” embedded or printed onto it – the origin of which is a mystery (if you know anything about this particular detail, be sure to leave a comment below).
In some older interviews, John refers to the guitar as a ’65 Telecaster, in some as ’66, and some of the more recent magazine articles have it listed as a ’63. However, one Japanese magazine apparently had a chance to photograph the guitar in detail and published its serial number – #45959. This puts the guitar in the year 1960.Embed from Getty Images
John’s Tele Inspiration
In an interview from 1999, John explained where he got the inspiration to use a Telecaster specifically on some of the songs.
It’s similar to the kind of guitar that Syd Barrett used to play in Pink Floyd, and also similar to what Jimmy Page played in the Yardbirds, – those are two of my favorite guitarists.Guitar World (USA), July 1999
Just in case you’re interested, Syd Barrett (the original member of Pink Floyd) played a 1962 Fender Esquire himself – a guitar that is almost identical to a Telecaster, except that it has only a single pickup, compared to two on the Tele. On the other side, Jimmy Page played a 1959 Fender Telecaster in the Yardbirds, a guitar that was given to him by Jeff Beck in 1966. You can read more about these guitars on Syd Barrett’s and Jimmy Page’s gear pages.
John’s Favorite Guitar?
Although John 1962 Stratocaster seems to be his favorite, both based on several interview statements and the frequency of use, in one of the interviews, John stated that the Telecaster is actually his favorite.
I’m a bit of a snob. I only play on guitars from the fifties or the sixties. If it’s newer, it doesn’t interest me! But the best guitar to me, in relation to my playing, the look, the sound, the comfort, it’s the Fender Telecaster from 1966. The best!A Beautiful Breakaway, 2004
Please note here that John is saying that the Telecaster is from 1966. This could be him just not knowing/caring to know the actual year of manufacture of his guitar, or he could be referring to a different Tele. It is confirmed that he did own another Telecaster, which he gave to Josh Klinghoffer after he replaced John in the Peppers.
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