John Frusciante’s 1962 Fender Jaguar (Red)
From 1994 to around 1997, John seems to have lost nearly all of his instruments in a fire that caught his house, and those few that survived were probably sold for money since John was having drug problems at the time.
Furthermore, Anthony Kiedis notes in his book Scar Tissue that John had no guitar to his name when he joined the band again in 1998, although according to an interview John gave to Guitarist (UK) in 2003, he did have his red Fender Jaguar.
The truth is probably that John perhaps felt like the Jaguar wasn’t good enough for recording and/or playing live with the band. He specifically said that he needed a Stratocaster if he were to record with the band again, which makes sense since he used a Strat on BSSM.
The major problem was John didn’t even have a guitar to his name. So we went over to the Guitar Center, and I bought him a great old ’62 Stratocaster. John was thrilled by the idea of being back in the band, but he was also scared because he hadn’t played the guitar for a very long time.Scar Tissue, Anthony Kiedis
I bought that (the red Fender Jaguar) at a guitar store, I think it was Voltage Guitars on Sunset, in 1997. I didn’t have a guitar and then I got some money and that was my Christmas present to myself. Then when the guys asked me to rejoin the band I said that I really need a Stratocaster. So Anthony lent me some money and we went to Guitar Centre and I got one with the rosewood neck. It’s a ’62 and I used that one on practically every track on By The Way.Guitarist (UK), June 2003 – Universally Speaking
Be that as it may, the red Jaguar is an important guitar since it was the only one that John had with him from 1997 to 1998 when he joined the Peppers for the second time. This means that the red Jaguar was used extensively during that period and that John spent countless hours practicing on it, working on getting his groove back.
As far as using the guitar in the studio or live, John appeared with it on the cover of the September 1999 issue of Guitar One magazine, and in the interview stated that he used a 1966 Fender Jaguar to record “Around the World” and some parts of “This Velvet Glove”. The important thing to say about this is that that wasn’t his red 1962 Jaguar, but a different guitar borrowed from the band’s recording engineer, Jim Scott.
The red Jaguar was however used occasionally live in the late 90s to play “Around the World”, most notably at the Woodstock festival on July 25, 1999.
You start to sort of associate certain styles of playing with certain guitars I guess. For me the Jaguar is one of the more colorful guitars that I have because the vibrato bar on it is the best one that I’ve ever felt and you can make string noise from behind the bridge and from behind the nut and there are lots of tonal differences and there’s just something about it that feels a certain way to me.
It’s hard to explain but it feels very purple to me, or something. For me that’s my most fun guitar out of it all of them so I think the reason I play it at the performance shows a lot is because those shows are all about for me having fun and and and that’s the funnest guitar I haveJohn Frusciante Interview (2004)
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Californication recording engineer Jim Scott, who’s Jag John borrowed to record Around the World, stated in a recent interview that he and John went out to buy this guitar because John had wanted to buy Jim’s Jag from him and he declined. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but given that John had other Jags in the late ‘90s I think maybe he bought this one for the Californication tour and it was not the one guitar he owned when he rejoined the RHCP. Hard to say though, because he only used the ‘62 Strat with the band in 1998.
Do you have a link to the interview?
And yeah, very hard to say which Jaguar it was exactly. He had a sunburst Jag and a red Strat in early 1997, so I guess he sold them both before Christmas 1997. Whether it was this red 62 he bought then or not, very hard to say.