John Frusciante’s 1962 Fender Jaguar (Red)

access_time First seen circa 1997

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 the 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 after going through what must’ve been a terrible period of time of trying to deal with his drug addiction.

As far as using the guitar in the studio or live, John appeared with it on the cover of 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.

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access_time 1998

1962 Fender Stratocaster

This guitar was purchased by Anthony Kiedis when Frusciante joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers again in 1998. According to Anthony, at that time, John didn’t have a guitar of his own (all of his old guitars were either sold or lost in a fire that caught his house), but according to John himself, he did have his red Fender Jaguar. It is likely that what Anthony actually meant is that John […]

access_time 1990

1966 Fender Jaguar (Under the Bridge)

This Fender Jaguar is undeniably best known for its appearance on ‘Under the Bridge’ video. The date of purchase is unfortunately unknown, but it is known that this was one of John’s favorite guitars at the time – the one he’d use for practicing and fooling around in his room. John’s Jaguar was finished in what’s known as Sherwood green color and features two single-coil pickups, rosewood neck with white binding […]

access_time 1991

1958 Fender Stratocaster (BSSM)

For the recording of Blood Sugar Sex Magik, John used what was apparently a late 50s sunburst Stratocaster. However, there are some issues with this, because for that to be true, the guitar had to have had a maple neck, because rosewood necks were introduced only in May 1959. And, since we have a pretty good insight into what guitars he used on the album (see documentary Funky Monks), we know that none […]

access_time 1988

Ibanez RG760

John used a couple of different Ibanez guitars early on in Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1988 and 1989. The best-known one is the guitar featured on most of the photos that come up when you Google “John Frusciante Ibanez” – featuring a ton of stickers and hand-writings on the body. Based on the time when he used, the theme of the stickers, and the fact that the guitar was red – we’re […]

access_time 1989

1968 Fender Stratocaster

This was Frusciante’s main Stratocaster around the time of the release of ‘Mother’s Milk album’. It was seen on numerous occasions around that time, predominantly in 1989, but possibly also in 1990. Just to name a few, John played it at a gig at Dam Square, Amsterdam, on August 26, 1989, at Pinkpop in the Netherlands on June 4, 1990, and it was seen in the music video for the song ‘Knock Me […]

access_time 1988

1986/87 Kramer Pacer Custom II

This was the only guitar that John had with him when he first joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers back in 1988. He only used it for a few gigs with the Peppers [Red Hot Chili Peppers John Anson Ford Theater October 8, 1988], and for some of the early gigs with HATE (sideband project with Flea). This particular guitar is somewhat of a mystery. What we do know is that the guitar had a […]

access_time 1989

Ibanez RG750

To our knowledge, John was seen playing this guitar only on one occasion – at Shafer Court, Virginia Commonwealth University on April 14, 1989. Most likely the guitar was a backup for John’s main Ibanez, model RG760, and that he used it for that purpose more than just once. Also, given that the photo below was taken around the same time that the band was working on ‘Mother’s Milk’, it is possible […]

access_time 2006

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 reason that might have led John to choose this exact guitar to be […]

access_time 1998

1960s Fender Telecaster Custom

Bought sometime prior to Californication, and 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 just played the slide on a Telecaster into my Fender Showman amp. My favorite slide guitarist is Snake […]

access_time 2005

1961 Fender Stratocaster (Fiesta Red)

This is one of the guitars John bought just prior to Stadium Arcadium, most likely to have something on hands available as a backup for his 1962 Stratocaster. This Stratocaster was made in 1961, and features fiesta red finish and a rosewood fretboard. The pickups in it are most likely original, although there’s a possibility that John replaced them with Seymour Duncan SSL-1s like in his two main Strats. John used this guitar quite a lot during […]

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