John Frusciante’s 1961 Fender Stratocaster (White)

This Strat was acquired sometime prior to the Stadium Arcadium tour. John supposedly used it a lot during the rehearsals, and even during the recording session on a few songs (source on this needed). It was also seen occasionally during the tour, sometimes played by Josh Klinghoffer in the background.

Red Hot Chili Peppers Live in Chorzów, July 03, 2007. Image source: YouTube

Year of Manufacture

To try an figure out when this guitar was made, one can simply look at the slab fretboard, which was replaced by a thinner veneer fretboard on the models made after 1962. So, no earlier than ’59 (introduction of rosewood fretboards, and no later than ’62 (JFEffects has it listed as a ’61, so that sounds about right).

It’s also interesting to note that this was John’s only Strat that has a floating tremolo bridge – meaning that the tremolo’s rear edge is raised up off the body. This allows John to raise the pitch of a note, as the additional range of movement allows the bar to be raised, which pulls the strings tighter and raises the pitch [original source on this needed, seems to be an internet forum myth for the most part]

The Guitar Today

This guitar is now owned by Zach Irons, the son of former RHCP drummer Jack Irons and the guitarist for AWOLNATION (thanks Christoph). Apparently, John gave Zach guitar lessons early on, and the two formed a friendship.

We met when I was younger when I was 14 or so. We shared the bond of a love for the guitar and our friendship grew from there. At the time I met him I wasn’t necessarily a fan. I didn’t really know his work or his playing. Flea had told me that I should sit down with him; he said that he was one of the best. So we set something up and it worked out. We just kind of hit it off.

I had such passion about the guitar, and seeing his ability at such a young age—I was at that age when my brain was like a sponge. I was so lucky to be there and be up close to his playing like that, and see his level of skill and professionalism and creative ability. It really helped form me into who I am today as a musician because of it.

Irontom: Zach Irons on ‘Partners,’ Opening for Red Hot Chili Peppers

Sometime after 2007, John decided to present the guitar to Zach as a gift. Since Zach is left-handed, this required him to do some modifications to the guitar to make it playable. Based on the photos these were pretty standard – flipping the nut around, adjusting the saddles, and removing the plastic control knobs (to avoid accidental adjusting). Interestingly, based on the photo below, the guitar also came with John’s strap on it.

Zach Irons holding the 1961 Fender Stratocaster formerly owned by John Frusciante.
Zach Irons holding the 1961 Fender Stratocaster formerly owned by John Frusciante. Photo credit: Keegan Gibbs


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1 year ago

john played it at austin 2022 so i guess it found its way home..i had to look it up as the lefty guitar strap button was still there and i thought maybe it was jimis guitar as he owned at least one alpine white

2 years ago
3 years ago

Here is the vid of Zach playing the guitar with his band Irontom
You can definitely hear John’s influense on Zach’s playing style.

3 years ago

That guitar is now owned by Zach Irons, the son of former RHCP drummer Jack Irons. Apparently, John gave Zach guitar lessons and than gave it to him as a present.

3 years ago
Reply to  Dan Kopilovic

You‘re welcome! Also worth to mention, Zach uses it as a left hander. I‘m not sure which modifications – if any – were made for that.

Love your website! :)