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.
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.
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