date_range 1990

John Frusciante’s 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 and dot inlays, and a floating tremolo. The guitar had a good amount of paint cracks and scratches on it, and the neck itself had a couple of dead spots – so perhaps that’s one of the reasons John never really played this guitar live.

My favorite guitar in the world is my old, fucked-up Fender Jaguar. The strings are all crusty, and the notes crap out when you bend them. I used it to write most of the music, and I became really attached to it. [Guitar Player (USA), October 1991]

John playing his Fender Jaguar at the beginning of the video for “Under the Bridge”.

The Jaguar in the Studio

On his second album with the band, ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’, John used the Jaguar to record solo on ‘Power of Equality’ – played through a Fender H.O.T. 12W practice amp.

I like the guitar solo, it’s a one-note thing, just before the last verse in Power of Equality on the new album. That was on my old Fender Jaguar, I think it’s a real early one. I hit that note and it went on and on like crazy. I only got that guitar ’cause it looked cool and gradually I got into its character. I used this little 12W practice amp and that set up got used for most overdubs ’cause it sounded so much better than all the other stuff. [Guitar (UK), November 1991]

The guitar was also apparently used on other tracks, mostly for overdubs, although he never talked about the specifics.

The Jaguar Today

The guitar is currently owned by Hard Rock Cafe corporation, however, they don’t explain when or how they got hold of the guitar – whether it was from John himself, or from someone else. Nonetheless, since there’s John signature on the body, it is without a doubt a not a fake.

Like many of the guitars that are owned by the HRC, John’s guitar travels around the world and was seen on a number of different locations. If you happened to have seen the guitar at any of them, and/or you happen to have photos of it, please be sure to leave a comment below.

More on the subject of how the guitar went from John’s to HRC’s hands – we’ve been contacted by one of our readers whose friend happened to be working at the Guitar Center Hollywood when according to her, John Frusciante walked in barefoot with the Under the Bridge guitar and sold it for a relatively small amount. This means that the guitar, like most of his guitars, ended up being sold in order to support his drug addiction in the mid-90s. (thanks to Anna from SuggestiveDesign.com for providing this info)

Since the guitar is indeed signed by Frusciante, the Hard Rock Cafe probably got in touch with him at some point – or more likely, Guitar Center asked Frusciante to sign the guitar themselves when he sold it, which would obviously be a very smart thing to do. From that point on, the guitar could’ve gone straight to the Hard Rock Museum, as it is likely that G.C. contacted people/places like Hard Rock to let them know they’d acquired the Under the Bridge guitar, and ask if they were interested.

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