John Frusciante’s 1966 Fender Jaguar (Under the Bridge)
This Fender Jaguar is undeniably best known for its appearance in the 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.
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’s Jaguar was finished in what’s known as Sherwood green color and features two single-coil pickups, a 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.
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 allegedly 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’s signature on the body, it could be the real deal.
Like many of the guitars that are owned by the HRC, John’s guitar travels around the world and was seen in 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.
John Sells the Guitar
But, there are some inconsistencies regarding the HRC Jaguar. The first part begins with the story of how the guitar went out of John’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 the mid-90s. (thanks to Anna from SuggestiveDesign.com for providing this info)
All of this is of course impossible to confirm, so take it with a grain of salt.
Someone Else Buys It
According to Joanna Patey (see comments below), the Jaguar was bought the next day by Scott Weiland, the lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots. Based on another comment made by Brandon, the guitar remained in Scott’s studio until his death in 2015, and it’s unknown what happened to it since.
So What’s Wrong With the HRC Story?
The problem is – if the above is true, then the Hard Rock Cafe Jaguar simply cannot be this same guitar, because it was photographed there years before 2015 (see Hard Rock Collection’s Iconic Axes). So either one of the guitars is a fake, or John simply had two similar Jaguars at that time (unlikely).
One interesting thing is that the guitar owned by HRC is signed by Frusciante. So, the Hard Rock Cafe could’ve gotten in touch with him at some point after acquiring the guitar – or perhaps more likely, Guitar Center asked Frusciante to sign the guitar themselves when he sold it to them – which would obviously be a very smart thing to do.
In any case, since HRC hasn’t come out with any information on how they acquired this guitar, it seems rather possible that they have a fake one. Based on the guitars like this one (most likely never used by John), it seems that the guitars that they claim were once owned by popular guitarists, could simply be just random guitars signed by the guitarists.
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I saw this guitar over many years at the Hard Rock Cafe in Caracas, Venezuela. I don’t if it is still there
I’ve also seen a stray apparently John’s in Amsterdam hard rock, a red squier which most likely was just a guitar with his signature but never played by him
This guitar was on Hard Rock Cafe Caracas. That restaurant was shut down after the Venezuela crisis went crazy and no one knows where is that guitar now (2019). It was free to exposure so everybody could touch it and see it in detail. I took some photos of that guitar but i lost it… it had John’s signature, Old Rusty strings ( missing the 2 first strings ) a lot of dings on the paint and on the body. Some people says that HRC acquired that guitar when the RHCP played in Caracas on 2002. Just my two cents.
The guitar was bought the same day that John sold, it to Scott Weiland he kept it at his studio for a long time.
I was in a band called Turquoise Noise, which Scott signed a year before he died. We basically lived at his studio (the one pictured called Lavish) and I recorded most of the album with the jag. I was obsessed with it and attempted to purchase it several times. Once he passed away, RIP, I tried to buy it one last time but the guitars disappeared from his studio shortly after. Anyway, I have the original case for that guitar however not the jaguar itself. I have photos of me playing it in the studio if you are interested in seeing. peace and love—Brandon
Thanks for sharing that Brandon, and I would love to see the photos. You can post them here, or shoot me an email at [email protected]
Oh man I would love to see those photos if you post anywhere or could send to me also at [email protected] !
I now own the case. Thanks Brandon. The Tele fits in there nicely!
Would you mind snapping a photo of it and posting it here?
Here ya go!
I have seen pictures of the Scott Weiland guitar and judging from those, it‘s not the Under the bridge guitar. On those pictures, it seems like it does not have a neck binding, which both Johns guitar and the HRC guitar have. Maybe somebody with good quality images can have a detailed look and reject/confirm my statement.