John Frusciante’s 1966 Fender Jaguar (Under the Bridge)

access_time First seen circa 1990

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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Gabriel Sposito
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Gabriel Sposito

I saw this guitar over many years at the Hard Rock Cafe in Caracas, Venezuela. I don’t if it is still there

Continue browsing, or go subdirectory_arrow_leftBack to John Frusciante Gear Page
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 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 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 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 1997

1962 Fender Jaguar (Red)

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 […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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