date_range 1989

John Frusciante’s 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 Down’.

John playing his 1968 Fender Stratocaster in Amsterdam, on August 26, 1989. Photo source: YouTube – Red Hot Chili Peppers – 1989-08-26, Dam Square, Amsterdam, the Netherlands Full HD

However, according to John, his 1968 Stratocaster was stolen sometime in early 1990, so the guitar that was used that year was likely a different one, or he happened to get his old one back.

I played mostly Strats and Les Pauls on the record. (continued) For a while, my main guitar was a ’68 Strat, but it was stolen. Since then, I’ve gotten a couple of others that I’ve fallen in love with. But our basic philosophy is that our tones are in our fingers, and the particular instrument you play, or what kind of pick you use, doesn’t matter much. [Guitar Player (USA), April 1990]

So it seems that during the Mother’s Milk tour he used several different Stratocasters and that he didn’t necessarily have a favorite one. Based on photos and videos from around that time, he had at least one late 60 Strat with a large headstock, and one early 60s Strat with a small one. Unfortunately, due to no way of actually doing any research on these guitars, they will be omitted from this list for the time being.

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